This temple stands on the center of the hill area surrounded by Japanese red pines in southern part of Soja. This is one of the kokubunji temple which is built by the order of emperor Shomu. It was burned down in the period of north and south dynasties. The temple was reconstructed in the mid Edo period. The five stories-pagoda is located in the precincts. This is the only five stories-pagoda in Okayama.
Parking / free 200cars, 15 buses.
Access / From Okayama Soja interchange about 5 minutes by car
From Soja station about 10 minutes by car.
Yamate circulation bus: get off at gMotenashi no Yakata
Fees / Free
Other information / no barrier-free restroom.
Remains of Bicchu kokubunji
This temple is one of the national temples built in 714. It was built in order to settle the starvation and natural disaster, and to protect country by utilizing the Buddhism. At that time, the size of the precincts was estimated to be 160m ~ 178m, but it is not clear where every building was located except south gate and center gate because of the reconstruction in the Edo period. However, there were many cornerstones remained from the original building, so we can still see the past.
Bicchu gojyunoto (five stories-pagoda) was completed in around 1844. It is 34.32m high. The upper stories and lower stories are about same width, so this tower is slender. The metal pole on top of the tower is relatively short. These are the unique characteristic of the late Edo period style. There is a main pillar at the center of this tower, and there are four supportive pillars on the four corners of the tower. There are four statues put at the center of the tower. A zelkova board was used to make a ceiling. There was picture on the ceiling. There were 104 paintings to make the inside of the building more solemn. There are also four pictures of the goddess and flowers of four seasons.
Bicchu kokubunniji stand on a gentle hill surrounded by the red pines, and it is 600m east of Kokubunji. Kokubunniji was built by an order of emperor Shomu in 741. This temple is thought to be relatively large. There are many corner stones around this area, so one can see how large it was.