Eighty percent of Kurio is occupied by Mount Goro (620m) and other mountains. Goro Rindo forestry road runs east and west, connecting Hannya and Akabana Passes, while the meridian crosses the road north and south. The mountains and the surrounding area are designated as “Hyogo’s best fifty forest baths”.
Shosen-ji Temple belongs to Rinzaishu Buddhism sect Myoshin-ji school. Its predecessor, Ishimuro-zan Matsuo-an, was located at the halfway of Mount Goro, two kilometers away from the current location, by the middle of the Edo Period. The idyllic temple is famous for seasonal flowers.
The Yakushi-do hall in the precincts of Shozen-ji Temple was moved from Donomoto settlement of Kurio in 1880. Its principal image, the seated Amitabha statue, is said to have been the guardian of the hot spring gushed at the previous area. Its shallow and mild expression represents the prototype of elegant Jocho style from the first half of the 12th century. It is designated as an important cultural property by Hyogo prefecture.
There is a small shrine enshrining stones which look like neko (cat) in Mukaiyama settlement. In the past, the silk cultivation business was bustling. The biggest foreign enemy for silkworm was mice. Then, people found the cat-like stones in a Shaka-do hall and put them in the silkworm room to prevent the damages by mice. When they brought them back, they dedicated pod-like dumplings and another cat-like stone for prayer.
Hidachi-jinja Shrine was originally located at Mount Hiyori and then moved to the current location in 1682, when a shrine sanctuary and a hall of worship were built. In the precincts, there are a presumably 500-year-old zelkova tree and a farmer’s Kabuki stage.
Yamanokami (The Female God Protecting The Mountain)
The small shrine in Honjo settlement enshrines Yamanokami, the female god protecting the mountain. It is said that when people start agricultural work in spring, the deity comes down to the village and turns itself into “Tanokami” (the deity protecting the field) to pray for the good harvests. And when the harvest finishes in autumn, it comes back to the mountain to turn back into Yamanokami.
Kurio-kofun Tumuli Group
Kurio-kofun Tumulus is one of the designated cultural properties of the former Tanto Town. Local strongmen of the past were said to be laid to rest here. There are also many small tumuli around it.
Kiyotaki-jinja Shrine, built in the early 16th century, enshrines Zoka Sanshin (three gods of creation). It was previously called “Higashi Myoken” in contrast to “Yaga Myoken” in the present Yabu City, west of Toyooka, and drew in many prayers. In 1925, Kyozuka (mound of Buddhist scriptures) was found in the mountain behind the shrine. There, the old pots and Chinese coins were unearthed. The pots were presumably created between the latter half of the 12th century and the end of the 13th century, when a retired emperor reigned Japan.