Okayama, Chugoku

Relaxing and beautiful pastoral scenery, with easy access to many ancient temples, shrines and burial mounds.

Kibiji is the area from the western part of Okayama City, located in the south of Okayama Prefecture, to Soja. Kibiji was the center of Kibi-no-kuni, which boasted power and culture equal to those of the Yamato administration that controlled Japan in the 8th century. A series of ancient burial mounds, old temples, and shrines dot the peaceful pastoral scenery that is reminiscent of the prosperity of olden times.

Kibitsuhiko-jinja Shrine, located closest to the city of Okayama, has an 11.5-meter-tall all-night lantern. It is also called "Asahi-no-miya," or sunrise shrine, because on the day of the summer solstice the sun rises in front of the Zuishin-mon Gate and sets behind the sanctuary. Kibitsu-jinja Shrine is an old shrine with its main sanctuary built in the peculiar Kibitsu-style, which joins the two roofs of the Irimoya-style with a pitch on the two sides on the upper part and on the four sides at the bottom.

Closer to Soja is Bitchu-Kokubun-ji Temple. Its 34-meter-tall five-story pagoda built with two different types of trees is the symbol of Kibi. Ancient burial mounds of all sizes dot the area. The fourth-largest burial mound in Japan, Tsukuri-yama-kofun, has many undiscovered issues and is a very interesting monument.


From Tokyo:
[Air] 1h 15 min from Haneda to Okayama Airport.
[Rail] 3h 20 min from Tokyo to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 10 min from Okayama to Bizen Ichi-no-miya Station by JR Kibi Line.
From Osaka:
[Rail] 45 min from Shin-Osaka to Okayama Station by Shinkansen.

Around the Kibiji

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