Showing posts with label omori. Show all posts
Showing posts with label omori. Show all posts

Sunday, May 28, 2023

A Stroll Though Omori


Omori is a major part of the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Sites in the mountains of western Shimane. Before it became a World Heritage Site it had been listed as a Preservation District because so many historical buildings were still extant.

It is a 40 minute drive from my home, and for many years a good friend lived in the town so I have spent a lot of time there.

This was the administrative headquarters for the silver mining operation. This is where the samurai who controlled the mine lived and worked. It was also home to the many merchants and other trades, but it was not the home of the actual miners. They lived in hovels up in the mountains at the actual mines.

It is actually one of the better preservation districts because it is so extensive and not marred by aboveground powerlines. There are a couple of shops and places to eat but by and large, it is not so very commercialized.

On this visit I was on the 4th day of my walk along the Iwami Mandala Kannon Pilgrimage and there was a small a cluster of temples here. Historically it was the starting point for the pilgrimage, but the modern version follows a different route and has a little different set of temples. Recently discovered documents at an old samurai home near my house also show another Kannon pilgrimage just covering the territory of the silver mine and not the whole of the Iwami Province.

There are a couple of homes open to the public, and an enormous number of temples, necessary for the many funerals that resulted from the brutal life of a being a miner, though many have closed down now.

The previous post in this series on the Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage was Kanzeonji Temple in the lower part of town. Two earlier posts on the preservation district of Omori, and the facades of the preservation district, if you are interested.

This final photo is a great example of kote-e, plaster relief, found on the "treasure house" of one of the temples.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Iwami Mandala Kannon Kanzeonji Temple


Kanzeonji Temple is located on top of a rocky outcropping right in the middle of the historic town of Omori and offers great rooftop views over the World Heritage site.

The miners have carved niches into the rock face for several altars holding statues. The hinzon of the temple is a Kannon

It is one of the "extra" temples on the Iwami Mandala Kannon Pilgrimage and I visited on this occasion on day four of my walk along that pilgrimage route. Kannon pilgrimages usually consist of 33 main temples and maybe three "extra" temples, but this pilgrimage has at least a dozen "extra" temples over and above the main 33, which is probably why it is called Mandala.

It is worth the short climb up, not only for the views of the town, but for the rather fine pair of Nio guardians.

The previous post in this series was Iwami Hachimangu.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Omori in 2D


Most the photos in the previous post on Omori used perspective quite strongly.

For this series, I want to concentrate more on flat, two-dimensional compositions.

Traditional Japanese architecture  tends to have quite pleasing proportions and ratios, as well as combinations and contrasts of differing texture. and I think this is true of many traditional architectures around the world.

The vast majority of new Jaoanese houses are quite ugly.

Another thing that contributes to this flat, geometric comosition is the decoration done by the inhabitants of a building.

Sometimes these are quite formal and follow a rigid set of rules.

At other times they can be quite individualistic and idiosyncratic.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Omori Historic Preservation District


Omori is a small village that was the administrative centre for the Iwami Ginzan silver mine, and is therefore a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, before it became a World Heritage site it was a Historic Preservation District. Actually the correct designation is "Groups of  Traditional Buildings", but I prefer to use the former.

Before it became a World Heritage site I spent a lot of time in Omori, but since its UNESCO listing I rarely go back anymore, but when I do I am increasingly impressed.

The best thing they did was remove all the goddam ugly power lines and cables, and combined with banning motor vehicles, it makes it a far more pleasant experience. It also helps that Omori is rarely crowded.

I've visited dozens and dozens of these preservation district throughout western Japan, and Omori is one of the best. For a start it is one of the biggest,.... some of them are really quite small.

Secondly there is quite a range of buildings in terms of size and style.

Some of the preservation districts in touristy areas have become quite gentrified and are occupied by cafes and restauraans and such, and in other areas, notable remote, rural sites, most of the historic buildings are empty and uninhabited.

Omori strikes a good balance between these two.

Finally, they continue to restore buildings in Omori.

So far I have not osted anything on many of the preservation districts I have explored, but a few can be found by clicking this link.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Autumn in Omori


After leaving Chokoji Temple it was just half an hours drive u to Omori In Iwami Ginzan. On arrival we were treated to a classic Autimn scene,.... harvested rice in front of a thatched farmhouse.

Omori is the most visited of the haf dozen sites that make u the Iwami Ginzan UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the settlement below the mine where the merchants, samurai, and bureaucrats lived.

Omori is primarily a long, single street alongside a small stream. We started at the top of the village and walked down to the bottom where the most important people lived.

There are a couple of side lanes that usually lead to temples, and its here that you find a kittle autumn color.

However, at the bottom of the village is the main shrine, and here we found an abundance of Autumn colr, so that will be next up.....

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hunting the late Fall colors in Omori


Hunting the late Fall colors in Omori.

It has become one of my traditions that I spend much of November walking along some pilgrimage trail or other enjoying the color of Fall. Unfortunately this year a bout of ill health followed by a period of hospitalization meant that I missed much of November.

Statue in Japan.

We took off one day and headed up to the village of Omori in Iwami Ginzan in the hope of catching the last remnants of color and was able to find some. The hillsides still had some color to them, and though most of the ginkgo trees were naked there was still somewhat of a carpet at one of the small temples.

Hunting the late Fall colors in Omori,

A few of the small gardens still had some maples, but the best colors were to be found at shrines.

Fall in Japan.

The big Hachimangu at the northern end of the village still had much to be seen, but the best was at the Ido Shrine on the opposite side of the river, and not usually visited by tourists....

Hunting the late Fall colors in Omori.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Omori Floral

Cinco de Mayo 2

Up in the mountains not far from here is the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Site, and the village of Omori is a large part of it.

Cinco de Mayo 6

Pretty much just one long street in the narrow valley below the mine, Omori is where the samurai, bureaucrats, and merchants lived.

The slaves who worked and died in the mine lived in hovels up on the mountain.

Cinco de Mayo 9

Omori is a pretty good showcase of Edo Period buildings, most of which have been restored, and to make it pretty for the throngs of tourists many property owners put small displays of flowers in front of their properties.

Cinco de Mayo 15

All these photos were taken in a one hour walk along the main street one day in May.

Cinco de Mayo 18

They are real flowers, not plastic. You need to check. I was very impressed with the flowers at Mitaki Dera until I looked closely and saw they were plastic.

Cinco de Mayo 41

Cinco de Mayo 34

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Concrete wabi sabi: more steps.

Continuing with my exploration of the aesthetic potential in Japan's favorite material,.... more steps!

An Afternoon Around Sanbe Dam4128

An Escheresque view of the steps down sanbe Dam.


A very standard form of steps. These go down to the stream that run through Omori, Iwami Ginzan.


Of course concrete can be poured into any shape. These curved steps go down to the boat dock for the horikawa boat tour on the river in Matsue.


These lead down to a hot spring in the river at Tamatsukuri Onsen.


I really liked these that lead up into the Museum of Ehime History & Culture.


These last ones are not actually in Japan, but Seoul, Korea.