History / Culture / Tour Spots in Okayama Area

  • Ohara Museum of Art
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    4.5
    698 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.

    the famed paitings by el greco, renoir, lautrec, etc are here. there are not many of each, but the crown jewels are there. the japanese garden, and the storage buildings are worth a visit too

  • Kibitsu-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    363 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.

    Visited on Saturday and was surprised to see not many people. It was a peaceful stroll because there were not many people. The famed long corridor is quite impressive. Getting there can be a little...

  • Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
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    4.5
    289 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”.

    The hiking to the castle from the nearest parking lot takes around 20 min and can be quite steep. Its not the most exciting castle but it does offer nice views around the town.

  • Saijo Inari (Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple)
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    4.0
    121 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Takamatsuinari 712
    A Nichiren Buddhist temple located in Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture officially known as the Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple. Founded around 785 by the great priest Ho’on, despite being a Buddhist temple rather than a Shinto shrine, the Saijo Inari is considered one of Japan’s three largest Inari temples. The temple survived the anti-Buddhist movement of the Meiji period unscathed. Permitted to engage in rituals syncretizing Buddhism and Shintoism, the temple is a rare example of an Inari “shrine” which follows Buddhist traditions. The temple grounds are marked by Shinto torii gates and the main temple building is built in the Shinto jingu style. Since ancient times, the temple has been believed to grant worshipers a variety of benefits, including prosperity in business, better fortunes, and traffic safety.

    Its ok, great area sTo see, But, not very diferent from or compared to the others that i see in Tokyo or kyoto

  • Kibitsuhiko-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    152 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Ichinomiya 1043
    This shrine is located at the foot of Kibi no Nakayama in the Ichinomiya area of Kita Ward, Okayama City. The main shrine building is on the site of the residence of Okibitsuhiko no mikoto, who suppressed Kibi no Kuni, and has him as the principal shrine god. The shrine is also called “Asahi no Miya” (shrine of the morning sun) because the sun rises directly in front of the main torii gate and enters the mirror in the shrine on the summer solstice.

    It was pretty quiet when I went. About 15 minutes on the local train from Okayama. Will only need at more an hour there. Just because of the tranquility, and the scenic mountains around it, well...

  • Achi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    213 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.

    High up in the hill overlooking Kurashiki, this Shrine is beautiful and quiet. We went in the evening near sunset. Explore the garden path going up or down the hill. A long staircase also can be used...

  • Okayama Castle, Castle Tower
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    3.5
    8 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.

    石山門は岡山城廃城後も残っていた門だそうですが、昭和20年の空襲で焼けてしまったそうです。赤茶けた石垣がその名残を伝えています。周辺には岡山城由来の石垣が各所に見られます。

  • Kurabo Memorial Hall
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    4.0
    118 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Kurashiki-shi Honmachi 7-1

    This museum gives some historical background on Kurashikis textile industry. Only some of the labels are in English so I had to use Google Translate a bit, nonetheless I found it informative. The...

  • Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
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    4.5
    42 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Setouchishi Osafunechouosafune 966
    This Japanese sword museum is located in the Osafune area of Osafune-cho, Setouchi City. It exhibits Japanese swords with various themes including Bizen swords from Osafune, an area that had long flourished as a Japanese sword production area. In addition, there is also a Japanese sword workshop on the premises, and besides being able to see how Japanese swords are made, you can make reservations to experience making paper knives and small knives, and also lectures to learn how to care for Japanese swords.

    A couple of days ago we went to Okayama to visit friends and they very kindly took us to the village as they knew I was interested in Japanese swords and history. It was a marvellous experience, we...

  • Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art
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    4.0
    62 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Tenjinchou 8-48
    "Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art is located along Prefectural Route 400 in Tenjin-cho, Kita Ward in the city of Okayama. It collects and exhibits the works of traditional illustrators, traditional Japanese painters, Western-style painters, craftspeople, sculptors, and other artists who have a connection with Okayama. In addition to the permanent collection ""The Art of Okayama,"" in which the objects on display are changed periodically, and special exhibitions, the museum also sponsors events such as lectures about art and workshops."

    Looking over some previous reviews, I learn that the museum has a collection. The reason I mention this is because on my visit today, there was nothing to be seen from said collection, as they were...

  • Tsuyama Railroad Educational Museum
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    4.0
    57 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Tsuyamashi Otani
    This museum is located in Otani, Tsuyama City. Built in 1936 in Tsuyama Station, centering on the former Tsuyama Depot roundhouse that would be the second largest among those that exist in Japan today, it displays dioramas and various train exhibits about diesel multiple units and diesel locomotives.

    A little difficulty walking to museum due to no signs on roads.... but found with another lost group of people. I think museum is lacking many must have many exhibits such as movie, train bells...

  • 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.
  • Yakuyoke Sohonzan Yuga-jinja Shrine Hongu (Mt. Yuga)
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    4.0
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Kojimayuga 2852
    This shrine is located in the Kojima Yuga area of Kurashiki City. The main shrine of the 52 Yuga shrines in Japan, the yakuyoke no sohonzan (head temple of warding off evil) is also known as one of Japan’s three top incarnations of buddha. Yugasan Rendai-ji Temple was founded in 733 by Gyoki, is became the sacred mountain for the mixing of Buddhism and Shinto. There is the custom of visiting both Mt. Yuga and Kagawa’s Kotohiragu Shrine for high divine blessings.

    I thought this was a nice stop away from the hustle and bustle of a city. The view was good - especially during cherry blossom time. We received a personal from a monk around the residence area which...

  • Okayama Orient Museum
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Tenjinchou 9-31
    "A museum which contains many ancient works of Oriental art from Mesopotamian civilizations and other areas. The museum is located a 15-minute walk from the east entrance of JR Okayama Station along Prefectural Route 42. The museum was originally opened to house 1,947 works of art donated by Okayama University. The museum's collection continued to grow thanks to donations and loans and today the facility manages around 4,800 pieces of ancient art. The museum's collection primarily consists of earthenware, glass, and porcelain mosaics. The museum's centerpiece is its ""Relief of Protective Spirit, Apukallu"" Assyrian relief created in Iraq in the ninth century BCE."

    I am a big fan of museums devoted to archaeology. I knew this one would be a small one, with limited English explanation, but it was advertised all around the city, both in Japanese and English, I...

  • Momotaro Karakuri Museum
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    4.0
    63 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.

    The staff are playful and welcoming, they will guide you through the optical illusions. Next comes the ghost alley/mini haunted maze that you go through without the staff. I won’t spoil it because...

  • Yumeji Art Museum (Honkan)
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    4.0
    61 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.

    Each of his drawings are very beautiful and I enjoyed so much! After that I went to the cafe in this museum.

  • Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft
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    4.0
    58 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 doesnt looks special ,especially from the standpoint of local Japanese like us.So,we feel 700 yen...

  • Raikyuji Temple
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    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Takahashishi Raikyujichou 18
    "A 15-minute walk from Bitchu-Takahashi Station on the JR Hakubi Line. This is one of the Ankokuji temples established by the shogun Ashikaga Takauji. The temple is the 13th temple on the Setouchi 33 Kannon Pilgrimage and its principal object of worship is a statue of Avalokitesvara. The temple's central rock garden, featuring a symbolic depiction of legendary Mt. Penglai, was created around 1605 by Bitchu Province magistrate Kobori Masakazu and was designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty in 1974. Nicknamed ""The Crane and Tortoise Garden,"" the garden features symbolic depictions of a crane island and two turtle islands floating in a sea of white sand, with pruned satsuki azaleas representing waves; Mt. Atago stands in the distance, providing a stunning backdrop."

    The temple is modest, the garden is gorgeous :400 years old and still respecting the creators design

  • Senichi Hoshino Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    51 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-10-11 Hilltop Building C Building 2F
    This museum is about 15 minutes on foot from JR Kurashiki Station in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Born in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, Hoshino played pitcher for the Chunichi Dragons. He also served as the head coach of the Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers, and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He led his teams to four league championships and one Japan Series championship and has been inducted into Japan's Baseball Hall of Fame. The museum has about 450 items, including trophies like his Eiji Sawamura Award, memorial plaques, uniforms from different parts of his career, his cleats, photographs, and panel displays. You can also watch a video about his career.

    星野仙一さんの中学生・現役時代からプロ野球・楽天で日本一になった監督時代までの実物ユニフォームなど、星野さんの野球のお宝満載の博物館です。建物は狭いですが、野球ファンにはお宝満載!のワクワクする空間となっています。 楽天イーグルスの星野さんにちなんだ応援グッズが、数多く売られています。

  • Former Nozaki Family Residence
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Kojimajino 1-11-19
    This historical monument is located in the Kojima Ajino 1 Chome area of Kurashiki City. One of the houses of Nozaki Buzaemon who built his fortune in the salt-making industry in the late Edo period (1603–1868), it is a designated prefectural historic site. On the approximately 10,000 square meter premises, there are also the nationally-designated important cultural properties “Former Nozaki Family Residence” and several “dozo-gun” storehouses. In addition, it also exhibits materials as the “Nozaki Family Residence Salt Experience Museum.”

    This is amazing - not just the scale but natural beauty of buildings / gardens. The owner had a vision and created an ancestral home- Downton Abbey Japan - style; even can see how the servants worked...

Okayama Areas

around-area-map

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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