(9/06)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Old Shizutani School

Bizen City

Japan’s oldest school for commoners, certified as the first Japan Heritage site

Built in 1670 as Japan’s first school for common folk, the Old Shizutani School was designated as a Japan Heritage site in 2015. Including the auditorium, a National Treasure surrounded by a stone wall, all the ceramics used for the roof tiles are Bizen pottery, traditional ceramic representative of Japan. The area around the school also offers a variety of sights with most buildings designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan, including the Shizutani-jinja Shrine. In fall, the two Chinese pistache trees on the school grounds take on beautiful red and yellow hues, making the school a popular spot for viewing fall foliage. Visitors can also enjoy a night view of the fall foliage during the limited-time event in which the area is illuminated after sunset.

Basic information

784, Shizutani, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture
8 min by taxi from JR Yoshinaga Sta.
Business Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm
December 29 – 31
General admission 400 yen; students 100 yen (elementary and junior high); seniors (65 and older) 200 yen

(9/02)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Okayama Korakuen Garden

Okayama City

One of Japan’s three most celebrated gardens, awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan

This quintessential Japanese garden was created roughly 300 years ago by the area’s daimyo (domain lord). A symbol of the power of the samurai, Okayama Korakuen Garden is considered one of the three great gardens of Japan alongside Kanazawa City’s Kenroku-en and Mito City’s Kairakuen.
Centered around Enyo-tei House, which was built as living quarters, the garden covers some 13 ha and includes a Noh Stage as well as ponds, hills, plum groves, and a tea plantation. The garden is arranged with wide lawns for an open-mindedness that is not usually found in Japanese gardens. This circuit-style garden is devised so that visitors can enjoy the passing scenery while strolling atop through the garden, particularly atop Yuishinzan Hilll overlooking the garden and, as well as along the nearby waterways.
Looking out over the scenic park from Enyo-tei House near the main gate, visitors are treated to a spectacular backdrop that features Okayama Castle and the surrounding mountains just outside the park grounds. At the heart of the park lies Ryuten Rest House, which features a stream running through it. Through the flow of the waterway—directed to pass through underneath the building—visitors are able to enjoy the movement of the water flowing through the area. Taking refuge from the summer in the coolness, the former daimyo cherished spending time here staring peacefully and quietly at the water flowing by.
Japanese cranes are also bred in the park. Other attractions include the plum grove with 100 trees and seasonal flowers including spring cherry blossoms, azaleas, irises, and lotuses. The foliage in autumn also offers a beautiful sight.
During the popular “Special Late-Night Garden of Dreams” event held for a limited time in summer and autumn, the garden is opened at night and visitors can experience the garden illuminated by candles and the like. The fantastic nightscape offers an enjoyably different view than the daytime.
Shikisai, a washoku (Japanese cuisine) restaurant, is available in the park and offers cuisine made from seasonal ingredients locally grown in Okayama, and the teahouse offers visitors a chance to experience matcha (Japanese green tea). English, Korean, and Chinese guide services are also available (for a fee).

Basic information

1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
10 min by bus from JR Okayama Sta. to “Korakuenmae;” 10 min on foot from “Shiroshita” via tram from JR Okayama Sta.
Business Hours
7:30am – 6:00pm (March 20 – September 30) / 8:00am – 5:00pm (October 1 – March 19) *Last
admission 15 min before closing time
No closing days
General admission 400 yen; students 140 yen (elementary and junior high); seniors (65 and older) 140 yen

“Combined Tickets”
• Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle:
General admission 560 yen (15 – 64 years old); students 260 yen (elementary and junior high)
• Okayama Korakuen Garden, Okayama Castle, and Hayashibara Museum of Art:
General admission 960 yen (15 – 64 years old)


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(8/23)Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian

Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors with its first-ever flash mob. The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World,” led by the band’s commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang. Unsuspecting museum visitors including tourists and school groups were astonished as instrumentalists streamed into the gallery from behind airplanes and space capsules, and vocalists burst into song from the Museum’s second floor balcony.

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(8/21)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!


Introducing the attractive tourist spots of Okayama Prefecture, Japan.
In Okayama Prefecture, there are many famous spots, such as the
government-designated Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional
Buildings of Kurashiki Bikan Histrical Area, and one of the Three Great Gardens
of Japan, Korakuen Garden.

~A foreign language site for discovering “Cool Okayama!”~

An Okayama Prefecture website that features information on local tourism, cuisine, and events has been opened.
We look forward to your visiting the site, and, of course, Okayama.

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(8/10)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

 “The Passing of Time in Setouchi”


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