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Travel / Tourism Spots in Okayama Area

  • Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou - Hon, Higashi-Achi
    The Bikan Historical Quarter in Kurashiki City is an area established based on landscape ordinance. Strictly speaking, it was selected as one of Japan’s “Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings”, “a preservation district for the group of traditional building in Kurashiki Riverbank in Kurashiki City” and the “Traditional Aesthetic Preservation District” which was established by ordinance of Kurashiki City. The “Kurashiki Riverbank” with its rows of willows which line Kurashiki River and the white earthen-walled warehouses are representative of the Bikan district. There are also cultural facilities and sightseeing spots standing side by side including Ohara Museum of Art.
  • Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
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    4.5
    246 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Takahashishi Uchisange 1
    Bitchu Matsuyama Castle stands at the highest elevation above sea level in Japan at 430 meters as a castle which has a surviving keep. The castle was originally built on Omatsuyama by an Ukan town feudal lord, Akiba Shigenobu during the Kamakura period It was restored by Mizunoya Katsumune in 1683 and retains that castle keep appearance to this day. You can see the vestiges of a castle that was called impregnable, a solid wall of rock rising up to the mountain top. It is also famous as you can observe the apparition of a sea of clouds floating by in the early morning from the end of September to early April. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle was used in the opening shot of the “Taiga” (a long running historical drama on NHK) drama series called “Sanada Maru”.

    We walked from the village up to the castle. This took us about 1 hour, and slowly brought us into the right mood. The woods are so peaceful, although traffic noise still was competing with the...

  • Okayama Korakuen
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    4.5
    1478 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Kourakuen 1-5
    This Japanese stroll garden is located in Okayama City and named one of the Big Three Japanese Gardens. Construction of the garden began in 1687 by Tsunamasa Ikeda, Lord of Okayama, with its initial completion in 1700. Since this time, it was beloved and enjoyed as a place of relaxation for the feudal lord and as a place of interaction with the retainers and people of the domain. One can see the footprints of history through the structural remains preserved in the expansive 144,000 square meters area and enjoy blooms in each season dotting the park. The Korakuenmae bus stop is the closest public transport stop.

    One of the best Japanese gardens. Compared with other great Japanese gardens, this one is very open and spacious, peaceful and has warm feeling. Maybe it is because of clear water coming through from...

  • Okayama Castle, Castle Tower
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    3.5
    986 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Marunouchi 2-3-1
    Okayama Castle was constructed over a period of eight years by Ukita Hideie, one member of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Council of Five Elders, and was completed in 1597. It is also called “Crow Castle” for its external appearance, as the castle tower walls have black lacquered siding which was a characteristic of this era. The three-tiered, six-storied watchtower-style castle tower is a pentagon of unequal sides and is said to imitate the castle tower of Oda Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. The castle tower, which was a National Treasure, was lost due to wartime fires but was rebuilt in 1966.

    Many castles in Japan were destroyed during and after world war 2, and were rebuilt as cultural symbols in each area. Some look really great using original material/remains, and others don’t...

  • Kibitsu-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    296 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Kibitsu 931
    A Shinto shrine primarily dedicated to Kibitsu-hiko-no-mikoto, a prince who subjugated rebels and brought peace and order to this area as one of the four mighty Shido Shogun. Kibitsu-hiko-no-mikoto is also known as the model for the legend of Momotaro, one of Japan’s most popular folktales. The shrine is one of the largest in the old San’yodo area. The front shrine and main shrine, built in the hiyoku irimoya-zukuri style, are designated National Treasures, and were rebuilt in 1425 by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Must-see highlights include the shrine’s roughly 400 meter long covered gallery, and the various flowers which grow on the grounds year round. The shrine is famous for the Narukama Shinji, a ritual in which the whistling of a steaming iron pot is used for fortune telling purposes. The nearest station is Kibitsu Station.

    Large temple complex with many shrines. Everything is well maintained and situated nice upon a hill. Nice place to walk for 1 or 2 hours and pass by all different shrines.

  • Hiruzen Plateau
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama prefecture Maniwa shi mountain
    A plateau 500 to 600 meters above sea level located in north Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture known as one of the top resort destinations in western Japan. Located in Daisen-Oki National Park, the plateau offers a superb view of the three peaks of Hiruzen. Cute Jersey cows graze on pastureland on the plateau, and visitors can watch them basking in the sun. The plateau is full of tourism destinations, including leisure facilities offering horseback riding, cycling, and barbecuing, as well as an amusement park and a hot spring bath facility.
  • Former Shizutani School
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Bizenshi Shizutani 784
    Former Shizutani School is a Historic Structure designated as a Special Historic Site. It was built in 1670 by the local feudal lord, Ikeda Mitsumasa, and it is the oldest remaining public school building in the world. In addition to the lecture hall, which has been designated a National Treasure, and in 2015, Japan Heritage designed it as No. 1 in the category Group of Remnants of Early Modern Japan’s Educational Heritage.
  • Tsuyama Castle (Kakuzan Park)
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    4.0
    136 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Tsuyamashi Sange 135
    This castle ruin park is located near the Tsuyama Wonder Museum in Tsuyama City. One of Japan's three major mountain castles, it once had 60 towers and was built by Mori Ranmaru's younger brother Mori Tadamasa on Mt. Kaku. Although all buildings were destroyed with the ordinance for the disposal of castles, the Bichu Yagura was restored as a characteristic building of a mountain castle in 2005 and is open to the general public. The ruins of the castle became Kakuzan Park, and is also famous as a place for viewing cherry blossoms that was chosen as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots, and has particularly splendid night cherry blossoms illuminated by small lamps with paper shades.

    Only part of the original castle remains hence it is quite apt for the review as Kakuzan Park (Tsuyama Castle) ; both as garden and the castle. Kakuzan Park (鶴山公園 Kakuzan Kouen).lies on the ruins of...

  • Ohara Museum of Art
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    4.5
    595 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-1-15
    Located in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, this museum was Japan’s first private museum dedicated to Western art. The museum was built by Kurashiki industrialist Magosaburo Ohara in 1930. The Main Gallery, styled like a Greek temple, remains as it looked when the museum first opened. Inside, works by master Western painters such as Cezanne, Degas, and Renoir are on display. Several gallery concerts are held each year, a tradition which began in 1950.

    This is a private collection of art work which is worth visitting while in this small lovely town. The ticket is 1,300 yen and no photo allowed inside the museum which is a pity. There are 3...

  • Bicchu Matsuyama Castle sea of clouds Observatory
    Travel / Tourism
    Okamaya cho, Takahashi-shi, Okayama-ken
    This observatory is located in the Okumanda-cho area of Takahashi City. Known as a popular place for seeing a sea of clouds, it is also called the Sea of Clouds Observatory. The clouds occur from late September to early April from dawn to 8 a.m. in the morning (depending on conditions such as weather), and you can see the fantastic sight of Bizen Matsuyama Castle floating in the sea of clouds.
  • Kimendai Lookout Rest Area
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Maniwashi Hiruzenshimotokuyama 1109
    This observation deck, at an altitude of 900 meters, is located in the middle of the Hiruzen Daisen Skyline. It is a scenic spot overlooking the magnificent mountains of Mt. Daisen, Mt. Karasugasen, Mt. Zouyama and Mt. Giboshi. At sunrise and sunset during the autumn when the difference in temperature is great, visitors can enjoy the beautiful contrast of the morning sun over the sea of clouds.
  • Yumeji Art Museum (Honkan)
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    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Naka-ku Hama 2-1-32
    The museum was opened in 1984, near the Korakuen Garden in commemoration of the 100th birthday of Yumeji Takehisa. Here, in addition to the hanging scrolls drawn by Yumeji, the main building has about 3,000 items including watercolors and oil paintings, letters and books and other materials. In addition to the permanent exhibition where about 100 works can be seen, exhibitions introducing Yumeji’s art from various viewpoints is held several times a year. At the museum cafe, you can have fancy European baked raisin cookies called Garibaldi which were a favorite of Yumeji.

    The Yumeji Art Museum is located right across the bridge from the Korayuen (North Gate / parking lot), around 5 minutes of walking on foot. The museum is dedicated to the Japanese artist Yumeji...

  • Okayama Prefectural Museum
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    3.5
    22 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Kourakuen 1-5
    Here, the cultural heritage of Okayama Prefecture from primitive through modern times is displayed in an easy to understand manner. In addition to the main attraction, the Akakawa Odoshi yoroi red leathered armor, a national treasure, valuable cultural artifacts are preserved and displayed. Twice a month, a curator provides presentations on the exhibits. This museum is located in the outer garden of Korakuen.

    I visited this museum because of the Bizen pottery collection. I enjoyed seeing this, and also the sword collection, as I hadn't been aware that Okayama was also famous for swords. It was a bit...

  • Amatsu-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    11 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Bizenshi Imbe 629
    It is a Shinto shrine with some 1,000 years of history famous for enshrining the patron god of the birthplace of Bizen ware. The path approaching the shrine, the shrine’s roof tiles, and even the guardian lion-dogs are all Bizen ware. The walls on the path to the shrine are also lined with tiles contributed by pottery artists. The shrine grounds also contain numerous Bizen ware talismans such as depictions of the Chinese zodiac and the Seven Gods of Fortune. Bizen ware ema (votive tablets) are also sold at the shrine.

    JR伊部駅から徒歩5分ほどで着けます。遠くからも鳥居が見えて、一見普通の神社かな?と思いながら近づくと。鳥居の横にある狛犬は何と!赤褐色の備前焼!凛々しい顔で迎えてくれました。鳥居をくぐって参道の周りを見ると、これまた備前焼の焼き物があちらこちらにいっぱい並んでいます。参道脇や屋根瓦・門の上に、ねずみや牛・猿・鶏などの動物がすべて備前焼になっているのにも驚き!急な階段を上り、本堂の左側に備前焼の恵...

  • The Ohashis’ House
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    4.0
    88 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Achi 3-21-31
    This building has the architecture of a merchant’s house and is located in Kurashiki City. The Ohashi family were large land-owners who made their fortune developing fields for drying salt and fields for growing rice in the late Edo period. The house has a Nagaya-mon gate which faces the street, while the main house is arranged with features such as having a front garden which is separated by a gate. The house was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 1978.

    This attraction is the former home of the family that established the Ohara Museum and played a large role in the community over several hundreds of years. It is a chance to see a traditional house...

  • Japanese Rural Toy Museum
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    3.5
    34 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-4-16
    Located in the center of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, this museum dedicated to toys is housed inside an Edo period rice granary. Countless time-honored Japanese toys from around the country are on display, including traditional toys, Daruma dolls, and hina dolls. Although an entry fee is required for the main building, one of the galleries inside a former inner storehouse, the museum shop, and café are free to enter.

    For sure the amount of old craft toys is displayed in a very tiny place:kites, masks, dolls, darumas, small toys are really a jewel that tells us s lot about rural Japan and Japanese children. 400...

  • Momotaro Karakuri Museum
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Honmachi 5-11
    It is a museum dedicated to the traditional Japanese folk story of Momotaro, to which Okayama Prefecture is said to be connected. In addition to historical materials related to the Momotaro story, the museum also houses interactive attractions such as the haunted house-style tunnel through Onigashima, the Island of Demons. The museum’s optical illusions, such as a photo spot where you can take a picture of your head emerging from a peach, are particularly popular. During the summer, the museum hosts an evening haunted house event.

    A little museum about Momotaro, the little boy from Japanese tales. This is mostly for kids, but as it's part of Japan, it was nice to see once. The staff was funny, asking you to try some of the...

  • Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft
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    4.0
    48 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-4-11
    The museum is located on the banks of the Kurashiki River in the Bikan Historical Quarter. Housed inside late Edo period rice granaries, the museum was the first project in Kurashiki to re-use such granaries for a new purpose. The museum displays some 15,000 examples of beautiful folk crafts from around the world, including pottery, glass, stone, textile, and wooden items. The museum shop also offers a wide variety of folk crafts for sale.

    There are many baskets and pottery of Japan used for everyday life. Different from fine art,folk art doesn't looks special ,especially from the standpoint of local Japanese like us.So,we feel 700 yen...

  • Achi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    176 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Honmachi 12-1
    This shrine stands atop a small hill in a corner of the Bikan Historical Quarter. The land is connected with the family of Achi no Omi, who came to Japan from the Korean Peninsula during the time of Emperor Ojin and helped develop Kibi Province, the predecessor to modern-day Okayama, with new technologies. The shrine grounds are home to the largest Akebono wisteria tree in the country; the best time to visit is when the tree is in bloom, from the end of April through May. The shrine sells Achi no Fujimori charms which contain wisteria seeds and are said to bring long life and good health.

    We avoided the 200 steps on the South side and walked a gentle path up from the Kurashiki station side. Clearly not a memorial but a living shrine in use. Buildings are many, the views pretty good...

  • Kurashikikan Tourist Information Office
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-4-8
    This Western-style building constructed in 1917 as the Kurashiki Town Hall today serves as the tourist information office. The building is equipped with a multipurpose toilet, diaper changing stations, and coin lockers. Wheelchairs and baby strollers can also be rented from here. Tickets for the Traditional Boat Tour of Kurashiki Canal can also be purchased here.

    We ended our day in Kurashiki at this place, but probably should have started it there. The staff seemed pleasant and ready to tell us anything we wanted about the historic part of the town. It is...

Okayama Main Areas

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Overshadowed by Hiroshima to the west and the Kansai region to the east, Okayama is an easy spot to miss but a nature-rich gem where the Seto Inland Sea laps at its toes and peach and grape farms complete its interior. One of Japan's Three Great Gardens, Koraku-en in Okayama city is well worth a visit before progressing to Kurashiki, where preserved wooden Edo buildings line the picturesque canal.

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