Omori Town (大森, Ōmori) is a one and a half kilometer long stretch of houses, shops, temples and shrines that runs along the river valley to the north of the mines. It used to house magistrates, merchants and craftsmen who benefited from the nearby mines.
Today, many historical sites remain interspersed among the homes of the town's current residents, including the residences of some of the families that prospered here. A couple of these well-preserved homes are now open as museums for the public to explore. Museums and religious sites aside, the town's narrow streets and charming old buildings give Omori an atmosphere reminiscent of centuries past, making it a great place to explore.
Former Magistrate's Office (Iwami Ginzan Museum)
Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 Closed: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, December 29 to January 4 Admission: 550 yen (450 yen for foreign tourists) Typical visit duration: 20 minutes
Due to its exceptional economic value, the shogunate maintained direct control over Iwami's silver mines, and this building served as the office for the shogun's local representative. Today, the complex has been converted into a museum with exhibits related to the history of the mine.
Hours: Always open Admission: Free Typical visit duration: 5-10 minutes
Located at the north end of the town, this serene shrine has a dragon painting on its ceiling that echoes like the roar of the dragon when you clap your hands under it.
Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30) Closed: Last Tuesday of the month, December 29 to January 3 Admission: 520 yen (320 yen for foreign tourists) Typical visit duration: 20 minutes
The largest and most spectacular of the town's old homes, this used to be the residence of a leading merchant and town official and his family. Spacious, ornate and beautifully restored, today it stands as fine example of a period household.
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 Closed: New Year holidays Admission: 200 yen (100 yen for foreign tourists) Typical visit duration: 20 minutes
The only of the town's former samurai homes open to the public, this complex has many elements typical to the class and period including its old front gate and rear-situated toilets. The house provides an insight into the living conditions of contemporary high-ranking samurai.
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: No closing days Admission: 500 yen (400 yen for foreign tourists) Typical visit duration: 10 minutes
Here, 500 stone statues of Buddha's disciples are housed in a series of man-made caves. Their postures and facial expressions run the entire gamut of emotions and are very interesting to see.
Getting there and around
The central bus stop, Omori Daikansho (Omori Former Government Office), is served by all buses, providing connections along Omori Town and to the parking lot at the World Heritage Center (1-4 buses per hour), to Oda-shi Station (hourly), Nima Station (every 3 hours) and Hiroshima (2 buses per day).
Omori Town can also be reached on foot from the parking lot: It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk to the town's southern end around the Gohyaku Rakan via a nature trail shortcut and an additional 15-20 minutes (without stops) to reach the town's northern end around the Former Government Office.