Soja is a small city in western Okayama Prefecture whose name literally means “all shrines”. In ancient times, the name “Soja” was given to areas of Japan where several shrines existed in close proximity. In fact, it is a common place name throughout the country. The reason shrines were consolidated was to allow the regional leaders the luxury of reviewing them with ease. Today’s visitors to Soja will also appreciate the relatively short distances between the historical sites.
Although Soja is synonymous with shrines, the city also has its fair share of temples. Hofukuji Temple is well known as the Zen temple where the master painter Sesshu studied as a child. Bitchu Kokubunji Pagoda is a popular venue for seasonal celebrations. From every direction it seems to hold the landscape in place.
In the center of the city you will find a pedestrian-friendly environment full of small shops and eateries. Soja City’s comfortable atmosphere and hospitable people will make you feel right at home.