2008年09月24日

石見銀山遺跡

(Mainichi Japan) September 24, 2008
Environmental challenges ahead for Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine world heritage site
石見銀山遺跡:世界遺産へ観光客押し寄せ、「環境との調和」仕切り直し

◇石見銀山の挑戦
Shimane -- In July 2007, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine in Oda, Shimane Prefecture, became the first Japanese industrial site to be registered as a world heritage site. It gained high appraisal during the World Heritage Committee investigation for its "coexistence with nature" and "harmony with the environment."
However, environmental problems subsequently arose due to an increase in the number of tourists to the area. In response, local residents have made the bold decision to abolish a local bus service, which has been a precious means of transportation for them.
From this autumn, the people of Oda will make a fresh start with an even greater respect for the environment.
日本初の産業遺跡として昨年7月、世界文化遺産に登録された石見銀山遺跡(島根県大田市)。世界遺産委員会の審査では「自然との共存」「環境との調和」が高い評価を受けた。だが、観光客の増加で、環境破壊という問題が浮上。住民は地域の足でもある路線バスの廃止を決断した。この秋、「環境」というキーワードに立ち返った仕切り直しが始まる。【大田通信部・船津健一】

◆観光客倍増
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine is valued for three main features: The remains of the silver mine, the town itself, and the routes to the port. The core zone of the heritage area covers 442 hectares, encompassing the towns of Omori, Nima, and Yunotsu. The most popular site is Omori, where people can see the shaft of the silver mine and areas of the residential town that remain from the Edo period. Most tours planned by travel agencies focus on this town. An amazing 714,000 tourists visited the site in 2007 when it was registered as a world heritage site, almost double the number of the previous year. This year, the number of visitors reached 560,000 by the end of August, which is equivalent to a 1.7-fold increase on the previous year.
石見銀山遺跡を構成する要素は大きく三つ。銀鉱山跡、町並み、街道と港だ。大森町、仁摩(にま)町、温泉津(ゆのつ)町の市内3町に点在するそれらの総面積は約442ヘクタールになる。中でも、銀採掘坑道や江戸時代の区割りを伝える町並みが残る大森町には観光客が押し寄せる。旅行代理店のツアーもここに集中する。世界遺産に登録された07年の観光客数は前年の2倍近い71・4万人。今年は8月末で56万人に迫り、前年同期比1・7倍と衰える気配がない。

The town of Omori is home to 390 people among 170 families. These people requested a "Park and Ride" system to Iwami Kotsu (headquarters in Masuda) last April to reduce the number of tourists' cars entering the town. People park their cars in a new free parking lot (with a capacity of 400 cars and 11 buses) 2.5 kilometers south of the area, and take a shuttle bus to the town. People are also discouraged from visiting the most popular site, the "Ryugenji Mabu (Mine Shaft)" at the foot of the mine by car. Instead, public buses (with a capacity 43 people) shuttle to and from the town area. Due to the increase in the number of tourists, the original nine round trips were increased to 18 roundtrips for weekdays and 35 for weekends and holidays. Along the narrow road where even passenger cars can barely pass, residents and visitors alike are suffering from exhaust fumes from the buses.
 大森の町並み地区は、170世帯390人が暮らす「生活の場」でもある。観光車両の流入を防ぐため、市は昨年4月末、石見交通(本社・益田市)に要請して「パーク&ライド」を始めた。同地区の2・5キロ南に新設した無料駐車場(乗用車400台、観光バス11台)に車を置き、同社の路線バスに乗り換えて町へ入ってもらう仕組みだ。一方、銀鉱山のふもとにある一番人気の「龍源寺間歩(まぶ)」(坑道)へも一般車両は乗り入れ禁止とし、町並み地区から路線バス(43人乗り)を使ってもらうことになった。
従来は9往復だったダイヤを平日18往復、土日祝日は35往復と大幅に増便。普通車でもすれ違うのがやっとの市道で、住民も観光客も追い越していくバスの排ガスを浴び、顔をしかめた。

◆混雑、混乱
During the autumn tourist season, people flood into the town. "Weekday overcrowding turns into weekend chaos," sighs a community association official.
Although it is only 30 minutes on foot from the town to the mine shaft, many tourists choose to wait for the bus. Many full buses go by until we can get on," the official added.

秋の行楽シーズンには観光客が殺到。「平日は混雑、土日は混乱」(自治会役員)という状態になった。町並み地区から坑道へは徒歩でも30分程度だが、観光客の多くはバスを利用する。「何台待ってもバスに乗れない」。

Responding to the complaints, the bus company has increased the service, resulting in nearly 100 shuttles on weekdays. The buses are always overcrowded and the residents can't use them. Moreover, the residents have to put up with exhaust fumes, noise, vibrations, etc.
"It's not a local bus anymore -- it's turned into a tourist bus," complains the official.
It didn't take long before the residents called for action.
苦情に応えて臨時便を増やしたため、多い日には平日でも100台近くがピストン運行した。
いつも満員のバスには住民も乗れない。「もはや路線バスじゃない。 観光バスだ」。加えて排ガス、騒音、振動。住民が悲鳴を上げるまで時間はかからなかった。

In December last year, Omori Community Council decided to petition the city of Oda to abolish the running of the local bus.
どうすればいいか。町民集会を重ねた末、大森町自治会協議会は昨年12月、路線バスの廃止を大田市に陳情した。

One week after the petition, a 110 cm by 50 cm rock weighing 80 kg rolled down the slope alongside the bus route, right in front of the mine shaft. It was midnight, and luckily no one was injured, but the falling rock was exactly what the petitioners had predicted might occur as a result of the vibrations from the buses. An investigation confirmed that work to prevent falling rocks would take about two years to complete, which added pressure to do away with the local bus.
その1週間後、坑道の手前のバス道に面した斜面から全長110センチ、幅50センチ、重さ約80キロの岩が落ちる落石事故が発生。深夜の発生でけが人はなかったが、陳情書が指摘した「バスの振動による落石」が現実になった。市は現場付近を通行止めとし、路線バスは手前の停留所で折り返すことになった。調査の結果、落石防止の工事に約2年かかることも判明。これが路線バス廃止へ向けた動きを後押しした。

◆「歩く」観光へ
So it was decided that the local bus service that shuttles people between the mine shaft and the town would be abolished. Although there were pros and cons to the decision, one resident stated flatly, "If we get rid of the buses, tourists and physically challenged people may be (negatively) affected. Still, we residents live here all our lives. We can't live with such anxiety."
市と石見交通は来月1日から、坑道と町並みを往復していた路線バスを全廃する。決定までには賛否両論あったが、ある住民は集会でこう言い切った。「バスを廃止すれば、観光客が減ったり障害者に迷惑をかける。でも住人は死ぬまでそこに住み続ける。不安を抱えながら過ごすことはできません」

On the second autumn after its registration as a world heritage site, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine will switch its policy to promoting sightseeing on foot. It has plans to introduce two hybrid buses that use both electric motors and conventional combustion engines along the "Park and Ride" routes from next fiscal year.
登録から2度目の秋を迎えた石見銀山は「歩く観光」にかじを切る。来年度からは、パーク&ライド路線にモーターとエンジンを併用する「ハイブリッドバス」2台を導入する計画もある。

There are also plans to introduce emission-free electric buses, although not as a replacement for the lost local buses. Instead, they will cruise around the world heritage sites, limited to a walking speed of 5 km/hour and yielding to pedestrians. On Sept. 21, the "ultimate eco-car" was launched at the site, too. Three velotaxis (motorized tricycle taxis) with the capacity for two adults and one child were introduced. The driver also acts as a tour guide.
一方、排ガスを出さない電気バス導入計画も進んでいる。廃止路線のバス代わりではなく、歩行者優先の遺跡内を時速5キロ程度の歩く速さで遊覧する乗り物だ。遺跡内では21日から「究極のエコカー」も登場した。大人2人と幼児1人が乗れる有料のベロタクシー(電動アシスト付き三輪自転車)3台で、運転手が観光ガイドも務める。

The decision of this small town in the Sanin area was heard throughout the nation. The aim for "coexistence of a world heritage site with the environment" has also been included in the residents' charter of Omori town: "Our residents have to live here every day of their lives. We are committed to serving the people and Iwami Ginzan. We dedicate ourselves to conserving our history, relics and nature for future generations."
山陰の片隅の小さな町が全国に発信する「環境と共生する世界遺産」への決意は、世界遺産登録後に大森町が定めた「住民憲章」にも表れている。「この町には暮らしがあります。私たちはこの町で暮らしながら、人とのきずなと石見銀山を未来に引き継ぎます。未来に向かって歴史と遺跡、そして自然を守ります」

Yukio Nishimura, a professor at Tokyo University specializing in city planning, cites an example from 1995 when another travel spot, Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture, had to build a parking lot over paddy fields following a rapid increase in the number of tourists after its registration as a world heritage site. "I hope that Iwami Ginzan will study the 'good' of various areas while avoiding the 'bad,' and become a place where people from across the nation can visit and learn."
都市計画などが専門の西村幸夫・東京大教授は、岐阜県の白川郷が95年の世界遺産登録後、観光客の急増で合掌造り集落の水田を駐車場に変えた例を引き、「石見銀山は各地のいいところを学び、悪いところはうまく避け、日本中から学びに来る場所になってほしい」と期待を寄せる。

毎日新聞 2008年9月22日 東京朝刊
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