The City of OKAYAMA
Okayama Prefecture is called the land of Sunshine, because there are many sunny days with comfortable weather and few natural disasters. Korakuen is considered one of the three greatest gardens in Japan and is a famous tourists spot.
Okayama University of Science is located in Okayama city. The city has a population of 720,000 people, 40% of the total population of Okayama prefecture.
Momotaro is a famous story character who was born in Okayama. You will come across various places that have some connection or depiction of the character. Among these is Kibitsu Shrine where you will see a statue of Momotaro which always captures the attention of all visitors. You can get there by taking the Momotaro Line train from Okayama Station to Kibitsu Station. Next to Kibitsu Shrine is Kibitsu Hiko Shrine where there is a bronze statue of Momotaro. In front of Okayama Station is another statue Momotaro (pictured left) along with the animals that accompanied him on his journey to Monster Island.
A common feature of Okayama is people riding bicycles. Many junior, senior high school and university students commute by bicycles to and from school, and places in between. You will also see people commuting to and from work or doing their daily shopping. If you are interested in taking a leisurely ride around the city, there is a bicycle rental service called ‘Momo-chari (Peach Bicycle)’ that allows people to ride freely anywhere and anytime. A ride to nearby Korakuen Garden or Okayama Castle, two places from the days of old, makes for a pleasant trip.
When people say “Kurashiki,” Bikan-Chiku is the first place that comes to mind with its traditional Japanese white walled buildings and willow trees along the Kurashiki River. Built in the 1600s, Bikan-Chiku was integral to the city’s growth as a port bringing various goods and commodities. Kurashiki is considered the cultural center of Okayama Prefecture with its various museums, one of which is the Kake Museum of Art, and libraries. A day in Bikan-Chiku is not only a place of sightseeing, but also a place that exposes the palate to many edible delights unique to Japan. It should be known that because of Momotaro, Okayama is renowned for its peaches. Okayama is also famous for grapes. Various shops in Bikan-Chiku serve an array of seasonal pastries made with these fruits.
Experience Japanese History and Culture
Get a sense of Japanese historical landscape at Korakuen Garden. Built in 1700 and reaching its present form in 1863, Korakuen is considered one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. It is a popular spot for tourists and even the Imperial family.
Travel practically anywhere in Japan from Okayama Station. There are eight local train lines that will take you to different parts of Okayama Prefecture and points beyond, and all Sanyo Shinkansen Trains (Bullet Trains) stop at Okayama Station and will take you to any major city in no time. Okayama Station is also shopping central of Okayama city and is home to and surrounded by many shops and restaurants.
Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland
Enjoy a day at Washuzan Highland Amusement Park. Rides, food, inline skating along with the Brazilian sounds of samba music along with a lively musical performance by native Brazilians.
Another historical place located next to Korakuen Garden. Okayama Castle was built in 1597, destroyed during World War II and reconstructed in concrete in 1966. Okayama Castle has six floors with each filled with displays of the castle’s history.
Mitsui Outlet Park
A modern shopping center with many popular shops such as Nike, Under Armour, Michael Kors and Fossil located next to Ario, a mall, both within less than 5-minutes walking distance from Kurashiki Station.
Great Seto Bridge
The largest road+railroad bridge in the world that connects Honshu (the main island of Japan) to the island of Shikoku in the south. It took ten years to build the 13.1 km (8.1 mile) bridge. It takes approximately 20 minutes to cross the bridge.