Jonathan Senior discovers Japan's iron history in Yasugi, a transport hub from long ago. He learns about the old clay tatara furnaces for producing steel blooms and visits an impressive castle ruin. His trip also takes him to artisan studios for crafting swords, incense and iron candle stands.
Gassan Toda Castle
A formidable mountain fortress where battles over resources, especially iron, were fought.
In business since the Edo period, producing iron candle holders and other objects.
Sword Forging Demonstrations
Swordsmiths demonstrate how to forge swords from Tamahagane at a local museum.
From Tokyo's Haneda Airport, it takes 90 minutes to Yonago. From there it's about one hour on express train or bus to Yasugi.