takakoshi castle ruins
this mountaintop castle was built as a defense against a possible mongol invasion, and belonged to the ise family during the muromachi period (1336-1573). to the south, it overlooks the old sanyo road and the oda river, and provides a 360-degree view from the top of the mountain. there is also a large stone monument marking the birthplace of hojo soun, a famous 15th century warlord.
gravestone of nasu no yoichi
this is the gravestone of the samurai nasu no yoichi, who is famous for shooting down a fan which was set as a target by the enemy heike clan during the genpei war at the battle of yashima
gravestones of the nasu clan
this gravesite is believed to be the nasu clan's graves at eisho-ji.
on october 9, 1981 these family gravestones were designated as municipal cultural property.
kosuge castle ruins
the nasu clan is believed to have moved to this mountaintop castle, now in ruins, in kayama, nishi-ebara-cho.
sakuradani juku (tutoring school)
sakuradani juku was established among the cherry trees in yanase, yoshii-cho in 1851 by sakatani roro, with the aid of his uncle, yamanari dainen, for the purpose of teaching the chinese classics to and thereby contributes to the upbringing of young people.
sakuradani juku bustled with activity as scholars of chinese literature and idealists came from all over the country to visit sakatani.
chogen-ji is a zen buddhist temple belonging to the buttsuji branch of the rinzai sect, founded in 1441 on mt. tenjin in yoshii-cho. the founder of chogen-ji, senmyo osho, is said to have been born into the aristocratic konoe family, and today the temple holds treasures from both the imperial and konoe families.
it is also said that sesshu, a famous painter and priest active during the muromachi period, died here, and a stone monument marking the death of sesshu stands on the old building grounds.
osasamaru castle ruins
the inner, second and third baileys of this castle were sharply arranged together like the layers of a cake, and these ruins vividly preserve the shape of medieval castle fortifications.
the castle is also very famous as the setting for endo shusaku's novel, hangyaku.
this shrine is said to provide divine favors to those who wish to have children or those suffering from feminine ailments. those who receive such blessings traditionally offer ceramic goods that symbolize a male phallus. the shrine gained popularity as a place of worship starting around 1683, and now many people come from inside and outside the prefecture to seek the shrine's blessing.
yome irazu kannon-in
it is said that during the nara period (710-794), the famous priest gyoki visited ibara, and dispelled an evil spirit living atop mt. hinoshiri by praying to the buddhist saint kannon. he sculpted an eleven-headed sandalwood statue of kannon and enshrined it in the lee of a huge rock called the hinoshiri daibanjaku.
this eleven-headed kannon is known by the name "yome irazu kannon" (no-need-for-a-wife kannon), and praying before it is said to grant one good health throughout one's lifetime, without causing distress to one's wife.
in january 1999, to mark the 1,260th year since the temple's founding and to commemorate the opening of the ibara line railway, japan's largest stone buddha, known as the sho kannon bosatsu, was erected here.
in 1184, at the battle of yashima during the genpei war, nasu no yoichi is said to have torn off and thrown away one of his sode (shoulder guards) before drawing back the arrow he used to strike the enemy's fan. this sode is said to be enshrined at this shrine to inari, the god of harvests.
the same grounds house eisho-ji, a buddhist temple founded by nasu after becoming lord of bitchu ebara no sho (the ancient name for the area that today makes up the western portion of okayama prefecture) upon his return from the genpei war.
kozan-ji is a buddhist temple of the shingon sect with special status. located in takaya-cho, in the western part of ibara city, it was founded in 731 by gyoki, a buddhist priest and bosatsu (buddhist saint).
here can also be found two nationally-designated important cultural properties, a fudo-myo-o zazo (a statue of fudo, a japanese deity), and a jizo-bosatsu ritsuzo (a statue of jizo, popularly known as the guardian of miscarried or otherwise unborn children). there is also a great oak within the temple grounds that has been designated a natural monument.
a story connected with this shrine called the "hoshio ko kami densetsu" (the legend of the god who fell with the meteor), tells us that long ago, three meteors struck the ground here.
it is also said that when the shrine was originally built facing south, the fishing catch in kasaoka, directly in front of the shrine, was continually poor, so the shrine was rebuilt facing north.