April, May, December 31
Bitchu Kokubunji Temple belongs to the Shingon School of Buddhism and is perhaps one of Soja City’s most recognizable symbols. Although the temple itself is composed many wonderful structures, its five-tiered pagoda dominates the landscape from all directions and draws visitors from around the world. While there are several festivals and events which are centered around the pagoda throughout the year, one of the most magical is the light-up spectacle that takes place at the end of the year from 6pm-10pm. There is also a special New Year’s Eve light up from 10pm-1pm.
The pagoda is artistically bathed in a subtle pool of light, separating the spiritual structure from the darkness of the night. The mood changes with each change in hue. It is quite the experience just to be there at this time of the year that marks the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. If you visit during April, May, and New Year’s Eve, you have the added opportunity of witnessing the first sunrise of the new year in the Kibi plain. The most popular picture postcards of the district depict either a sunrise or a sunset and can be there to experience your own. Stay at the nearby Sun Road Kibiji Pension and Spa Complex. This spacious and modern facility is wheelchair accessible and offers a wide selection of accommodation. Enjoy the indoor and outdoor hot spring baths and a full-course traditional Japanese meal.
About the Area
Soja is an inland city in southwestern Okayama Prefecture. It is borders the cities of Okayama, Kurashiki, Takahashi and Ibara and the towns of Kibichuo and Yakage. This unique geographic position has meant that the city has always been deeply intertwined in regional cultural and political affairs.
With a name that literally means “all shrines”, it would be easy to assume that the city contains a lot of them and you would be correct. However, in many ways, Soja is very much a temple town, in that there are two major ones near the city center.
One of the most interesting parts of the city is the old shopping street that runs parallel to Route 180. There, you will find clues to life in the Meiji era in the stories told through its homes and storefronts.
Access: Take the Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Soja Station. Bitchu Kokubunji Temple is about a 10 minute taxi ride from JR Soja Station. Alternatively, rent a bicycle from the rental shop near JR Soja Station and take a 20 minute ride to the temple.
1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).
|Cancellation Date||Up to 21 days prior||20-8 days prior||7-2 days prior||Day prior to start of tour||Day of tour||After start of tour/non-participation with no contact|
|Cancellation Fee||No charge||20% of tour fee||30% of tour fee||40% of tour fee||50% of tour fee||100% of tour fee|