Yunotsu Course 2 Nights/3 DaysCultural Experience :
A hands on journey of Iwami and World Heritage sites
- Yunotsu Course

FY2023 Tourism Recommencement Project

Why not take the rare opportunity to tour a World Heritage Site. You will be taken on a guided tour around the Yunotsu area, which includes a walk around the Iwami Ginzan silver mines and in particular the Okubo Mabu Mine. The course also lets you experience a unique culture that you can find nowhere else in Japan.

Okubo Mabu Mines
The largest tunnel system of the Iwami Ginzan silver mines. You can see tunnels dug by hand during the 1600s as well as traces of machine mining. A guide will take you through the fascinating history of the mines.

Iwami Kagura
Iwami Kagura is an ancient and deeply cultural tradition unique to Shimane Prefecture. While on the tour, you get to not only see a live performance, but also paint your own Iwami Kagura masks to take home as a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Dining and Accomodation
Savor the many delicacies of the Shimane Prefecture, from Izumo Soba noodles to fresh seafood. At the end of each day, relax in the Yunotsu hot springs, which have been in use for hundreds of years.

Walking Tour
The town of Omori still maintains much of its classic Japanese architecture. Enjoy a walking tour that takes you back to the middle ages of Japan, and experience the real lifestyles of the people who live there.

The Artistry of Kanjiro Kawai: Pottery Experience with Artisans Continuing Yunotsu-yaki's Tradition & Visiting the Grand Climbing Kiln (Day 1)

Yunotsu is renowned for its high-quality clay and glazes, thriving as a major pottery hub due to its history of producing pottery, amplified by the anchorage of Kitamae ships. The area boasts a legacy of pottery production, fostering the birth of Yunotsu-yaki.

At the Pottery Museum, which continues to convey the history of Yunotsu-yaki alongside one of the largest existing climbing kilns in Japan, participants will engage in the hands-on experience of shaping pottery under the guidance of active artisans from three prominent kilns: Moriyama Kiln, Tsubaki Kiln, and Tsubaki Kiln Co., Ltd., all following the legacy of Kanjiro Kawai.

Using tools like the potter’s wheel, attendees will create vessels from clay. The crafted pieces will be finished by the museum’s staff and then sent for glazing and firing by the skilled artisans at the Yunotsu kilns before being shipped out.

Iwami Kagura and Yunotsu Sake Pairing Spectacle (Day 1)

We offer a unique viewing experience where, amidst traditional Japanese structures, you can relax on tatami mats in low chairs while savoring Iwami Kagura performances paired with local sake from Yunotsu.

As the resonating beats of the “Yobidaiko” drum echo, members of the Yunotsu Maiko Kagura troupe, adorned in Iwami Kagura attire, will pour the locally produced “Kaishun Hiya Oroshi Cho Karai” sake, crafted this autumn. This sake, named “Kaishun,” is the label of a local sake brewery. Anticipate the filling of your glassware engraved with this name with the locally crafted sake from Wakabayashi Brewery.

A Kagura member (or guide) will introduce the performance and the paired sake. They’ll discuss the seasonal Yunotsu sake that correlates with the act, aiming for you to enjoy the pairing of Iwami Kagura and local sake while understanding the concept.

For guests who prefer non-alcoholic options, enjoy Iwami Kagura-related “Kozo Tea,” utilizing materials from Sekishu Washi paper, and Wakabayashi Brewery’s brewing water, “Shikomi-mizu.”

After the performance, engage in conversation and interact with the Yunotsu Maiko troupe who showcased the Iwami Kagura. Also, dress up in the traditional costumes and accessories for memorable photo opportunities.

  1. Suggested pairings by Wakabayashi Brewery’s Toji (Head Brewer) according to the season and performance: October to November: Kaishun Hiya Oroshi Cho Kara, Kamegoro Junmai Namazake, Junmai Nama Kimoto Nishida Winter: Kaishun Hatsushibori, Junmai Kaishun Kan, Kamegoro Ichikaire Kan
  2. Provision of Yunotsu Sake from Wakabayashi Brewery that complements the Kagura performance
  3. Special insights and serving of paired sake by Kagura members dressed in traditional attire
  4. Post-performance interaction and exchange with the Kagura troupe members.
  5. Comfortable low chairs and seating arrangements with serving trays for relaxed viewing
Okubo-mabu: Unveiling the Enigmatic Depths on the Premium Journey (Day 2)

Okubo-mabu in Iwami Ginzan, a part of the Iwami Silver Mine, is a significant site recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This location served as the heart of the silver mine that had a profound impact on the global economy in the 16th century, standing as a symbol of historical importance and technological innovation. Exploring Okubo-mabu allows visitors to glimpse into the mining techniques and the living conditions of workers during that time, conveying its cultural and historical significance.

In this Premium Tour, you’ll have a special opportunity to approach the “Fukuishiba,” considered the heart of Okubo-mabu, and experience the mining environment in darkness, just as it was in the past.
Equipped with helmets, boots, and headlamps, embark on an exciting and thrilling adventure into Okubo-mabu! Exclusive access to undisclosed areas, not accessible on regular tours, is a highlight.
Additionally, a high-intensity special illumination enables clear visibility deep into the tunnels, offering sights rarely seen otherwise. Moreover, by turning off the lights, you’ll experience the mining environment in pitch darkness, a sensation that sharpens the senses, creating an experience rarely encountered in everyday life.

  1. Access to undisclosed areas of Okubo-mabu
  2. Special illumination
  3. Transportation arrangements (such as taxis) to nearby areas (Kinseikou)
  4. Experience of the mining environment in darkness
Traditional Craft: Iwami Kagura Mask Painting and Tailored Experiences (Day 3)

“Iwami Kagura” is a traditional Japanese dance-drama native to the Shimane Prefecture. It portrays mythical stories from Japan’s folklore, featuring vibrant costumes, dynamic dances, and dramatic music. The performances often recount legends of gods and heroes, showcasing powerful movements and mesmerizing choreography. These productions are not just entertainment but also a significant cultural heritage, preserving ancient tales and spiritual beliefs through captivating theatrical artistry.

In this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to experience painting sessions under the guidance of Mr. Kobayashi Taizō and Ms. Izumi, inheritors of the Iwami Kagura mask, a traditional craft from Shimane Prefecture. They’ll provide instruction on brush techniques and handling while you paint, and the finished piece is yours to take home.

The Iwami Kagura mask, crafted from Sekishu Washi paper, is a designated Important Intangible Cultural Property, a traditional craft, and part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (Sekishu Washi). It possesses distinct characteristics compared to masks from other regions due to its origins in Sekishu Washi.

During this plan, you can select unique production processes typically not offered elsewhere, such as filling clay into plaster molds, Sekishu Washi paper application, and an extraordinary step, “dismounting” the mask from the mold, which showcases the exclusive techniques specific to Iwami Kagura masks.

Tour of Fukumitsu Stone Quarry Visit & Fukumitsu Stone Carving Experience with Stone Sculptor (Day 3)

This tour offers a visit to an active quarry of Fukumitsu stone (andesite), which has been quarried for 500 years within the cultural area of the Iwami Ginzan region. Guided through the stone extraction and processing processes, from ancient practices to the present, participants can experience a valuable historical journey reflecting the formation of the Japanese archipelago.

Highlights include:
– Exploration of ancient hand-dug quarry sites to modern mechanically excavated tunnels
– Visiting a factory processing Fukumitsu stone while learning about extraction methods and its diverse applications

Additionally, the tour welcomes Mr. Masafumi Tsubouchi, a descendant of the renowned Edo-era sculptor and master craftsman, Tsubouchi Heishichirō Tadayoshi. Mr. Tsubouchi will guide participants in creating stone statues, specifically “Warabe” statues carved from Fukumitsu stone.

  1. Participants can undergo Fukumitsu stone statue carving experience guided by Mr. Masafumi Tsubouchi, a descendant of the eminent Edo-era sculptor Tsubouchi Heishichirō Tadayoshi.
  2. Sculpted stone statues can be dedicated to the local area as part of the ongoing project by travelers in Yunotsu. These statues contribute to the creation of the “500 Rakan Statues.”

“500 Rakan” refers to a traditional form of Buddhist art in Japan, consisting of 500 carved statues representing the guardians of Buddhism known as Rakan. These Rakan are revered figures who comprehended and attained enlightenment through Buddha’s teachings, garnering widespread reverence. Typically expressed as stone or wooden sculptures or paintings, each possesses distinct appearances and expressions. These artworks can be found in Japanese temples, gardens, and are highly regarded as a significant aspect of Buddhist art.

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Dates & Fees

DatesTrip Fees
Nov. 28~30 2023 (Y01) «Reception closed
Dec. 13~15 2023 (Y02) «Reception closed
Dec. 20~22 2023 (Y03) «Reception closed
Dec. 27~29 2023 (Y04) «Reception closed

Feb. 2~4 2024 (Y05)
Feb. 7~9 2024 (Y06)
Feb. 12~14 2024 (Y07)
Feb. 19~21 2024 (Y08)

– 1 customer per room: 370,000 yen
– 2 customers per room: 355,000 yen
– 3 customers per room: 350,000 yen
– 4 customers per room: 342,000 yen

*Prices cover accommodation, transportation, meals, etc.
*This tour will be accompanied by a tour guide and an interpreter.

Schedule

Day 1
11:50Depart Izumo Airport
12:30~13:20Lunch: Restaurant Kanunrou
14:35~15:45Pottery Workshop at Yakimono-kan »Learn more
16:00Check in to ryokan (Traditional Style)
20:00~21:30Iwami Kagura dance performance (Tatsunogozen Shrine) »Learn more
☆Dinner: from 18:00
Hotel Information: Kiunsoh or Masuya or Nogawaya
Breakfast: X / Lunch: ✔ / Dinner: ✔

Day 2
9:00Depart ryokan
9:30~11:30Guided walking tour of Omori town
11:40~12:30Lunch: Restaurant Omori-kaikan
12:40~13:20Visit Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center
13:30~15:30Tour of Okubo Mabu , the major active mining areas in Iwami Ginzan »Learn more
16:00Return to ryokan (free time) Bar Hopping
☆Dinner: from 18:30
Hotel Information: Kiunsoh or Masuya or Nogawaya
Breakfast: ✔ / Lunch: ✔ / Dinner: ✔

Day 3
8:00Depart ryokan
Team ATeam B
10:00~12:00Kagura mask painting workshop
(Kobayashi Kobo) »Learn more
10:15~11:45Guided tour of Fukumitsuishi Quarry »Learn more
12:10~13:00Lunch: Restaurant Yunotsu Fureaikan
13:15~15:15Guided tour of Fukumitsuishi Quarry13:30~15:00Kagura mask painting workshop
(Kobayashi Kobo)
15:30~16:10Shopping: Michinoeki Goise nima
18:00Arrive at Izumo Airport
Breakfast: ✔ / Lunch: ✔ / Dinner: X

Make Your Reservation

Notes

Important Matters Okubo-mabu

Please check the following points before applying.

  • The tour will be held rain or shine and will be canceled only in case of stormy weather.
  • When entering the Okubo Mabu Mine, you are not allowed to bring any baggage with you (Only cameras are allowed).
  • The Okubo Mabu route is a mountain climbing course, so please bring clothes and shoes suitable for walking on a mountain path with poor footing, etc. (The tour arranges helmet, headlamp, and boot rentals.)
  • *Depending on the weather conditions, the course may involve walking from Harada bus stop (1.2 km).
  • Be careful of pit vipers, bees, etc., when walking in the mountains.
  • The organizing division may determine that it is not possible to enter Okubo Mabu Mine based on poor weather, snow, frost, etc. In this case, the 2000 yen admission fees will be reimbursed, and you will be taken on the Ryugenji Mabu course, or guided to the Nima Sand Museum (containing the largest hourglass in the world).

Guidance

Haneda Airport ⇔ Izumo Airport
If you wish to arrange air tickets, we will arrange the air tickets separately.
*If you wish to arrange this, we will accept it as an arranged travel contract.

  • The number of applicants is 24 people each time.
  • The tour may be canceled if the minimum number of participants is less than 6 (if canceled, the trip fee will be refunded in full).
  • During the tour, you will enter the Okubo Mabu Mine. Children under 7 years’ old may not enter the mine, so will not be able to join the tour.
  • Your participation will be official after payment is confirmed.
  • The participation fee includes all items listed on the itinerary, such as transportation fees, accommodation fees, meal fees, admission fees, etc.
  • We will provide a form that explains the conditions for participating in the trip in detail, so please confirm before applying.
  • There may be changes to the meal contents.
  • Image is for illustration purposes.
  • Matters related to the cancelation/change/responsibilities/exceptions of the tour agreement, as well as matters relating to compensation during the tour, are stipulated by this travel company.
  • This tour will be read by a tour guide and an interpreter (ENG).
  • It is best to bring health insurance in case of an emergency.

Application deadline: 14 days before trip date.
Reserved bus company name: Iwami Tour Inc.
Taxi company name: Fuji Daiichi Kotsu Inc.
Meet-up location: Izumo Airport Arrivals Lobby
Disbanding location: Izumo Airport Lobby
Hotel: Kiunsoh or Masuya or Nogawaya

Handling of personal information

Our company will use the personal information written on the travel application form you applied for to contact you.

In addition,personal information will be used the extent necessary for arranging services such as transportation and accommodation facilities for the trip that the customer has applied for,and for procedures for receiving such services.
(Major transportation and accommodation facilities are listend in each schedule.)

Application-style planned trips (domestic) Terms and conditions (summary)

  1. Applying for a trip and signing a contract
    Please fill in the specified information on the specific application form and apply together with paying the application fee.
    The travel contract with the customer will be concluded once the application fee is received by the company.
  2. When customers cancel a travel contract
    Customers are able to pay the below cancelation fees and cancel the travel contract at any time.
    However, when there is a major change to the contents of the travel contract, customers will not be charged the cancelation fees.
    Cancelation fees form
      Cancel on and before 21 days – no charge
      Cancel 8-20 days before = 20%
      Cancel 2-7 days before = 30%
      Cancel 1 days before = 40%
      Cancel on day before start = 50%
      Cancel after start or without notification (so called no show) 100%
  3. Responsibilities and exemptions to the company
    Customers will be compensated for any damage caused to you by the company or the arranging agent.
    (The maximum amount of compensation for luggage is 150,000 yen per person.) However, the company will not be responsible in the following cases:
    Natural disasters, wars, transportation/accommodation facility accidents or fires, transportation facility delays/closures, or changes in travel dates or travel cancelations caused by these, government orders, quarantines due to infectious diseases, accidents during free time, etc., food poisoning, theft, etc.
  4. Special compensation
    Regardless of whether or not it is at fault, the company will pay a deposit or solatium for certain damages to life, body, or baggage sustained by a customer due to a sudden and unfortuitous external accident while participating in this trip, based on the special provisions for compensation. However, for days on which it is clearly stated in the itinerary that no travel services will be arranged by the company, customers will be considered as “participating in the trip” only if it is clearly stated that no compensation will be paid for damages sustained by the customer on that day.
  5. Customers’ responsibility
    The company will accept compensation from the customer when the company suffers damage due to the customer’s intentional or negligent actions, or acts contrary to laws and regulations, or public order and morals.
  6. Minimum capacity
    When the minimum number of participants is not achieved, the trip will not take place. In such cases, customers will be notified prior to the 13th day before the day before the start of the trip.
  7. Base date for travel conditions
    Travel conditions/trip fees are set as of April 1, 2023, so there may be changes based on the published fare revisions of transportation companies.
  8. Matters not stipulated in this conditions document are stipulated by this travel company (department related to application-type planned trip contracts).

Trip Plan implementation

Iwami kanko Co., Ltd <https://iwamitravel.com/>
I 701-3 Oda, Odamachi, Oda City, Shimane Prefecture
TEL 0854-82-0663 FAX 0854-82-2221
Shimane Prefecture Governor Registered Travel Agency No. 2-2 (one company) Full member of the National Association of Travel Agents
General travel business handling manager Mitsuo Wada

Implementing entity

Oda City

Cultural Experience : A hands on journey of Iwami and World Heritage sites - Yunotsu Course

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    Cultural Experience :
    A hands on journey of Iwami and World Heritage sites

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