Monday, June 3, 2024

A trip to Kurashiki and Okayama Cities

Okayama Prefecture is called "Land of Sunshine" for its mild climate and sunny skies
typical of the Seto Inland Sea region.
I had an overnight trip to Kurashiki and Okayama cities in the south-west part 
of the prefecture with my son and his daughter.
Unfortunately my husband stayed home because of a cold he had.

In Kurashiki City, we spent most of the time in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter,
the old merchants quarter,
where the city's former canal system and about 400-year-old buildings have been preserved.
The canal area dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the city served
as an important rice distribution center to Edo and Osaka.
Weeping willows and original storehouses line the canal and the stone bridges 
cross over the canal water.
There are sightseeing riverboats in operation.

There are narrow lanes from the main roads along the river.
The distinctive feature of the architecture is white walls and black tiles.

One block away from the canal, Storehouse Shopping Street runs parallel to the canal.
The historic townhousese are repurposed as cafes and restaurants, boutiques, 
souvenir shops as well as specialty shops including canvas (Kurashiki Canvas),
jeans, sake, and others.
Kurashiki is the birthplace of domestically produced jeans.

After a round trip of the quarter, we returned to the starting place.

The Seto Inland Sea is dotted with many small islands.
Right after the sunset, the sea turned into mellow oranges.

In Okayama City, we walked through Korakuen Garden to Okayama Castle.
Okayama Castle is called "Ujo 烏城 Crow Castle" for its black exterior.
It is in stark contrast to the white Himeji Castle, or "Shirasagi-jo 白鷺城 Egret Castle."
The original castle was built in 1597 during the Warring States period and was destroyed 
by fire almost completely during the WWII.
Reconstruction was made in 1966 and then major renovation was completed in 2022.
That's why the castle stands shiny.

The appealing points of the southern Okayama is historical towns and
the beautiful seascape of the Seto Inland Sea.
Okayama is also known as "Kingdom of Fruits".
White peaches, muscats, piones are special products grown there.
While I prefer raw fruits, fruit parfait served with ice cream, sauce, and others
 tastes exquisite.
I also like to see the ingredients artistically arranged in layers.

Center; the view of Koraku-en Garden and Okayama City beyond the castle moat,
Seto Ohashi Bridge, and the seascape 

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. Gorgeous place to visit !
    And gorgeous pictures to see Yoko !
    Thanks for sharing !
    Have a lovely week !

  2.'s unlikely that I will have an opportunity to visit Japan in person, so I thank you for taking me along to see the sights. I hope that we will be able to this again.

  3. Hello,
    What a lovely trip with your family. The scenery is beautiful. I love the views of the canal and swan. The beautiful castle and inland sea. The sunset is gorgeous! Take care, have a great day and happy week ahead.

  4. Your beautiful posts make me want to visit your beautiful country.

  5. It is so nice to get away from routine life. Even if for a short visit, it is refreshing. Although the architecture and reflections are unique to the area, the canal and swooping bridge remind me of Venice. A sunset as spectacular and dramatic as this must have taken your breath away. :)

  6. Isn't it nice to get away and see new places with family? This looks like a spot I'd love with all the history. For now I'll have to satisfied seeing it through your photos.

  7. Es una bella ciudad. Mi foto favorita la de la puesta de sol. Te mando un beso.

  8. Hello Yoko - Kurashiki City looks a really charming place to visit - picture perfect. I love the architecture of the white buildings all complimented by the black tiles and the pretty tree lined canals.

  9. Gorgeous photos. Bravo.

    My Monday mosaic is HERE


  10. Hello Yoko, it takes my breath away, you took such beautiful photos on your trip. Beautiful weeping willows and an incredibly charming sea at sunset - a wonderful view! It's beautiful in Japan, I also really like Okayama Castle. Warmest regards, I hope your husband doesn't have a cold anymore. Hugs! Have a beautiful June.

  11. Your country is very beautiful!

  12. Me ha encantado hacer este precioso paseo a través de tus fotos. Kurashiki y Okayama son lugares muy bonitos para visitar y pasear por sus canales. Mucha naturaleza tienen.
    Gracias Yoko por compartir y estar.
    Te deseo un buen junio.
    Un abrazo.

  13. Wonderful! I love to read about the history!

    Another round of MosaicMonday in June... and I'm looking forward to your contribution again. This week there are many pictures that tell of your surroundings, of nature, of your everyday life. Pictures that also tell a bit of history.

    Thank you for your participation. Have fun, best wishes from Heidrun

  14. wow such a neat and beautiful town dear Yoko
    thanks for taking along
    enjoyed each step with you .hope your hubby recovers soon by the grace of God!
    the castle is majestic indeed .i love how authorities care for preserving their historic places !
    the water adds divinity to photos
    Japan is full of wonderful things and places to explore undoubtedly
    hugs and best wishes

  15. What a trip! Landscapes, history, sightseeing - everything is engrossing. The castle is in a tremendous location. Have you taken a boat excusion along the canal? Any place looks different from the water, when travelling we try not to miss the opportunity. I loved your story as well as the pictures, Yoko. Thank you so much. The company of grandma, son and granddaughter must be a wonderful company:) I do believe, next trip you will do together with your husband.

  16. Hi Yoko, I am always enchanted when observing the wonderful villages, cities, gardens and landscapes of your country.
    So lovely the architecture of the houses with white walls and black tiles.
    Okayama Castle is imposing and beautiful.
    It was a shame your husband couldn't go, as it was certainly a fantastic trip.
    Thank you for this virtual journey through your excellent photos 👏
    Greetings and all the best from Maria

  17. Thank you for the wonderful tour and history. The third photo makes me ask, Does the city or people in town feed the swans? Linda in Kansas

    1. Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. Swans mainly eat the fish of the river and are also fed by the people in charge.

  18. What a lovely trip, I did enjoy your photographs.
    I hope your husband is feeling better now.

    All the best Jan


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