Sunshine and Peaches
Okayama is the place to go in Chugoku Region. If you want to live in a beautiful rural setting right out of a picture book. The Seto-Ohashi bridge spans the Seto Inland Sea. Connecting Kojima in Okayama to Kagawa in Shikoku. You may enjoy beautiful views of Mount Washu from this impressive demonstration of contemporary engineering. Or take a boat excursion from the dock. The prefecture’s mascot is the famed folklore figure Momotaro, also known as Peach Boy. It’s the greatest spot in Japan to eat peaches in an almost limitless variety of forms.
Okayama Castle and Koraku-en Garden are located in this prefectural metropolis, which combines nature and history perfectly. Castle is well known for its black facade, which has earned it the moniker “Crow Castle.”
Koraku-en Garden, on the other hand, is regarded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.
Another element of Okayama is the prevalence of Peach Boy themes, which tell the narrative of his victory over a people-eating demon that previously tormented the prefecture.
Those searching for a simple rural retreat may book a stay at Okayama International Villas, which are located in picturesque rural hamlets meant to increase tourism.
Okayama Castle (岡山城, ”Okayamajō”), 2-3-1 Marunouchi, ☎ 086-225-2096, . 9AM-5PM. Popularly known as Crow Castle (烏城 U-jō), it is so named for its striking black color, rare among Japanese castles (which tend to be white, like neighboring Himejijō). Only a few protruding bits and the occasional lucky fish-gargoyle (金の鯱 kinnoshachihoko) are gilded. Except for one external turret, the current version dates from 1966, but the outside is much more accurate than most Japanese castle replicas, as the original blueprints were used to rebuild it. In the tower is a museum documenting the castle’s history, although English explanations are few and far between. Free kimono photo shoots are available on the second floor. ¥320.
Kurashiki is a historical Edo merchant town, best seen from the tiny wooden gondolas that sail along the old area’s koi-filled canals.
The interiors of the buildings are now being transformed into commercial facilities such as cafés.
The Ohara Museum of Art, located in the heart of town, was Japan’s first museum dedicated to Western art.
It has an exceptional collection of 20th-century European art.
Hot Springs and Nature
Drive through the prefecture’s highlands and prepare to come across attractions like Yubara Onsen, which boasts mixed-gender outdoor hot springs, or Kibiji, which contains ancient burial mounds.
On several farms, you may pick your own peaches and grapes.
During your journey, stop for a fruit parfait (or several).
The most famous hot springs in the prefecture are Yubara Hot Springs, Yunogo Hot Springs, and Okutsu Hot Spring, all located in the northern part of the prefecture. Each of these make great getaway destinations to relax and rejuvinate.
If these are too far out of the way, you can also try Niimi Chiya Hot Springs in Niimi or Asagiri Onsen in Takahashi. The Seto Ohashi Spa Resort in Kurashiki is not a real onsen however, it offers a variety of ways to relax, including a variety of baths.