(05/06/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Ushimado

                     Setouchi City

Enjoy Japan’s Aegean-like sea and islands

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The seaside resort town of Ushimado overlooks the numerous beautiful islands dotting the Setonaikai (The Inland Sea). Visitors are treated to a magnificent landscape filled with the blue of the sea and the green of olive groves. At low tide, the Kuroshima Venus Road, a sandbar stretching to link three separate islands including Kuroshima Island, rises from the sea. A walk along this mysterious road floating on the sea is a recommended spot for couples. Along with the hotels and yacht harbors in the surrounding area, Ushimado also offers visitors sunset cruises where visitors can watch the sun set and enjoy a romantic evening on the town

Basic information

Address
Ushimado Town, Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
35 min by bus from JR Oku Sta. to “Ushimado”
Business Hours
Varies by facility.
Tel.
0869-34-9500

I want you to know how I’m grateful to be your friend.

Even if we can’t meet, our hearts will be always together.

(05/04/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Yubara Onsen

           Maniwa City

Experience an outdoor bath in the heart of nature

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Yubara Onsen, located in a famous hot-springs area, includes one of Western Japan’s leading rotenburo (outdoor baths), “Sunayu.” Against the backdrop of a dam, Sunayu is 24-hr outdoor hot-spring bath surrounded by rocks located in the riverbed of the Asahi River. Because this bath serves both men and women, it is recommended that women wear a special dress while bathing (rentals available for a fee). With numerous accommodations, restaurants, and souvenir shops nearby, including many ryokan and hotels that offer free lending of iroyukata, colorful yukata popular with women, visitors are encouraged to plan for an overnight stay and enjoy walking through the town.

Basic information

Address
143-2, Yubara Onsen, Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
2 hrs 35 min by bus from JR Okayama Sta. to “Yubara Onsen” with a bus change at “Katsuyama Bus Center,” and then 5 min on foot
Business Hours
Varies by facility.
Tel.
0867-62-2526
Website
http://www.yubara.com/en/(English)

(04/30/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Tamano Harbor Festival

                    Tamano City

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Tamano Harbor Festival celebrates the ocean, the port, and boats. A Maritime Safety Agency patrol boat is open to the public and visitors can take a mini cruise. Visitors can also enjoy a model boat exhibition, food and beverage stands, and a flea market.

Basic information

Date
Last weekend of the month

*Announcement for the event date change: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event will be held on May 19th (Saturday), and 20th (Sunday), 2018.
Hours
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Address
Chikko, Tamano City
Location
Around Uno Port
Access
5 min. on foot from JR Uno Station

(04/22/2018)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

Between Friday, April 27 and Sunday, May 6, Okayama Castle is home to the Spring U-jo (Crow Castle) Light Festival, and Okayama Korakuen hosts its Fantastic Spring Garden. Both are open until 9:30pm.
Free Wi-Fi is available.

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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

Address
1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
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
Closed
No closing days
Admission
General admission 400 yen;
seniors (65 and older) 140 yen;
students (elementary and junior high) are FREE *student ID card required

“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)

Tel.
086-272-1148

(04/15/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Korakuen Tea Picking Festival [Okayama City]

On Sunday, May 20, traditional tea picking and harvest dances are demonstrated by ladies in traditional Japanese kimono at the Okayama Korakuen Garden Tea Plantation. Visitors are welcome to try their hand at tea harvesting, and sample and buy tea.

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Basic information

Date
The 3rd Sunday of the month
Hours
10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm
Address
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Location
Okayama Korakuen Garden

Address1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture

Access
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
Closed
No closing days
Admission
General admission 400 yen;
seniors (65 and older) 140 yen;
students (elementary and junior high) are FREE *student ID card required

“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)

Tel.
086-272-1148

(04/09/2018)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

                 Okayama Kurashiki City

Streets lined with white-walled kominka (traditional houses) awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan

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This townscape, known for the characteristically Japanese white walls of its residences and the willow trees lining the banks of the Kurashiki River, has earned recognition as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. Kurashiki prospered in the 1600s as an integral destination for the transportation of goods, and the area continues to offer a historically attractive atmosphere of a calm and harmonious life.
With its many cultural facilities—including the Ohara Museum of Art and its collection of international masterpieces; the red-bricked Kurashiki Ivy Square, a reproduction of the textile factory once representative of Kurashiki, built on the site of the former factory; the Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft, boasting a collection with some 700 handicrafts; and the Kurashiki Archeological Museum—Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter offers visitors a taste of Western influence harmonized with Japanese style.
A large portion of the Honmachi and Higashimachi areas, including the approach coming from the historic Achi-jinja Shrine, offers scenery unspoiled by time and has been specified as a Historical Preservation District. The town is a quiet place lined harmoniously with restaurants, galleries, and general stores.
A particularly popular destination for tourists is the “Traditional Boat Tour of Kurashiki Canal.” This boat tour offers visitors a chance to admire the town’s white walls from a small boat along the Kurashiki River that flows through the center of town. Visitors are also recommended to experience Japanese culture firsthand by donning a kimono or a yukata before strolling through Kurashiki’s historic streets. The Bikan Historical Quarter also offers washoku (Japanese cuisine) restaurants and local confection shops where visitors can enjoy a more literal taste of Japanese tradition.
As night falls and the streets light up, a calmer presence sets in for a somewhat different experience than the daytime. Many of the old machiya (traditional townhouse) have also been rebuilt with modern appeal as lodges and guest houses, giving visitors the option to spend the night in the Bikan Historical Quarter and explore the streets at their own pace

Basic information

Address
Honmachi, Chuo, Higashimachi, Achi, Tsurugata, etc., , Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture
Access
15 min on foot from JR Kurashiki Sta.
Business Hours
Varies by facility.
Closed
Varies by facility.
Admission
Varies by facility.
Tel.
086-422-0542

(04/03/2018)Samurai Spirit Japan! !

Diamond Route Japan 2018 : History – Feel the Real Samurai Spirit

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