Kibitsuhiko Shrine [Okayama]

【Kibitsuhiko Shrine summary】

When Kibi Province was divided into Bizen, Bicchu, and Bingo, the shrine dedicated to Kibitsuhiko, who ruled the region, was also divided into three, and this shrine was designated as the first shrine of Bizen Province. The reason why this shrine shares its sacred mountain with the Kibitsu Shrine on the west side is that when Kibi Province was divided into Bizen and Bitchu, the border was divided at the summit of the sacred mountain to avoid conflict. It is said that the Kibi Province was pacified by the order of the Yamato Imperial Court, and the shrine was built on the site of the mansion where the Kibi Province was ruled, which was the origin of the shrine. The deity is Ookibitsuhiko-no-mikoto, who is also famous as the model for Momotaro. The main shrine was begun in 1668 by Mitsumasa Ikeda, feudal lord of Okayama, and completed in 1697 by his son Tsunamasa. It is now designated as an important cultural property by Okayama Prefecture.

【Kibitsuhiko Shrine precincts】

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The approach leading straight from the large pond gives the shrine a neat and stately appearance. It is also known as the “Shrine of the Morning Sun,” and the straight line from the approach to the main hall of worship is said to be the path the sun takes during the summer solstice. The approach to the shrine, which passes through the center of the sacred pond spreading out in front of the shrine grounds, is flanked on both sides by rows of pine trees, which made me feel somewhat comfortable.

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The shrine faces east with its back against the mountain that is the deity’s body, and is built so that the sun shines through the front torii gate on summer solstice days and hits the mirror of the shrine’s rite hall, giving it another name, “Asahi no miya” (morning sun shrine). There is a magnificent lantern, and the main shrine, rebuilt in the Edo period, is magnificent.

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Climbing a few steps from the Zuijimon gate, the main shrine building, the Watadono, the Shigemuden, and the hall of worship are lined up in a straight line, and a truly magnificent and graceful group of shrine buildings can be seen when viewed from diagonally ahead. The main shrine building can be seen in front of you as you continue along the approach to the shrine.

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There are four buildings in a row, with the front three having copper shingle roofs and the innermost shrine having a cypress bark roof. It is a large shrine with four buildings in a row, including the hall of worship. The shrine pavilions have a very calm atmosphere, and the view from the left toward the main hall is even more impressive.

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Around the main shrine, there is also a Tenmangu shrine, an Inari shrine, and a shrine dedicated to Ura, who is considered a demon because of Momotaro’s connection to the shrine.

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The sacred tree, with only half of its leaves thriving after being struck by lightning a thousand years ago, looked like a giant’s hand.

【Kibitsuhiko Shrine Access】

Manager’s Comments

The shrine is associated with the legend of Momotaro. When I visited the shrine, it was almost empty and quiet, but the atmosphere was very nice. I think it is a shrine loved by the locals.

my opinion

Kibitsuhiko Shrine

1043 Ichinomiya, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama 701-1211, Japan

※Free parking available

5 minutes walk from Bizen Ichinomiya Station

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