Kurashiki has a compact city center and most of the sightseeing spots can easily be enjoyed in one day. Here is how we would do it.
1. If you’re starting from JR Kurashiki Station, you should head out from the south side. There’s a bus terminal just in front of the station, but we won’t be going far so you might as well continue on foot.
2. Head down Motomachi-dori, the big street that runs perpendicular to the station. There are some interesting shopping streets on the blocks just east from this street if you are interested, but that’s not where we’re heading today.
3. Proceed until you reach a street on your left that is lined with white Japanese storehouses, or “Kura”. This is the Bikan Historical Quarter, a preserved area that dates to the late Edo era, when this town was an important commercial hub.
4. Take a stroll along the waterway, and check out the many cozy shops next to the waterfront. If you’re in the mood for it, why not take a ride on one of the charming canal boats, that gives you an interesting perspective on this historical area.
5. Proceed a few blocks up north, where this area extends, and head over to Ivy Square, a complex consisting of old brick buildings that has been turned into an upscale hotel with some museums, as well as restaurants and a few interesting shops specializing in handicrafts.