Mimasaka is a rural city in northeastern Okayama Prefecture with a population of around 30,000 and is steeped in history and culture. Framed by the Chugoku Mountains, the city is known for its timeless landscape of fields and rolling hills which are dotted with well-preserved traditional Japanese homes. Starting with history, a larger than life figure who has found international recognition is the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Born in what is now Mimasaka City, Musashi was a warrior, philosopher and artist who later became a ronin or masterless samurai. The Musashi Memorial Martial Arts Center is a grand structure where his spirit lives on. Musashi’s birthplace and the Musashi Museum are two more excellent locations to add to your itinerary.
For martial arts enthusiasts, the founder of Shorenji Kempo, So Doshin was born in Mimasaka and there is a memorial hall in his honor in the Sakutou area of the city. Sakutou is also home to the Shiramizu Waterfall and the Sakutou Museum of Fine Art, both of which are among the many attractions that are popular with couples. Moving on with your journey, visit the Ooashi Highlands which is packed full of things to see and do. You can enjoy camping, hot springs and the great outdoors at any time of the year. Chofukuji is a vermillion colored three-storied pagoda that mysteriously points to the heavens. The Okayama International Circuit is an authentic formula-one course where champion Michael Schumacher once raced to victory. Take your own car or motorcycle out for a lap or two.
With a 1,200-year-old history, the relaxing waters of Yunogo Hot Spring attract throngs of visitors each year. The spa offers both open and family bathing options depending on your taste. Both overnight and day visits are available as well as aroma therapy and craft-making workshops. Mimasaka is a city overflowing with possibilities for the inquisitive traveler. Discover the treasures of Mimasaka!