Soja city is located in the mid-south of Okayama prefecture, an area that was once the center of the ancient Kibi province. It is also the place where the provincial capital of Bicchu province was located after the divide of Kibi province, and as such is well known for its historical sights and ruins.
Tsukuriyama, an ancient tomb, is found in a thick forest at the end of this road.
If you look to the east, you can see Bitchu Kokubunji Temple’s 5-storey pagoda.
Among all the historical sights in the area, Bitchu Kokubunji Temple, the symbol of Soja, is one you simply cannot miss.
Standing among the paddy fields, the 5-storey pagoda looks somewhat lonely, and extremely beautiful.
Picturesque whatever the season: In the spring the area is covered with rapeseed flowers, during autumn with the beauty of autumn foliage, and June, green seedlings and purple hydrangea accent the view.
Bitchu Kokubunji Temple was established in 741 upon the orders of Emperor Shomu.
However, the structures we see today are part of Nisshozan Kokubunji Temple, which was rebuilt during the Edo period.
As the slender, narrowly built 5-storey pagoda was originally supposed to be a 3-stories, the first, second and third floors are constructed of Japanese zelkova timber. The 4th and 5th floors are constructed of pine.
Meant only for bicycles and pedestrians, in front of the temple there is a prefectural road generally known as the Kibi Bike Trail.
Stretching from Okayama city to Soja city, the Kibi Bike Trail is a great way to see the sights. Renting a bicycle and going for some relaxed cycling is a lot of fun.
Incidentally, while we’re talking about the Kibi Bike Trail, here’s an interesting fact:
The Japanese crane hatched on April 29th, 2015 at Kibijitsuru no Sato, which is located about 2km from Kokubunji Temple, was named Kibiji (‘Kibi trail’)
Less than 2 months after hatching, Kibiji is already this elegant! Its motions when picking food already resemble those of a grown bird.
Around August, it will most probably have started to practice flying. In addition to touring the historical sites, come by to observe some of Japan’s protected species up close.
Bitchu Kokubunji Temple
Location: 1046 Kanbayashi, Soja city, Okayama prefecture
Access: Around a 15-minute taxi ride from Soja station (JR Hakubi line) / 20 minutes by Soja Yamate Bus (Get off at the Kibiji Motenashi no Yakata stop) / 10-minutes drive from Okayama expressway, Okayama Soja interchange / 10-minutes drive from Sanyo expressway Kurashiki interchange
Tourist Guide Center opening hours: 10AM – 4PM
Kibijitsuru no Sato
Website: http://www2.kct.ne.jp/~turu/ (Japanese)
Location: 1430-1 Misu, Soja city, Okayama prefecture (Adjoined with Hotel Sunroad Kibiji)
Access: Around 10-minutes by taxi from JR Hakubi line Soja station / 10-minute drive from Okayama expressway Okayama Soja interchange / 10-minute drive from Sanyo expressway Kurashiki interchange
Parking: Toll-free parking available at Sunroad Kibiji
Hours: 7AM – 5PM
Admission: Free of charge
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori
Give us your Like
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Others"OthersList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.