What is Iwami Ginzan? (I had never heard of it either)


I am staying in Oda-shi, a town of 40,000 inhabitants and many rice farms, but the main focus of the workcamp (and really of Oda-shi) is Iwami Ginzan, an ancient silver mine about 20 mins drive away. Iwami Ginzan used to be the world’s largest silver mind, and fueled much of the trade between Japan and the West, deveolopping ties between European power and Japan and also European interest in East Asia. There’s no more silver left, but Iwami Ginzan is now a UNESCO world heritage site, home to many trails, visiting by many Japanese tourists (and occasionally foreigners) and has an adorable mascot, logo, and several bicycle taxis that give tours.

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