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History / Culture / Tour 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.
  • Kibitsu-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    357 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...

  • Okayama Castle, Castle Tower
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    3.5
    1127 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.

    It is quite impressive from outside. Not many castles in Japan are black. It is not so big but a beauty nonetheless. Inside is just another castle museum so nothing much to say. Takes about 10...

  • 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

  • Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
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    4.5
    282 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 castle is located atop a mountain at an altitude of 430m. Travelled by shared taxi service (1200YEN return) from JR Bitchu-Takahashi Station to Fuigo Toge (A Carpark) and then it a 20 min climb...

  • Ohara Museum of Art
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    4.5
    686 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.

    It is a private museum with amazing collection and I just love the way that they have arranged the art. The museum looks small but you could easily spend longer time in there. It has a Monet...

  • Kibitsuhiko-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    147 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...

  • Yumeji Art Museum (Honkan)
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    4.0
    59 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.

  • Okayama Prefectural Museum
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    3.5
    31 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 came with a study-buddy for a special Nichiren exhibition that displayed many excellent Buddhist artworks. What a pity that the arrangement was poor and without a concept, the items just put into...

  • The Ohashis’ House
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    4.0
    99 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.

    We saw the signage along the road and followed it to Ohashi House. This old historical house is preserved for all to see, for a small entry fee. Explore the gardens and interior. It is beautifully...

  • Japanese Rural Toy Museum
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    3.5
    37 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
    59 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...

  • Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft
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    4.0
    57 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...

  • Achi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    209 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...

  • Yumeji Art Museum Yumeji Seika and Shonen Sanso
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Setouchishi Okuchouhonjou
    The birthplace and home where the well-known Taisho Roman poet, painter, and artist Yumeji Takehisa lived until the age of 16. A traditional Japanese home with a thatched roof built some 250 years ago, both the interior and the exterior are preserved in the state they were in when Yumeji Takehisa lived here. The Syonen Sansou was designed by Takehisa and served as his Tokyo studio and home; on the artist’s 95th birthday in 1979, the structure was restored with the help of Takehisa’s second son, Fujihiko. Hanging scrolls, folding screens, sketches, and other works by Takehisa are displayed inside.
  • Yurinso
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-3-18
    A mansion built by businessman Magosaburo Ohara in 1928 for his ailing wife in the Bikan Historical Quarter in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. The buildings green tiled roof, specially ordered from Senshusakai craftsmen, draws the eyes. The building is also characterized by its unique design combining elements of Japanese, Western, and Chinese architecture. The structure was designed by Ito Chuta, the famed architect behind the Ohara Museum of Art, Yakushiji Temple, and Meiji-jingu Shrine. Western-style painter Torajiro Kojima who renowned garden designer Ogawa Jihei VII were also involved. The mansion is opened to the general public twice a year in spring and fall.
  • Kurashiki Archaeological Museum
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    3.5
    23 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Chuou 1-3-13
    This museum is in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter of Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. It opened in 1950 in a renovated rice storehouse built in the Edo period. The building exterior is used as the background for stamps, posters, and location shoots, and it’s also a popular photo spot for tourists. Inside the building, you’ll find exhibits that focus on items excavated in the Kibi region and archaeological materials, covering from the Paleolithic period to the Muromachi period (1338-1573).

    First of all the building of this museum is very beautiful .This museum is very small but exhibits many pottery and earthenware fro local ruins and somehow Inca.

  • Former Katayama Residence
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Takahashishi Nariwachoufukiya
    This is the mansion of Katayama family who gained wealth from the manufacture and sales of red iron oxide. In the red iron oxide warehouse, there are manikins recreating the production of iron oxide which is interesting. In 2006, it was designated as a National Important Cultural Property.
  • Tsukuriyama Kofun Burial Mound
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Shinjoushimo
    The keyhole-shaped burial mound boasts being the fourth largest in scale nationally. It is estimated that it was built in the first half of the 5th century, with a total length of 350 meters. A large amount of ironware such as mirrors and bells have been excavated, but the entombed person is still a mystery.
  • Bitchukokubun-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Soujashi Kambayashi 1046
    This is a temple located in Kanbayashi, Soja City. It is one of the Kokubun-ji temples built nationally by the imperial command of Emperor Shomu in the Nara period. The present temple was rebuilt in the Edo period. The five-storied pagoda in the precincts is the only one in Okayama Prefecture and is designated as an Important Cultural Property. Its towering appearance is also called the symbol of Kibiji Road.

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.

Okayama Photo Album

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