Western Honshū

Crowded into two small caves at Gohyakurakan, there are 500 diminutive stone statues of the Buddha's disciples, each showing a different expression – some smiling, some turning their head to chat to their neighbour. Built to memorialise fallen silver-mine workers, the collection was completed in 1766, after 25 years of work.

It includes the touristy neighbouring Rakan-ji.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Honshū attractions

1. Rakan-ji

0.08 MILES

This touristy shrine is part of neighbouring Gohyakurakan, which contains 500 statues that were built to memorialise fallen silver-mine workers. Each…

3. Kumagai Residence

0.55 MILES

The lovingly restored Kumagai Residence was rebuilt in 1801 after an earthquake destroyed most of the town the previous year. The house belonged to a…

4. Iwami Ginzan Museum

0.61 MILES

The Iwami Ginzan Museum contains various documents, tools and silver-related items. It's inside the Ōmori Daikansho Ato (council offices), near the…

5. Kigami-jinja

0.65 MILES

A shrine with a colourful dragon mural on its ceiling – to hear the dragon 'roar', stand underneath it and clap.

6. Shimizudani Refinery Ruins

0.73 MILES

These stepped, stone remains of a silver-mine refinery, now delightfully overgrown with apricot trees and grass, have a pyramid-like appearance.

7. Ryūgenji Mabu Shaft

1.37 MILES

This tunnel into the silver mine has been widened substantially from its original size, and a guide helps bring it to life. One glance at the old tunnel,…

8. Izumo Cultural Heritage Museum

23.84 MILES

This cultural museum in the beautifully restored former home of the lords of Izumo, the Ezumi clan, is worth a visit if only to stroll around the pretty…