Photo:Reggaeman via Wikimedia Commons

Your Travel Guide to Okayama: 10 Fascinating Attractions in Okayama Prefecture

Okayama has plenty of fantastic tourist attractions. Let us introduce the best places to visit in the prefecture.

1. Makido Cave

Makido Cave lit up with multi-colored lights
Photo by mstk east on Flickr

Makido Cave is located in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture. This limestone cave is 450 meters long and contains an underground lake. The name Makido means “full of mystery”, and the cave indeed looks mysterious with its numerous stalactites and the lighting that creates a spectacular effect.

Japanese Website

2. Okayama Korakuen Garden

Photo credit: Fjkelfeimvvn via Wikimedia Commons

Okayama Korakuen Garden is considered one of the "Three Great Gardens of Japan," and it has received three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japon. This beautiful cultural heritage site is a must-see place and probably the most famous site in Okayama.

Official Website

3. Shurakuen Garden

Photo by Public Library of Tsuyama, via Flickr

Shurakuen Garden is a typical example of a traditional Edo Period garden, which includes a walking path surrounding a pond. This garden is 50 years older than Okayama Korakuen Garden, and is very calm and soothing.

4. Raikyuji Temple

Photo credit: Maechan0360 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Raikyu-ji Temple, whose full name is Tenchu-zan Ankoku Raikyu-ji (天柱山安国頼久寺), was built in 1339 CE by the shogun Ashikawa Takauji. It is designated a National Site of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government, and it is famous for its garden. It is said that this is where the Japanese dry landscape garden style originated.

Japanese-language Website

5. Kurashiki River Boat Riding

A canal in Kurashiki, Okayama
Photo by ajari on Flickr

The Kurashiki River used to be crowded as it was used to transport cargo. Kurashiki River Boat Riding is an attraction that makes you feel like you went back in time. From the boat you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Kurashiki Historical District as well as learn about the history of the area.

Official Website

6. Kurashiki Honmachi Street

Photo credit: Nagono via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This charming street used to be a merchants' and artisans' area. Historical townhouses are aligned on the street, making it a charming place to have a walk. Cafes, restaurants, stores and inns can be found inside the renovated townhouses.

Official Website

7. Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle

Photo credit: Reggaeman via Wikimedia Commons

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi City is a superb spot known as the castle with the highest elevation above sea level in Japan. It is said that if the weather allows it, visitors can see a sea of clouds surrounding the castle.

Official Website

8. Okayama Castle

Photo credit: Reggaeman via Wikimedia Commons

Ukita Hideie, one of the five chief ministers of the Toyotomi Family, built the Okayama Castle. The castle tower, which used to be a national treasure, was burnt down during the war, so the current tower is a restored version. It is possible to visit inside the castle, and to enjoy a beautiful view from the sixth floor.

Official Website

9. Kibitsu Shrine

Photo Reggaeman via Wikimedia Commons

Kibitsu Shrine is a shinto shrine registered as a national treasure. The 400m covered path connecting Kibitsu Shrine to the main shrine is a must-see.

Official Website

10. Fukiya

Street in Fukiya
Photo by cotaro70s on Flickr

The charming town of Fukiya is famous for its buildings' stone roof tiles colored with Bengara, a reddish pigment made with iron oxide. Thanks to the production of Bengara, Fukiya became prosperous from the end of Edo era through the Meiji Restoration, and is now recognized as an important cultural heritage.

Japanese Website

Okayama is a prefecture full of attractions where you can experience Japanese history. It is definitely an area not to be missed!

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