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The Legend of Momotaro

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The burial mounds of Okayama and their connection to a folk hero

Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture



Legends of the ogre conquest remain in Okayama Prefecture from when it was known as Kibi.

In ancient times, an ogre named Ura lived in Kibi. From his castle at Mt. Kinojo, Ura would attack the villagers and commit evil acts. As a result, the king of Yamato ordered Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto to vanquish Ura.

Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto readied a camp in Nakayama in Kibi and built shields of boulders to consolidate defenses, while Ura attacked with a bow and arrows from his castle. After a fierce battle, the wounded Ura transformed into a carp to escape, but Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto changed into a cormorant and caught and slayed Ura.

However, in the legend of Momotaro of Okayama, there was a sad continuation to the story. Numerous cultural assets related to this legend remain in modern-day Okayama, including Mount Kinojo (Kinojo Castle) where Ura resided, Kibitsu-jinja Shrine and Kibitsuhiko-jinja Shrine, where Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto is venerated, and the Narukama Shinji ritual, which tells fortunes from the ringing sound of the kettle under which the head of Ura is buried. The land of Kibi invites you to experience a world of mystery, with various artifacts that preserve the tale of the ogre vanquishment and burial mounds that tell us about ancient times.


How to get there


Okayama Station is about 45 minutes by Shinkansen bullet train from Shin-Osaka Station.

To get to Kibitsuhiko Shrine, take the Kibi Line from Okayama Station to Bizen-Ichinomiya Station (about 10 minutes). The shrine is about a 5-minute walk from there.

To get from Kibitsuhiko Shrine to Kibitsu Shrine, walk back to Bizen-Ichinomiya Station and take a Soja-bound train to Kibitsu Station. The shrine is about a 10-minute walk from there.


931 Kibitsu, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken


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