Mimasaka Travel Guide

  • Kasane Iwa
    Kasane Iwa
    by Rabbityama
  • Karakuri Clock
    Karakuri Clock
    by Rabbityama
  • Sanbutaro
    Sanbutaro
    by Rabbityama

Mimasaka Things to Do

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    by Rabbityama Written Feb 14, 2014

    The Kasane Iwa is related to the story of Sanbutaro, the legendary giant of Mimasaka. It is said that at one point, Sanbutaro picked up an onigiri with chopsticks and when he bit into it, there was a small stone inside. Of course, he didn't eat the stone, so when he discovered it, he removed it. That stone is the Kasane Iwa and it sits here around Yunogo Onsen.

    The Kasane Iwa is only a stone from the perspective of a giant! It is actually a very large boulder. It's nice when in the Yunogo Onsen area to wander over and see it. It's free and the associated story is fun. The story of Sanbutaro and is told by the Karakuri Tokei (clock) at the opposite end of Yunogo Onsen every hour. I think it's best to watch the clock story before coming here, but it's not necessary if you know the story.

    Kasane Iwa
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    by Rabbityama Written Jan 13, 2014

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    The Karakuri Tokei (Karakuri Clock) at Yunogo Onsen opens once every hour from 9am to 5pm (on the hour) for a 4 minute introduction to Yunogo. It is narrated by Ennin Hoshi, a priest who visited the area long ago. His first story is about a crane who had an injured wing. When the priest saw the crane in the valley, water suddenly rose from the ground until the crane was submerged and disappeared. This is the legend of the hot spring (onsen) itself and its association with cranes.

    He next talks briefly about Musashi Miyamoto, the famous samurai swordsman, as the clock moves from the priest to Musashi.

    His final story is about Sanbutaro. Sanbutaro is from a town north of Mimasaka. His name mean "Three Steps" and it comes from the fact that Sanbutaro was a giant and was able to walk all the way to Kyoto in just three steps. His association with Yunogo is that one day he was eating a rice ball and found a stone inside. That stone (which is actually a large rock/boulder) can be seen in the town. There are feet at the bottom of the clock and the top splits open during this story to show Sanbutaro eating a rock.

    It's a cute introduction to the town if you are able to get here on the hour to see it.

    Karakuri Tokei Story Karakuri Clock Sanbutaro
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    by Rabbityama Written Sep 18, 2012

    Musashi Shrine is a small shrine near the Musashi Village. It's one of the must-see spots for Musashi fans, because this is where the grave of Musashi Miyamoto is located. Beside his grave is also the grave of his mother and father. The shrine itself was built around the grave in the 1970s. As one would expect, it enshrines Musashi. As such, it is considered to be a popular shrine among athletes to pray for victory, because Musashi Miyamoto was strong and is said to have never lost a battle.

    The shrine and graves are free. If you continue on the road from the shrine, it takes you to a spring that is said to have pure and good-tasting water. I concur that the water there is better than the bottled water!

    Grave of Musashi Miyamoto and Parents Musashi Shrine Musashi Shrine Musashi Shrine Grave of Musashi Miyamoto
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Mimasaka Transportation

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    by Rabbityama Written Jan 13, 2014

    The Kishin Line runs through Mimasaka. The line starts in Himeji and runs all the way to Niimi, although the trains themselves do not run from one to the other. Most people will have to transfer at Tsuyama or Sayo.

    Mimasaka's stations are Hayashino, Narahara, Mimasaka-Emi, and Mimasaka-Doi.

    Hayashino Station is the nearest station to Yunogo Onsen. From the station you can take a bus to the onsen area (get the timetables ahead of time), take a taxi, or walk there. There walk only takes about 35 minutes, all on flat land. Hayashino Station is also near two castle ruins for those who enjoy hiking.

    Mimasaka-Doi is a former stop along the Izumo Pilgrimage Route. There are some remnants of this, as well as monuments.

    Note that the Chizu Line runs through the northern part of the city to other famous sites (I've written about the Chizu Line in a separate tip).

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    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 13, 2014

    The Musashi Miyamoto Village area and Ohara Street are served by the Chizu Line, which begins at Kamigori Station (in Hyogo Prefecture), crosses through Okayama Prefecture, including here in Mimasaka, and ends at Chizu Station in Tottori Prefecture.

    Only two of the stations on this line are located in Mimasaka: MiyamotoMusashi Station and Ohara Station. The Musashi sites are located around MiyamotoMusashi Station. Around Ohara Station is the historic Ohara street and a few other sites.

    There is a 1000 yen unlimited pass that allows you to go anywhere along the Chizu Line on the Chizu Express trains. If you are going to MiyamotoMusashi Station and then back the other way from either direction, it will save you money (it costs 770 yen to get there from Kamigori Station, so going there and back so you'll save more than 500 yen and from Chizu Station to MiyamotoMusashi Station it costs 650 yen so you'll save 300 yen). If you go from one end to the other (Kamigori to/from Chizu), it will also pay off.

    Chizu Epress Train Miyamoto Musashi Station
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