Located on an inlet on the coast of the Sea of Japan, Yunotsu is a port town adjacent to the Okidomari Port. The town became active in the later part of the 16th century as the administrative center of Iwami Ginzan and its surrounding areas. Yunotsu is also an old hot spring town that hosted local magistrates, prominent feudal lords, writers and artists. Houses line four alleyways and the main road along an 800m stretch eastbound from the port. The layout of the houses remains unchanged from the early Edo Period, with land allotted into narrow-fronted strips. Land use in this narrow valley area provides a vivid picture of how the town must have developed through dealings with Iwami Ginzan.
Yunotsu Hot Spring
A hot spring with a long history of over 1,300 years, which is the only hot spring in Japan to be a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water is said to be high in medicinal properties, and there are many people who stay long time in order to rest and recuperate. The scenic road leading up to the spring is just wide enough for a single car and is lined with traditional Japanese inns.
The biggest climbing kiln all over Japan is here, it was built in the middle Edo period(around 1692～1779). Yunotsu pottery features many warm-hearted, light-brown colored ceramic works. This pottery house is not only a display venue for Yunotsu pottery, but also provides DIY experience, tourists can make an original pottery with the support from professional staff.
- Opening hours: 9:00- 17:00
- DIY price: Adult¥1,800, Junior&Senior high school student¥1,500
primary school student¥1,200
- Tel 0855-65-4139
The third component of the World Heritage site at Iwami consists of two trading routes that led from the silver mines to small harbour on the Japan Sea coast. One is Okidomari, which is 7 kilometers long, 8 kilometers away from Iwami Ginzan. This was an important port, largely used in the latter half of the 16th century.
Harvested rice plants are being dried on 5-meter-tall pyramid frames – a method called yozukuhade. Yozukuhade means owl in Japanese, the pyramid frames look like an owl, so it is called Yozukuhade.
Yu-Yu information center
The information center is a two- story building resembling a warehouse, called ‘dozo-zukuri’, which means a house built like a Kura, with the walls covered in mud. First floor is a living room with many kinds of sightseeing brochure and Iwami Ginzan introduction video, second floor is history reference room, displaying commodities which were used by wealthy merchants and samurai as well as the tools used in the ports before.