Shizuatani School is the historic site of a school opened for the public in Okayama prefecture in the Edo era. It is Japan's oldest public school. The school's grounds are surrounded by stone walls and mountains, and it is very large. Inside the school grounds there is an auditorium, Shizutani Shrine that is dedicated to the founder of the school - Mitsumasa Ikeda, a cafeteria, the Shugeisai where there was a "kowa" on every first day of the month, the Shrine dedicated to Confucius, the Shousai where the Han leaders used to rest, and a library. A short distance from the auditorium is a western style building that was built in the Meiji Era, and the main part has been developed into a resource center. The auditorium has been designated as a National Treasure. Besides the buildings, there are the gates that the Han leaders used, fire preventing hills, about 400 camellias, and a Chinese pistachio tree near the shrine. The Chinese pistachio tree is especially beautiful in autumn when it changes colors. Together with the other colored leaves, it is famous for its scenery in autumn. In November, from 6pm to 8pm the trees are lit up with the auditorium so visitors can enjoy a different atmosphere of the school other than that of the atmosphere during the day. Outside the stone walls there are three other places that are part of the Shizutani School. Beyond the field there is a pond called Hanchi, which is built in an ancient Chinese style called Hankyu. If you go east along the riverside, you will see the resting place built in the late Edo Era called Koyotei, and also what remains of the school founder Tsuda Nagatada's residence. The Koyotei is especially beautiful as it is surrounded by nature, and you can enjoy the four seasons there.
Car: 15 minutes west of Bizen IC on the Sanin Road. Parking: There is a free parking lot. Train: 40 minute-walk from Yoshinaga Station on the JR Sanyou Line.
Image Gallery: Shizutani School
Description: Shizutani School
|Sights||Shizutani School (旧閑谷学校)|
784, Shizutani, Bizen-shi, Okayama
|Phone / Fax||Phone: 0869-67-1436 / Fax: 0869-67-1436|
|Closed dates||NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY|
|Admission Fee||Pay admission: 400yen|
Spring (March - May)Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
|Recommended target||Family Couples Groups Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller|
Map: Shizutani School