This is a three day tour to the mythological heartland of Japan: Shimane Prefecture. Featuring the ancient town of Izumo, the UNESCO World Heritage listed silver mining town of Iwami Ginzan and the river town of Gotsu, this tour promises to provide an insight in the myths and legends of Japan as well as an opportunity to meet locals and immerse oneself in local cultures and crafts.Tour provided by Heartland Japan http://heartlandjapan.com/.
Day 1 Hiroshima~Izumo~Iwami Ginzan (Lunch, Dinner)The group will meet on the 2nd Floor of the Shinkansen Ticket Barriers at Hiroshima Station at 9am. From the station we will take a chartered bus to the ancient town of Izumo on the Sea of Japan coast. After a lunch of the local speciality, soba, we will walk from Inasanohama Beach to Izumo Taisha, the oldest shinto shrine in Japan. We will then visit Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo where we will learn in more detail about the mythological roots of Izumo. We will then make our way by bus to the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Iwami Ginzan where we will be staying the night.Day 2 Iwami Ginzan~Oda (All meals)On the second day, we will focus on Iwami Ginzan, home to Japan’s longest running silver mine, running from the 17th century to to the 1920s. The town itself is very well preserved with old style machiya houses lining the quaint streets, some of which have been renovated into cafes and shops. Following a walk about the town and mines, we will have a simple but tasty lunch at a local cafe before heading to Yakimono No Sato for a hands on pottery experience. We will then take a walking tour to the hot spring village of Yunotsu Onsen where we will take a relaxing dip in a local hot spring bath house, Motoyu Onsen. After checking in and dinner at our ryokan, we will take a short walk to the local shrine for a Kagura performance - the oldest performing arts in Japan! Relive mythological legends and immerse yourself in the beat of the drum, the vibrant costumes and lively dances.Day 3 Oda~Gotsu (Breakfast, Lunch)Our final day begins at Mr Kobayashi’s Kagura mask workshop. Here, you can try your hand at painting a Kagura mask and hear from Mr Kobayashi about the art and history of Kagura. Before lunch we will stop of at a roof tile workshop and after lunch we will make our way to the riverside town of Gotsu. We will take a walking tour of the town, hearing about the history and closure of the Sanko Train Line, and stopping by a one hundred year old dorayaki sweet bakery! From Gotsu we will return to Hiroshima by bus where the tour will end at 18:30.