As you descend the stairs to an underground room, you encounter several huge trees towering in front of you.
These trees from the Jomon period (14,000 to 300 BCE), which were buried deep underground by the eruption of Mt. Sanbe, have been preserved through the ages to appear just as they were so long ago.
Japan is a land of volcanoes.
Although volcanic eruptions threaten the lives of the people, they have brought various blessings to “Iwami no Kuni Oda” (Oda in the Iwami Province).
The ore deposits of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, which once made “Cipangu (Japan)” famous around the world, were also born of the magma from those eruptions.
And the bountiful land nurtured by the volcano has enriched the lives of its inhabitants.
“Iwami no Kuni Oda” where the history of volcanoes lives on in the roots of daily life.
Here, a journey of discovering the bounty of the land of fire awaits you.
Created a perpetual heritageThree KAZAN (volcanoes)
Sanbe volcano where a Jomon Forest remains
Mt. Sanbe is a symbol of Oda City and is one of the mythical mountains that appears in the Kunibiki (Land-Pulling) Myth. The peaks created by the volcano became objects of worship, and the volcanic ash that flowed down at the foot of the mountain preserved a forest from the Jomon period. In addition, the graceful scenery of the grassland was created by the activities of the people who made good use of the volcanic ash soil.
Mt. Oetakayama volcano
In the 16th century, silver from the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine had a great influence not only on Japan, but also on the world during the Age of Discovery. The driving force that allowed this mine to achieve such historical magnificence was the “Fukuishi” (volcanic silver ore) produced by the action of the Mt. Oetakayama volcano. The magnificence of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine is also the origin of the history and culture of Oda City.
Volcanoes with green tuff
The great crustal movement that split the edge of the Asian continent, expanded the Sea of Japan, and formed the Japanese archipelago, was accompanied by intense volcanic activity. The green tuff that is characteristic of the volcanic ejecta thrown up during that activity is distributed widely in Oda City, giving rise to various mineral and rock resources and a richly varied landscape.
Ancient Jomon Forest reborn in modern times
Sanbe Azukihara Buried Forest
This 4,000-year-old forest was buried deep by mudslides and pyroclastic flows from volcanic eruptions without being burnt. It is now displayed just as it was.
Mt. Sanbe was formed by repeated eruptive activity. Its four beautiful peaks and the grasslands at the foot of the mountain create a distinctive landscape.
Sanbe Volcano that has nurtured a bountiful way of life
Sadame Pine tree
This old pine tree is said to have been planted by Nagayasu Okubo, the first magistrate of the Iwami Ginzan silver mine, as a milestone marker. Its exposed roots are wrapped around several large rocks.
Pastoral scenery of Mt. Sanbe
The Sanbe region was unsuitable for crop farming because of its volcanic ash soil and lack of water. From the Edo period, the raising of cattle and horses was encouraged, which has formed the grassland scenery of today.
This is a native species that has been cultivated in the volcanic ash soil of the Sanbe region. The dramatic temperature variation of the highland climate nurtures the flavor, and you can enjoy the mellow taste.
The source of the hot spring is located between Mt. Magosanbe and Mt. Hikageyama. It produces the largest volume of natural hot spring water in the Chugoku region. The bubbles of carbon dioxide that emerged from the magma slowly warm your body.
A natural lake located in the lower part of Mt. Sanbe’s Nishinohara area. The lake was formed by volcanic ejecta blocking the exit of the valley, and it is the source of the Shizuma River that flows into the plains.
This shrine that enshrines Umashimaji-no-Mikoto, said to be the founding father of the Mononobe clan, a local ruling family in the Yamato kingdom. It has the largest Kasuga-zukuri style main shrine structure in Japan.
Sahimeyama Shrine and Tane Kagura
The shrine still proclaims the old name of Mt. Sanbe to this day. At the annual (Reitaisai) festivals and Ogensai festivals, elegant Tane Kagura performances are presented, which are one of the traditional Rokuchoshi (six-chord) style of performing arts.
Ogasawara-style musical rice planting
A traditional folk performance of the Chugoku region that is also a Shinto ritual to pray for a bountiful harvest. It has been handed down in the Ikeda and Koyahara districts of Sanbe-cho, and at the rice planting festival of Mononobe Shrine, there is also a dedication ceremony with musical accompaniment.
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine site created by a volcano
This is a beach of “singing sand” that makes a sound when you step on it. The sound is produced by the uniform grains of quartz sand rubbing against each other.
Mt. Oetakayama volcano
The steep peaks on the north side of Mt. Oetakayama were formed by repeated volcanic activity occurring from about 2 million years ago to about 600,000 years ago.
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Ruins (Sennoyama-no Fukuishi deposit)
The silver ore known as “Fukuishi” is distributed throughout the area from near the summit of Mt. Sennoyama to the eastern side of the mountain. This area, known as the “Fukuishi deposit,” is where silver mining was carried out.
Omori Silver Mine Area
Omori-cho was established as a mining town of the Iwami Ginzan silver mine. The town retains the atmosphere of the past, even as the people conduct their modern lifestyles.
The blessings of volcanoes that have nurtured life
Mt. Ryugan (Tatsuiwa Rock)
A peculiar rock that was a magma conduit about 15 million years ago. The insides of the holes formed in the rock by weathering have a reddish color due to deposits of iron oxide sediment, which makes them look like dragons' mouths.
Arareishi Production area of Matsushiro Mine
The Matsushiro Mine where gypsum was mined until the 1960s. Aragonite, which is a conglomerate of translucent crystals, was also produced here, and was prized for its unusual form.
Fukumitsuishi Stone quarry
A stone quarry that continues from the Muromachi period to the present. Pale greenish tuff was mined and distributed mainly in the Iwami region.
Oniiwa Rock of Onimura
This rock, which is associated with the legend of an ogre, is made of tuff formed by the eruption of a submarine volcano. The salts contained within the rock have weathered it to produce its present form.
A huge rock with impressive stripes of tuff and conglomerate. The strata indicate that there were repeated volcanic eruptions nearby.
The Silicified Wood of Nima
Two large tree fossils (silicified wood) lie exposed on the wave-cut platform. Veins of small, tightly packed quartz crystals run through the cracks.
The Silicified Wood of Hanenishi
A large fossil tree that was buried by a volcanic eruption just a little less than 15 million years ago juts out diagonally from the coastal cliff face.
A cave made from volcanic ejecta that formed the bedrock and was then eroded by waves. It is said to be the location of the legendary Shizunoiwaya monument, which was written of by Oishi-no-Suguri-no-Mahito in the ancient Manyoshu anthology.
- What is Japan Heritage?
- Certain things that tell the story of Japan's culture and traditions through the historical charm and unique characteristics of a region are recognized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs as “Japan Heritage.” The purpose is to help revitalize regional communities through the comprehensive community-led development and utilization of various groups of tangible and intangible cultural properties of great attractiveness that are indispensable for telling such stories, including strategically disseminating information on these cultural properties not only in Japan but also overseas.