Bringing history to life

Faces of Lucky St. : Kiyoshi Ishimura

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, okayama prefecture
Photographer | Takuma Kimura

Mr. Kiyoshi Ishimura is a local promoter of all things Saidaiji, as he produces not only community radio but also a YouTube channel that focuses on the history and culture of the area.

A Saidaiji native, Mr. Ishimura is involved in documenting festivals such as the Saidaiji Eyo, also known as the Naked Man Festival, and other ceremonies and events connected to Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple. An avid videographer, he bases his community work from a space at the very beginning of Gofuku-dori. He can sometimes be seen tending to some of the props used in the Minataru Hime Town Stroll activity that he manages.

Minataru Hime is one of Saidaiji’s historic figures from the 8th century who is reputed to have been a devotee of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy). She is said to have crafted numerous statues in her honor. Participants in the stroll become Hime or princess for the day as they walk through the old sections of Saidaiji holding bright vermillion parasols.


Access: (Train) From JR Okayama Station, take the JR Ako line to JR Saidaiji Station (about 18 minutes).

(Bus) Take the Ryobi bus from Okayama Station Bus Terminal to Saidaiji Bus Center (about 30 minutes). It is about a 10 minute walk from the bus center.

About the Area

Saidaiji is a district of Okayama City that was once an independent city and not surprisingly, the free-spirited character of the local people and their steadfast preservation of their annual events is a testament to this fact. The  number of temples within its borders is without a doubt higher than that of other former municipalities within the city.

What you come to understand is that beneath what can at times seem like a rough exterior is a very spiritual place. There is a shrine in practically every neighborhood as well as a large shrine in the southeastern Ichinomiya district.

While Saidaiji’s principal temple is Saidaiji Kannon-in, there are many more of varying sizes throughout the former city. Simply make your way to the top of any mountain and you are likely to encounter one.

Cancellation Policy

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