Kibitsu Shrine

Kibitsu Shrine, on the outskirts of Okayama city, is a must stop for anyone in Okayama. Rebuilt in 1425, the Kibitsu Shrine is recognized as a Japanese National Treasure. It’s exact date of founding is undetermined due to the lack of accurate record keeping, but artifacts discovered around the shrines grounds date back to the 12th century, so one can assume that the temple was established beforehand. In it’s extensive history, Kibitsu shrine has established an impressive reputation among locals and tourists to Okayama as well.

Kibitsu Shrine is famous for having a rather interesting tale. Prince Kibitsuhiko, or Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto, was the son of Emperor Korei, of whom according to legend, began the battle with a demon named Ura, whom used to haunt the area and strike fear into the locals. A moss covered stone at the shrine, surrounded by a small bamboo fence (to prevent people from sitting on it) was speculated to be where the Prince had let his arrows -which he later used to kill Ura- rest.

The Grandest attraction of the shrine, is the long corridor, which stretches nearly 400m leading up to the shrines main building. Despite the ground being smooth, the actual pathway has quite a steep slope, but it should be easy to walk up for most. 

A lot of people visit the shrine in early summer, as there are nearly 1500 hydrangea plants which begin to bloom in June. However, if you come in mid April, you will get to experience the beautiful cherry blossoms as you walk through one of Japans largest shrines.  

Hours

  • 5:30am-5:30pm

Access

Kibitsu Shrine can easily be accessed from Okayama Station by boarding the train on the Kibi Line, and getting off at Kibitsu Station (Costing 210JPY one way). From there, it’s a relatively easy walk. Once you leave the train station,  head left until you reach an intersection, then turn right and walk until you hit an area with several large parking lots – and that’s it, you’re there!

Accommodation

Booking.com
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