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  • Day13

    Kibitsu Jinja & the Legend of Momotaro

    May 9, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    I spent the morning visiting the magnificent Kibitsu Shrine about 30 minutes by train from Okayama. There was hardly a soul there, which was great. This is clearly off the tourist track and all the better for it. In fact I have been lucky on this trip not to have to put up with the crowds of western tourists and the hoardes of Chinese tourists in large tour buses. Probably not luck actually as having done the main tourist spots on my last visit in October 2016 I have chosen some more out of the way but equally stunning places to visit.

    Kibitsu Jinja is linked with the folktale of Momotaro or 'Peach Pit Boy who, born from a Peach, conquered the local demons. Because the legend is similar to a legend about Kibitsu-hiko-no-mikoto who was enshrined at Kibitsu Jinja for conquering the demon Ura - who is said to still lay entombed beneath the shrine - the two legends have become linked.

    The architecture of the shrine is called 'hioku-irimoya-zukiri' and is a much more traditional Japanese architecture than seen in some of the more Chinese influenced shrines and temples.

    The shrine itself is massive and the covered corridor that connects different buildings and sub shrines is 400 metres long. Much larger than even the Izumo Taisha shrine in Shimane that I will visit next on my trip around Western Japan.

    After taking in the sights of Kibitsu Jinja I returned to Okayama to get my train; the Limited Express Yakumo 13 to Matsue. The train wound its way up through forested mountains, narrow valleys and rock strewn rivers; bamboo and wild wisteria everywhere. Before breaking out onto the north western plains of Shimane. Matsue is sitated between two lakes - lake Shinja and lake Nakaumi - and close to the Sea of Japan.

    The weather here is overcast and grey but I guess I cant be lucky every day. I have two days and three nights here so hopefully at least one good sunset. :-)
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