(07/10/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Mt. Washuzan

                      Kurashiki City

A dramatically beautiful view of the Great Seto Bridge and surrounding islands

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Mt. Washuzan offers visitors a view of the quintessential scenery of the Setonaikai National Park, known as Japan’s first national park. The park is a recommended site for viewing the Great Seto Bridge, newly listed in the Michelin Green Guide Japan as the longest two-tiered bridge system in the world. The view from the summit overlooking the Setonaikai (The Inland Sea), about 15 min on foot along the promenade from the parking lot, is highly recommended. Visitors will be treated to a view of the 50 or so variously sized islands dotting the Setonaikai and of Shikoku forming the opposite shore. The observatory’s rest house also offers a scenic resting place. The view from Mt. Washuzan of the sun setting in the Setonaikai has also been selected as one of the 100 most beautiful sunsets in Japan.

Basic information

Address
1-1 Shimotsuitanoura, , Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
25 min by bus from JR Kojima Sta. to “Washuzan Daini Tenboudai,” and then 5 min on foot
Tel.
086-473-1115
Website
https://www.kurashiki-tabi.jp/for/en/kojima.html(English)

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(07/03/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

The secret world of the japanese swordsmith

The Japanese sword is the soul of the Samurai. The crafting of this work of art – which embodies beauty, strength and tradition – has been shrouded in secrecy for more than thousand years.
Because of the highly advanced techniques and numerous years of dedicated effort required in crafting Japanese swords, the skill has always been a closely kept and jealously guarded secret.
Yohindo Yoshihara is a consummate Japanese swordsmith and a very high regarded Mukansa craftman in Japan. He is also the best-known Japanes swordsmith outside of Japan.
His masterpieces have been purchased for exhibit by the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York City and the Museum of fine Arts in Boston. He has numerous fans worldwide, including His Royal highness, king Gustav of Sweden.
This video has been produced to appeal to all aficionados of Japanese sword around the world and is a treasure trove of sercrets to Yohindo Yoshihara’s truly outstanding Japanese sword craftsmanship.

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(06/22/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Yumeji Art Museum

                              Okayama City

Museum of art dedicated to Yumeji Takehisa, widely known as the “Japanese Toulouse-Lautrec”

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The Yumeji Art Museum features a collection of works by Okayama-born Yumeji Takehisa, a poet and artist who was active in the early 1900s. The museum is listed in the “Michelin Green Guide” with a rating of One-Star. The collection portrays numerous women with slender limbs posed in smooth S-shaped lines, an established characteristic of the style that came to be known as Yumeji’s “Bijin-ga.” At the museum shop, visitors can purchase original postcards, stationery, and other goods. In addition, visitors can also enjoy Yumeji’s favorite European baked snack, Garibaldi biscuits, only found at the museum’s cafe. Come and enjoy tea time just as Yumeji would have it

Basic information

Address
2-1-32 Hama, Naka Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
5 min via tram from JR Okayama Sta. to “Shiroshita,” and then 15 min on foot; 15 min by bus from JR Okayama Sta. to “Horaibashi / Yumeji Kyodo Bijutsukan Mae”
Business Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm (last admission 4:30pm)
Closed
Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a holiday), New Year’s Holiday (Dec. 28 – Jan. 1)
Admission
General 700 yen; students 400 yen (junior high, senior high, and university), 300 yen (elementary)
Tel.
086-271-1000

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(06/08/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Joto Historical Preservation District

                                  Tsuyama City

Take a leisurely stroll through a castle town that time forgot

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Having prospered throughout the 17th to 19th centuries as a merchant city, this old townscape features 1.2 km of machiya (traditional townhouses). The district has earned recognition as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. At “Joto Mukashi Machiya,” showing the former residence of a large merchant, visitors can feel the stylistic beauty of another lifetime. The tatami room is open to visitors for a sampling of Japanese culture and the chance to leave a commemorative photo. The town’s cafes also offer a chance to rest while walking through the town.

  • Townscape

Basic information

Address
Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
20 min on foot from JR Tsuyama Sta., or 10 min by bus to “Tenjinbashi” and then 5 min on foot
Business Hours
Varies by facility.
Tel.
0868-32-2096

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(05/29/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum

                                  Setouchi City

A museum of Japanese swords where visitors can see how swords are crafted

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Watch this video, introducing the complete process of crafting “KATANA”!
[Setouchi City]

The Japanese sword-crafting region of Osafune in Setouchi city is famous for having one of the longest histories in sword production. Around half of those swords listed by Japan as National Treasures were originally made here.

This video introduces briefly the complete process of crafting the blade and key pieces of equipment including the sword case, grip, engraving etc. through interviews with artisans who work at the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum.

Located in Osafune, a town that once flourished as a major produce of Japanese swords, the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum is one of a limited number of sword museums and features a variety of Japanese swords on display. Visitors can learn about the history and manufacturing process for Japanese swords as well as experience the beauty and power of the swords up close. The museum features several special exhibitions throughout the year that combine animations and video games, making this a popular destination for sword fans from across the country. In the adjacent workshop, visitors can see the skill of Japanese sword artisans, including the process where tamahagane, steel made from iron sand, is heated to 1300°C and then hammered to make a plate. (limited dates and times)

Basic information

Address
966 Osafune, Osafune Town, Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
7 min by taxi from JR Osafune Sta.
Business Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm (last admission 4:30pm)
Closed
Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a holiday), December 28 – January 4, day following a public holiday, during exhibition exchanges
Admission
General admission 500 yen; students 300 yen (high school and university); junior high and younger free; seniors 400 yen (65 and older, with proof of age)
Tel.
0869-66-7767

(05/21/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Sapporo Wine Okayama Winery

                                Akaiwa City

Experience complete satisfaction with free wine tasting

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 Sapporo Wine Okayama Winery, Western Japan’s largest winery, is located in the home of Japan’s best grapes and uses Okayama’s high-quality grapes (including Muscat of Alexandria and Pione grapes) for its wine. The winery’s vineyard boasts some 350 grape vines. With no application necessary, visitors can take a factory tour to learn about the wine-making process and enjoy free wine tasting (information available in Japanese only). Premium wine tasting, available for a fee, is also popular.

Basic information

Address
1556, Higashikarube, Akaiwa City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
20 min by taxi from JR Seto Sta.
Business Hours
9:00am – 4:30pm
Closed
New Year’s Holiday, etc.
Admission
Free
Tel.
086-957-3838

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(05/12/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Kurashiki Hanpu

                  Kurashiki City

High-quality items using colorful Japanese canvas

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Used for more than 100 years, Kurashiki Hanpu is a thick canvas material created in a weaving factory for thick material and used in high-quality products under a highly acclaimed brand. One example of only a few high-quality Japanese canvases (cloth used for sails), Kurashiki Hanpu is a strong and durable material. From colorful canvas tote bags to wallets, book covers, and other small items, these products can be used by both men and women, making them popular as souvenirs.

Basic information

Address
11-33, Honmachi, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
15 min on foot from JR Kurashiki Sta.
Business Hours
10:00am – 6:00pm
Closed
New Year’s Holiday