In Japan, Okayama is considered an important transportation and educational center. This city has a rich cultural heritage and a complex history. Okayama has been leading its history since 1889. Over time, it has become a major industrial center. The Second World War did not bypass many Japanese cities. Okayama was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt almost from scratch.
Today, this settlement attracts tourists. They get acquainted with beautiful buildings, cultural centers. There is a lot of entertainment here.
The Art Museum is one of the most beautiful buildings. The collections of works by famous artists of Japan are stored in the funds of this cultural institution. The museum is located on a small hill. From the outside, the building looks like an ancient temple. It is graceful and majestic.
The Hayashibara Art Museum is not inferior in importance and beauty. In one of the expositions, visitors can get acquainted with the works of painting. In other exposition halls such collections are presented: national costumes, edged weapons, antique furniture. Among the exhibits there are those that have become a national treasure.
There are many cultural institutions in Okayama worthy of attention. But in this settlement, you should definitely visit the Korakuen Landscape Garden – a beautiful nature reserve. It dates back to 1700. Today, amazing plants, large ponds and canals grow in this garden. I think we will talk about it in a separate article. In the central part of this complex of nature is Okayama Castle, around which cherry and apricot groves grow. There are tea houses in the garden. They are intended for recreation of visitors. Here they are offered to enjoy the tea ceremony. There is a museum in the castle. In his funds there are collections of armor and weapons that were used by the samurai.
Things to do
Stroll around Korakuen Garden, one of the top three gardens in Japan (Okayama). See the majestic Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Japan’s tallest castle and the only original mountaintop castle (Takahashi). Explore the shops and museums of the beautiful Bikan Historic District, one of the country’s largest and best preserved historic districts (Kurashiki). Take a tour of Shizutani School, the first school in Japan that is open to all citizens regardless of rank or class (Bizen) Admire the world-class contemporary art museum, NAGI MoCA in Nagi, or the art island of Inujima in the Seto Inland Sea.
See how the famous Bizen swords, once among the finest in the country, are made at the Bizen Osafune Museum (Setuchi). Walk along Johto Street, the old Izumo (Tsuyama) pilgrimage route.
Visit Yumeji Seika, the childhood home of artist Yumeji Takehisa in Setouchi, and the Yumeji Art Museum in Okayama. Walk around the grounds of Saijo Inari, considered one of the three great Inari shrines in Japan (Okayama). Visit Iyama Hofukuji Temple, where the famous poet and priest Sesshu (Soja) once studied. See a large collection of famous European art at the Ohara (Kurashiki) Art Museum. Explore the beautiful Ikura Gorge and Maki Cave (Niimi).
Walk among the mysterious rocks on Ojigatake Hill (Tamano).Enjoy unique orange buildings in Fukiya Historic District (Takahashi). Relax on Washuzan Hill and enjoy the view of the Seto Inland Sea and the Seto Ohashi (Kurashiki) Bridge. Visit one of the five national astronomical observatories in the country (Asakuchi).
See thousands of cherry blossoms as you walk among the ruins of Tsuyama Castle (Tsuyama). Learn about the history of Okayama Prefecture and the story that inspired the tale of Momotaro as you cycle (or hike) the Kibiji Area Trail (Okayama, Soja). Make your own Bizen pottery (Bizen) Take part in the Momotaro celebration at the Momotaro Festival (Okayama). Enjoy swimming at the Glass House or outdoor sports at Green Hills Tsuyama (Tsuyama)
The most famous hot springs in the prefecture are Yubara Hot Springs (Maniwa), Yunogo Hot Springs (Mimasaka) and Okutsu Hot Springs (Kagamino), located in the northern part of the prefecture. Each of them is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
If that’s too far, you can also try the hot springs of Niimi Chiya in Niimi or Asagiri Onsen in Takahashi. The Seto Ohashi Spa Resort in Kurashiki also offers a variety of baths and ways to relax. The first onsen, opened in Yakage in 2015, has become a popular holiday destination for locals and travelers alike.