15 Things To Do in Okayama | FAST JAPAN
15 things to do in Okayama
Okayama

15 Things To Do in Okayama

Okayama Prefecture has many things to see and do. There are many things to eat as well such as fresh dairy products and famous Udon and Yakisoba!

Okayama Korakuen

Okayama Korakuen

Okayama Korakuen garden is a world heritage sight. In 1687, the construction began by the order of the feudal lord Ikeda Tsunamasa. It took 13 years to be completed and has retained its original appearance. The garden was originally meant to be a place to entertain important guests, as well as a retreat for the Daimyo (feudal lord). The garden wasn’t open to the public until 1884. The garden is very large and has many sections including tea fields, groves, several ponds, and an crane aviary. This is one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan and is definitely a must see spot!
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Okayama Korakuen

Address: 1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 12 minutes by bus from JR Okayama Station. Take the bus bound for Fujiwara Danchi from bus terminal platform 1.

Hours: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission Fee: 400 yen (adult), 140 yen (child and senior)

Phone: 086-272-1148

Website: Okayama Korakuen

 

Inujima Island

Inujima Island

Inujima Island is named after a large rock that resembles a sitting dog. The island is a haven for modern art, featuring the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum. Every three years, the island hosts the famous Setouchi Triennale modern art festival. The entire island can be explored on foot. Due to the small size of the island, there are limited options for dining, shopping, and lodging. The island does have a few restaurants near the ferry. There is also a campground near the beach area, which is the best housing option on the island.
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Inujima Island

Address: Higashi Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture

Admission Fee: 300 yen ferry (one way)

Website: Okayama Korakuen

 

Kurashiki Bikan

Kurashiki Bikan

This historical district has been carefully preserved since the Edo period. The canal district had great significance during the Edo period in the rice trade, in which the city was used to storing, trading, and distributing rice to other cities such as Osaka and Edo (Tokyo). Many of the storehouses have been converted into restaurants and cafes. The famous canals were build to help navigate the storehouses and the port. This district has been preserved so you can tour and see what life was like in the Edo period. You can shop for souvenirs and have coffee and eat at any of the many restaurants and cafes. There are also many museums in the area to explore.
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Kurashiki Bikan

Address: 4-1 Honmachi, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 17 minute walk from Kurashiki Station

Phone: 086-426-3851

Website: Kurashiki Bikan (Japanese)

 

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle is also known as “crow castle” for its black exterior. Although the original castle was destroyed in the last year of World War II, the castle was re-built in 1966 to its original appearance. It is located on the Asahi river, and the castle was used as a moat. The inside of the castle is now a museum where you can see the history of the castle. You can also view the foundations of the old castle, and the only original building that survived, Tsukimi Yagura. This historical sight is a must see on your trip to Okayama.
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Okayama Castle

Address: 2-3-1 Marunouchi, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: From Okayama Station, take the Okaden Bus bound for Okaden Takaya. Get off at Kencho-mae.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Admission Fee: 560 yen (adult), 260 yen (child)

Phone: 086-225-2096

Website: Okayama Castle

 

Kojima Jeans Street

Kojima Jeans Street in Okayama

Kojima Jeans Street is the birthplace of jeans in Japan. You can visit the towns many shops and cafes and see the many different jeans hanging on the street. There are many shops specializing in jeans where you can buy antique, modern, and designer jeans from name brands. You can also take the Jeans Bus which is decorated interior and exterior completely in jeans. You can take commemorative photos on the bus and in the streets of Kojima.
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Kojima Jeans Street

Address: 2-2-85 Kojimaajino, Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 15 minute walk from Kojima Station

Website: Kojima Jeans Street (Japanese)

 

Kibitsu Shrine

Kibitsu Shrine in Okayama

Shinto mythology says this shrine holds the famous saint Kibitsuhiko, who defeated the evil demon Ura and saved the ancient Kibi Kingdom. The large shrine symbolizes protection to the Kibi kingdom. The Kibi kingdom was a great kingdom of the fourth century in ancient Japan. The inner sanctuary was reconstructed in 1425 by the order of the emperor. You can experience history at this beautiful historic sight and learn more about the ancient history of Japan.
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Kibitsu Shrine

Address: 931 Kibitsu, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 10 minute walk from JR Kibi line Kibitsu station.

Hours: 5:00 am- 6:00 pm

Phone: 086-287-4111

Website: Kibitsu Shrine

 

Mt. Washuzan

The view from Mt. Washuzan

Mount Washuzan is located in Setonaikai National Park, Japanese “first national park”. The viewing spot gives you an amazing view of national park and surrounding islands. You can also have a perfect beautiful view of the Great Seto Bridge, one of the longest two tier bridges in the world. The view is most beautiful during sunset and sunrise. There is a rest house at the observatory, where you can relax and watch the the beautiful sunset in the land of the rising sun.
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Mt. Washuzan

Address: 303−1O Shimotsuifukiage, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 25 min by bus from JR Kojima Station to Washuzan Daini Tenboudai

Website: Mt. Washuzan

 

Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple

Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple in Okayama

The temple is the setting of the famous Japanese folktale, “The Legend of Momotaro”. Around the temple has a number of burial mounds over 1500 years old. The most famous part of the temple is the iconic Torii gate at the entrance of the temple, standing 27 meters tall. The temple gives great views of the beautiful, green countrysides and mountains. The temple is still used by Buddhists today to protect the Lotus Sutra. Praying at the temple is said to give good business and a fruitful harvest. The temple is a great stop on your trip to Okayama.
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Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple

Address: 712 Takamatsuinari, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 10 minute walk from Inariyama bus stop

Hours: 9:30 am- 4:30 pm

Admission Fee: 300 yen

Phone: 086-287-3700

Website: Saijo Inari-san Myokyoji Temple

 

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in Okayama

This castle has gotten more attention in recent years due to its uncanny likeness to Laputa from Miyazaki Hayao’s “Castle In The Sky”. The scenery is stunning as you are completely surround by clouds as if you are on a floating island. The castle is located at the highest altitude of all castles in Japan, at 430 meters. In the fall the foliage changes colours to oranges and reds, giving the castle a even more majestic appearance then the rest of the year. This an amazing place to visit for Ghibli fans as well as those who love hiking, nature, and history.
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Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Address: 1 Uchisange, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: Take a tourist share taxi to Fuigo Toge and then a 20 minute hike on foot.

Hours: 9:00 am- 5:30 pm

Admission Fee: 300 yen

Phone: 0866-22-1487

Website: Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

 

Fukiya Furusato Village

Fukiya Furusato Village in Okayama

The town became famous due to its once booming copper mining business. Most of the town was built with copper materials, and over the course of time, the copper has oxidized to give a beautiful red and orange colour the buildings have today. The beautiful buildings have become important by the Preservation districts for protection and preservation of traditional buildings. This is a great place to find one of a kind souvenirs such as the Bengara-dyed stoles, as well as many vintage and copper products. There are also many traditional Japanese restaurants to try.
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Fukiya Furusato Village

Address: 706 Nariwacho Fukiya, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: About an hour ride from JR Bitchu-Takahashi Sta. to Fukiya Bus Stop

Phone: 0866-29-2222

Website: Fukiya Furusato Village

 

Ikura-do Limestone Cave

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This cave is one of the largest caves in western Japan, at 1.2 kilometers long and 90 meters tall! You can see the earth’s history through the beautiful rock formations and amazing “Jellyfish Rocks”. The cave also has several waterfalls, the foliage of the Ikura Gorge and the Takahashi River. The cave remains the same temperature year round at about 15 celsius, which is quite warmer than most other caves found in Japan. There are many other limestone caves in Okayama as well to explore such as Maki-do cave. The caves are illuminated year round by beautiful multi-coloured lights.
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Ikura-do Cave

Address: 409 Ikura, Niimi, Okayama Prefecture

Access: 15 min walk from JR Ikura Station

Hours: 8:30 am- 5:00 pm

Admission Fee: 1,000 yen

Phone: 0867-75-2224

Website: Ikura-do Cave

 

Hiruzen Kogen

Hiruzen Kogen in Okayama

This national park resort is a beautiful area you can explore. The park has a bath house where you can relax after a long day of travel. The park has bikes to rent for their beautiful cycling trails. The park also has hiking trails, camping grounds, and restaurants. If you visit, it is recommended you try the famous local dish, Hiruzen Yakisoba. You can also try their ice cream and buy fresh dairy product available from their Jersey cows. You can also spend the night at the Kyukamura Hiruzen Kogen Hotel.
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Hiruzen Kogen

Address: Kami-Fukuda, Hiruzen, Maniwa-city, Okayama Prefecture

Access: From JR Neu station, a pick up bus service is available. About 30 minutes from station.

Hours: Depends on Facility, Park open 24 hours

Phone: 0867-66-3220

Website: Hiruzen Kogen

 

Yubara Onsen

Yubara Onsen in Okayama

This historical onsen in Okayama offers some of the best hot spring waters Japan has to offer. The onsen offers high quality hypotonic alkali mineral waters from 16 fountainheads. The waters are heated naturally from the earth from the Hokidaisen and the Hiruzen volcanos. The waters are good for treating chronic skin illness, diabetes, and much more. The onsen has a long history starting by serving workers from a high iron manufacturer nearby hundred of hears ago. The workers for had to travel long distances over the mountains and would stop at this onsen. The onsen was also the inspiration behind the Iron town in Miyazaki Hayao’s “Princess Mononoke”. The onsen dates back to the history of “Ofuku-no-kata”, a beautiful woman and concubine of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a major vassal in ancient times. He built the onsen for her when she fell ill to treat her illness.  The baths are mixed gender and you must wear a special bathing robe. There are several ryokan hotels to choose from all at this facility.
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Yubara Onsen

Address: Yubaraonsen, Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture

Access: From Okayama station, take the Chutetsu bus from  Katsuyama Chutetsu Bus Center to Yubara Onsen.

Hours: 24 hours

Admission Fee: Free, must buy special bathing robe for 800 yen

Phone: 0867-62-2526

Website: Yubara Onsen

 

Tsuyama Hormone Udon and Hiruzen Yakisoba

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Tsuyama Udon and Hiruzen Yakisoba are local specialties of Tsuyama in Okayama. They are a must try dish for anyone who is visiting. The region is famous for its dairy farming, and these dishes do not disappoint! One famous restaurant serving these dishes is Mie, which has recieved national attention and has even been shown on Japanese television and magazines. The Tsuyama udon won second place at the B-1 grand prix food competition in Himeji in 2011. You can buy the sauce that goes with the dishes at Mie restaurant for only 400 yen.
 

Imbe: Bizen Pottery Village

Imbe: Bizen Pottery Village in Okayama

Imbe is the birthplace of Bizen pottery, one of the oldest forms of Japanese pottery. The village dates back to over 1,000 years ago, and features over 100 potteries and galleries. The village is famous for its red brick buildings and pottery tile roofs. Tourists can view the over 250 master pottery works the village has to offer, and even participate and learn how to make pottery themselves! The pottery work features modern pottery all the way back to ancient times. You can bring home a unique souvenir from one of the many shops, including at Imbe Station, or you can make your own souvenir through one of the many workshops offered throughout the village!
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Imbe Pottery Village

Address: Inbe, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: Ako line via Banshu-Ako to Imbe Station from Nishigawara Station, about 30 minutes

Website: Imbe Village

 

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