While many tourists only travel through Okayama in Japan to get to other famous destinations like Hiroshima, Shikoku, or Naoshima, it is worth making a stop in the city too. Besides the famous Okayama Korakuen garden and the reconstructed castle, there are some great museums and a nice bicycle opportunity nearby. Find out what to do in Okayama!
History & Highlights
Originally developing as a castle town during the Edo Period (1603-1867), it only became an official town at the start of the 20th century. Nowadays, it is a large university city that is a major hub between the middle and the west side of Honshu island. Okayama Castle, the Koraku-en Garden (one of the three major gardens in Japan), and a number of art museums and science museums are found here.
Okayama Castle was built in the 16th century, but it was destroyed in WW2. The castle tower has been rebuilt, but the Tsukimi-yagura turret and other structures are original. The resurrected castle was finished in 1966, and now it is a fun and educational place to visit. You will like the many exhibitions and activities that they organize on the castle’s 6 floors.
The Okayama Korakuen took 14 years to be completed in the 17th century, was the first lawn garden in Japan. The garden is 133,000 square meters, and visitors have great views of Okayama Castle and the garden.
Okayama is home to two amazing art museums: the Prefectural Museum of Art, and the Hayashibara Museum of Art. The former boasts classical and modern art from the prefecture, while the latter showcases historical and cultural artifacts. If you want to focus more on the region’s history, you will like the Okayama Prefectural Museum.
Cycling on the Kibiji Plain
Are you looking to get out of the city and into nature for a day? A cycling trip on the Kibiji Plain might be just what you are looking for. You can find bicycle rental places around Soja station, which is a direct train ride of 30 minutes from Okayama station. There is a comfortable bicycle path of 17km long that will take you along beautiful little temples and local farmer’s fields. The trip ends at Bizen-Ichinomiya station.
Your Japan Tour
As seasoned Japan experts, we create perfect Japan package tours including destinations like Okayama. Check out our group tours and private tours, or contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country. Japan is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!