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Japan Travel Guide

Okayama Travel Guide

The town of Okayama lies in western Honshu on both banks of the River Asahi, which flows into the Inland Sea in Kojima Bay. It is the chief town of the prefecture and its economic and cultural center. Bounded on the north by the foothills of the Chugoku Range, it is a good base from which to explore the beautiful surrounding area.

Beyond its delicious white peaches and Kourakuen garden, it may seem like it offers far less to the tourist than Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, but what it is insufficient in tourist attractions is made up by offering an encounter with the millions of Japanese who don't live in Kanto or Kansai, as Okayama gives a more typical example of Japanese life than the biggest cities can give. If one confers Okayama the time, the people will find it has an attractive charm, and its small size permits one to feel as though they have fully explored the city within a few weeks.

The old "warehouse town" is one of the most stimulating town in the region situated at Kurashiki, only 15 minutes by train from Okayama station on then San-yo line, with its well-well-preserved enclave of picturesque old merchant houses and canals. The Kibi plain surrounding Okayama and Kurashiki has a number of attractive places.

From Kurashiki you can direct inland to Takahashi to observe Japan's highest castle, Bitchu Matsuyama, looking down from its mountain-top over a town of old temples. Bizen is distinguished for its Kamakura period unglazed pottery ("Bizen-yaki") used for the tea ceremony.

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