Omori, a small town located in Shimane Prefecture, japan, is a place of great historical significance. It was once home to one of the richest silver mines in the world and has managed to preserve its historic charm over the years. Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved historic districts in the country.

History of Omori

Omori’s history dates back hundreds of years, to a time when the town was bustling with government officials, samurai, and merchants. The town’s prosperity was largely due to the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, which was one of the most productive silver mines in the world during its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries. The silver extracted from the mine played a crucial role in the economy of the region and even contributed to the prosperity of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Preservation of Omori’s Historic District

Despite the passage of time, Omori has managed to preserve its historic district remarkably well. In fact, it was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, ensuring that the town remains intact and true to its original form. As you walk along the narrow, one-kilometer-long street in Omori, you will be transported back in time, as if the modern world has never touched this place.

Exploring Omori’s Historic District

A visit to Omori is like stepping into a living museum. The town is filled with beautifully preserved temples, shops, and homes that have been converted into cafes, gift shops, and galleries. At the lower end of the town, you can visit the former magistrates offices, which now house a museum that complements the displays at the nearby World Heritage Center. The museum provides a deeper insight into the history of the town and the importance of the silver mine.

As you continue walking up the street, you will come across the grand Kumigai family house, which belonged to the wealthiest family in Omori. The house is over 200 years old and offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the past. Another notable attraction is the Kawashima Residence, the only samurai house in Omori that is open to the public. This well-preserved house provides a fascinating look into the lives of the samurai during the Edo period.

For those who are more adventurous, there is a path at the southwest end of the town that leads further up into the mountains to the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. The two-kilometer-long path is surrounded by beautiful scenery and passes by various other points of interest along the way. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature while exploring the historical significance of the area.

How to Get to Omori

Getting to Omori is relatively easy. It is just a five-minute drive from the World Heritage Center or a 30-minute bus ride from Odashi Station. There are bus stops at either end of the town, where you can rent bicycles, some of which are electric-assisted. It is important to note that the town and mine area are closed to motor vehicles, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the peaceful and nostalgic atmosphere of Omori.


Omori is a hidden gem in Shimane Prefecture, Japan, and offers a unique glimpse into the country’s rich history. Its well-preserved historic district, which was once home to one of the richest silver mines in the world, is a testament to the town’s importance in the past. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, a visit to Omori is highly recommended. Immerse yourself in the charm of this historic town and discover the stories that lie within its ancient walls.

Address And Maps Location:

Oda-shi, Shimane-ken

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