Sunshine and Peaches
If you'd like to experience charming rural living straight out of a picture book, Okayama is for you.
Nicknamed the land of sunshine, Okayama in the Chugoku region looking out towards the island of Shikoku. The Seto-Ohashi bridge arches over five islands in the Seto Inland Sea, linking Kojima in Okayama to Kagawa in Shikoku. From this impressive showcase of modern engineering, you can enjoy spectacular views of Mount Washu or enjoy a boat cruise from the port.
Okayama’s mascot is the popular folkloric hero Momotaro or Peach Boy, and for a good reason. It’s the best place in all of Japan to eat peaches in a seemingly endless variety of forms. You’ll find Momotaro everywhere in Okayama from the moment you arrive at the Okayama Momotaro Airport.
Home to Okayama Castle and Koraku-en Garden, the prefectural city where nature and history mix in the most picturesque ways. Okayama Castle is most notable for its black exterior and has been given the nickname the “Crow Castle.” Koraku-en Garden, on the other hand, is noted as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens.
Another feature of Okayama is that Peach Boy motifs are found everywhere, recounting the story of his victory over a people-eating demon that once terrorized the prefecture.
Those looking for an easy rural getaway can arrange a stay in one of the Okayama International Villas located in picture-perfect rural hamlets designed to boost tourism. They’re great value for money, and you can get a glimpse of Japanese rural living while you explore the surrounding region.
Kurashiki is a traditional Edo merchant town best viewed from the small wooden gondolas that cruise the koi-filled canals running through the old quarter. Nowadays, the interiors of the buildings have been repurposed into commercial spaces like cafes. The Ohara Museum of Art in the center of town was Japan’s first-ever museum of western art. It features an impressive collection of European 20th century pieces.
Hot Springs and Nature
Drive around the mountains within the prefecture and prepare to stumble onto places like Yubara Onsen which has mixed-gender outdoor hot springs, or Kibiji, to see the ancient burial mounds. There are peach and grape-picking in the many farms. Stop for a fruit parfait (or several) during your travels.
Check out the best that Okayama has to offer from the links below!