ABOUT THE Temple
Saijo Inari is a temple that is associated with Nichiren sect of Buddhism, yet also venerates Inari (the fox god of fertility and wealth). Inari is worshiped at many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples throughout Japan and at Okayama’s Saijo Inari, the two religious traditions converge. This is visible through the mix of architectural styles evident all around the complex. There is also a gate complex that is reminiscent of the stupas of India.
The convergence of Buddhism and Shintoism can be explained in the context of the ancient notion of spirituality in Japan. From ancient times both spiritual systems integrated the symbols of their counterparts into the layouts of their respective complexes.
The reason behind this had to do with the thought that both the gods of Shinto and the great teacher of Buddhism should be welcome in the same space. This is why you see Inari statues and Shinto gates at both shrines and temples.
ABOUT THE AREA
Okayama City is perhaps best known for its black ‘crow castle’ which is located adjacent to Kourakuen Garden, but this recently specially designated city is undergoing rapid change and growth which has created new attractions for visitors.
Since 2010 the city has been divided into four wards or ku; Higashi (east), Minami (south),Kita (north) and Naka (central). Kita-ku is by far the most populous and is where City Hall is located. The focal point of Higashi-ku is Saidaiji, which hosts the annual Hadaka Matsuri or Naked Man Festival. Minami-ku is a rural district on the Seto Inland Sea, where spectacular sunsets seem to occur daily. Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden can be found in Naka-ku.
Momotaro Odori is the central boulevard that runs from the east side of Okayama Station toward the museum-rich Cultural Zone. The Prefectural Museum of Art, located a few blocks off the end of Momotaro Odori, showcases Japanese artists and regularly exhibits works on consignment from international museums and private collections.
Not to be confused with The Prefectural Museum of Art, The Prefectural Museum, situated opposite the entrance to Korakuen Garden, is the best place to get a feel for the history of Okayama from ancient times to the modern era.
Okayama Station is at the heart of the city. Besides being the transportation hub, it is a nexus for shopping and dining. Hop off a train or bus and into a fashionable shop or restaurant. Shopping opportunities abound near the station with AEON MALL and BIC CAMERA just minutes away on foot.
Okayama City is modern and increasingly metropolitan. Possessing brilliant amenities, the city is cradled by the mountains, hills and rivers that define its landscape.
Access: Take the Momotaro Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Bitchu-Takamatsu Station. Saijo Inari Temple is about a 40-minute walk or a 10-minute taxi ride from JR Bitchu-Takamatsu Station.
VISIT THIS LOCATION
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