Top 43 Things to Do in Okayama
Okayama is known as the "Sunny Country" and "Fruit Kingdom". Why? Find out below, as we cover the best things to do in Okayama.
Okayama is a major transit hub for Western Japan, but the many attractions and sights offer plenty of reasons to leave the train station and explore this wonderful city. Discover the impressive black Okayama Castle, the famous Korakuen Garden, beaches and much more, as we list the top 43 things to do in Okayama.
Known as the “Crow Castle” due to its black color, the Okayama Castle is one of the most beautiful castles you’ll find in Japan. It’s surrounded by the lovely Asahi River, which was once used as a natural moat. The Korakuen Gardens were added to the castle as private gardens.
Bus Stop: Kencho Mae Bus Stop Address: 12-3-1 Marunouchi, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0823, Japan Phone: +81 86-225-2096 Website: Okayama Castle
Okayama Attractions & Sightseeing
Korakuen Garden is nationally and internationally renowned as one of Japan’s three greatest gardens. Built by feudal lords, the circuit-style site features wide lawns, ponds, artificial mountains, and tearooms, which are tied together by walkways and waterways. Look south, and you’ll get a stunning view of Okayama Castle. Another unexpected attraction is the delicious peach-flavoured soft ice-cream which is sold inside the garden. Don’t miss your chance to try one!
Bus Stop: Korakuen Mae Bus Stop Address: 1-5 Kōrakuen, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken 703-8257, Japan Phone: +81 86-272-1148 Website: Korakuen Garden
Arriving by train, you’ll quickly notice the Momotaro statue at the east exit of JR Okayama Station. Momotaro is a character from a Japanese folklore stemming from Okayama, and the city is clearly proud of it. Motifs of Momotaro are popular photo-ops, and they’re featured everywhere, from statues of his animal travel companions lining up on both sides of Momotaro-odori, to the so-called “Peachbaby” statue near Korakuen Garden.
Kibitsuhiko no Mikoto, a legendary prince that inspired the famous Japanese tale of Momotaro, is enshrined here. The shrine is believed to be more than 1000 years old, and the close-by Koyasu-jinja Shrine is said to bless visitors with fertility and safe childbirth. Again, a statue of Momotaro in the parking area makes for a popular spot for photographs.
Station: Bizen-Ichinomiya Station Address: 1043 Ichinomiya, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 701-1211, Japan Phone: +81 86-284-0031 Website: Kibitsuhiko Shrine
Kibitsu Shrine’s grandest feature is its impressive 360-meter long corridor. Visitors will be able to see beautiful seasonal flowers along both sides of the corridor; from cherry blossoms in early spring to peonies and azaleas in May, the shrine offers many worthwhile sights. Peach-shaped romance amulets known as “Momo mamori” are popular souvenirs sold on the spot.
Station: Kibitsu Address: 931 Kibitsu, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 701-1341, Japan Phone: +81 86-287-4111 Website: Kibitsu Shrine
Kubo Fruit Farm (くぼ観光農園)
Okayama is especially known as a “Fruit Kingdom”. A wide variety of high-quality fruits such as peaches, strawberries, and grapes are grown here. Visitors can tour the farm to see the fruit harvest and eat whatever they find like along the way. Although the grapes are the star attraction, shiitake mushrooms, persimmons, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts are also grown here. Enjoy all of it during a picnic, while breathing in the fresh air. Camping is allowed, too.
Peak times to see the harvesting of the different fruits are as below:
White peaches: early July – late August
Pione grapes: late August – mid-September
Muscat grapes: early September – mid-October
Strawberries: December – May
Station: Kanagawa Address: 2747-1 Mitsushitori, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 709-2136, Japan Phone: +81 867-26-0511 Website: Kubo Fruit Farm
Washuzan Highland Amusement Park
Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland is a theme park that is located at the southern edge of the Okayama Prefecture. The most popular and exciting ride is the SkyCycle, a do-it-yourself coaster where visitors have to pedal their way through the heights above the forest. There are no loops or drops, but it’s a much longer ride than your average roller coaster.
Bus Stop: Washuzan Highland Yuenchimae Address: 303−1 Shimotsuifukiage, Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture 711-0926, Japan Phone: +81 86-473-5111 Website: Washuzan Highland
Saijo Inari Shrine
Welcoming you with a 28-meter high towering torii (a Japanese shrine gate), the Saijo Inari Shrine is one of the “three Great Inari Shrines” in Japan, making it a highly recommended shrine to visit when in Okayama. Behind the old main hall, you’ll find several smaller Shinto shrines that are said to house 77 deities.
Station: Bitchu-Takamatsu Address: 712 Takamatsuinari, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 701-331, Japan Phone: +81 86-287-3700 Website: Saijo Inari Shrine
Nishigawa Canal Park
The Nishigawa Canal Park may be smaller than other parks in Japan, but its greenery offers such tranquility in the middle of the bustling city that it would be a pity to miss it. The area is inhabited by diverse species of animals, from carp fishes in the canals to fireflies in the air.
On various occasions throughout the year, a so-called “Organic Life Market” is held inside the park, where products like organically grown foods from Okayama, clothes made from hemp and organic cotton are sold.
Station: Nishigawa Ryokudokoen Mae Address: 1-10 Tamachi, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0825, Japan
Handayama Botanical Garden
Offering a fantastic landscape of camellias, maples and cherry blossoms, the Handayama Botanical Garden is a great place to relax. In summer, Hydrangeas water plants take over. And although the flora may be its main attraction, the location also provides a spectacular view of the city.
Bus Stop: Suigen-Chi Address: 3-1 Hokaiin, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0004, Japan Phone: +81 86-252-4183 Website: Handayama Botanical Garden
Connecting the Okayama Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture, Seto Ohashi is a stunning collection of six bridges, extending to 13 kilometers as a double-decker road for cars and trains. It’s the world’s longest two-tiered bridge system.
If you want a fantastic view of the bridge, a trip to Mt. Washu will do the job. For a more close-up watch from below, take a pleasure boat cruise.
Address: Shimotsui-no-Ura, Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture 711-0925, Japan Website: Seto Bridge
Saidai Temple (Hadaka Matsuri)
The Saidai ji Temple is home to the “Naked Man Festival” or Hadaka Matsuri, which is held on the third Saturday of February each year. The men are technically not naked after all, but wear nothing more than a fundoshi, a traditional sumo-style loincloth.
To get an idea of what really goes on at the festival, check out our article about the weird side of Japan.
Bus Stop: Saidai ji Address: 3-8-8 Saidaijinaka, Higashi-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken 704-8116, Japan Phone: +81 86-942-2058 Website: Saidai Temple
For something out of the ordinary, visit Makido Cave, a place dubbed as “cave full of mystery”. The formation of stalactites and stalagmites interacting with the lighting and bridges make it an almost outer-worldly trip. It’s a great place to hang out especially during the summer months, when the temperatures inside the cave cool you down. Take good caution when visiting with kids or elderly people, as the grounds can get slippery.
If you’ve got some spare coins, throw them in the garden pond outside the cave, and hope for a wish to come true.
Bus Stop: Mankido or Safuku Address: 2276-2 Toyonagaakouma, Niimi, Okayama Prefecture 719-2721, Japan Phone: +81 867-74-3100 Website: Makido Cave
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
When we think of traditional Japanese imagery, we immediately consider Kyoto the perfect place for tourists. But clearly, Okayama’s Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter can be described much the same way. The area not only offers a great opportunity to wear a Kimono, but the white earthen-walled warehouses and villas are so well-preserved, that they convey a striking impression of what Japan looked like during the Edo or Meiji era. Boat rides let you soak in the scenery while chugging along the river, and a local guide will fill you in on historical facts.
Bus Stop: Ohara Bijutsukan Mae Address: Honmachi, Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture 710-0054, Japan Phone: +81 86-426-3851 Website: Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
Its 430 meters above sea level have earned the Bitchu Matsuyama Castle the surname “Castle in the Sky”. It’s most impressive during the early morning hours of fall and winter, when fog tends to form a sea of clouds around it.
Be warned that the trip to the castle is not an easy one, and it takes some time and effort to reach the top, but the Samurai residences and the Raikyu-ji Temple offer some entertainment along the way.
Address: 1 Uchisange, Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture 716-0004, Japan Phone: +81 866-22-1487 Website: Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
Kibiji District is a perfect spot for cyclers, offering a path leading through historical sites, including Bitchu Kokubun-ji Temple, Kibitsu-jinja Shrine, Kibitsuhiko-jinja Shrine and the Tsukuriyama-kofun burial mound.
Bikes can be rented near JR Bizen Ichinomiya Station and returned to the Soja Station. The trail is well marked in both English and Japanese and takes about 2 hours to finish.
Station: Soja Station Address: 1046 Kanbayashi, Soja, Okayama Prefecture 719-1123, Japan
Daisen-Oki National Park
With its vastness spanning the prefectures of Okayama, Shimane, and Tottori, the Daisen-Oki National Park provides diverse attractions with good views of stunning mountains and the sea. The main feature of the park is Mount Daisen, a volcanic mountain towering 1729 meters high.
Learn more in our rundown of Japanese National Parks.
Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art
Okayama Kenritsu Bijutsukan (Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art) is one of the most visited attractions in Okayama. The museum mainly exhibits Japanese landscape paintings, which are designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
Station: Okayama Address: 8-48 Tenjincho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0814, Japan Phone: +81 86-225-4800 Website: Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art
Okayama Orient Museum
The museum collection here consists primarily of middle-eastern antiquities and artifacts from the ancient civilizations of the fertile crescent, although you’ll find some Greek and Roman pieces in between.
Station: Okayama Address: 9-31Tenjincho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0814, Japan Phone: +81 86-232-3636 Website: Okayama Orient Museum
Yumeji Art Museum
The museum features the works of the Okayama-born poet and artist Yumeji Takehisa who was active in the early 1900s. He is best known for producing paintings and sketches of beautiful women posing in an “S”-shape.
If your feet get sore walking around, take a break at the museum cafe and stop by the shop for beautiful Yumeji decorated fans.
Bus Stop: Hourai-Bashi・Yumeji Art Museum Mae Address: 2 Chome-2-1-32 Hama, Naka-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken 703-8256, Japan Phone: +81 86-271-1000 Website: Yumeji Art Museum
Inujima Seirensho Museum
Renovated from an early 20th-century copper refinery, the Inujima Seirensho Museum is now overflowing with innovation, using solar, geothermal and other natural energies to operate. The museum houses the artworks of Yukio Mishima, a novelist that challenged Japan’s modernization and movements.
The museum’s history can symbolically be seen as an artwork itself, as it criticizes how modernity has left society empty and without identity at the cost of heritage and culture.
Address: 327-4 Inujima, Higashi Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 704-8153 Phone: +81 86-947-1112 Website: Inujima Seirensho Museum
Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
The Osafune Sword Museum displays a collection of Japanese swords. But there’s more: craftsmen practice the traditional art of forging swords – and you can watch.
If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a special exhibition which combines animations and video games on the art of sword fighting.
Station: Kagato Address: 1005 Osafunechō Osafune, Setouchi-shi, Okayama-ken 701-4271, Japan Phone: +81 869-66-7767 Website: Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
Kojima Jeans Street
With a long history of cotton production, Okayama is also known as the birthplace of Japanese denim. Kojima Jeans Street is the best place for denim shopping with about 30 shops lined up in the area. Well-known Japanese denim brands such as Momotaro Jeans, Rampuya or Japan Blue Jeans are sold here.
However, Kojima Jeans Street is not merely a denim shopping street. From the automated ticket gates inside Kojima Station to the vending machines, everything is beautified to match the theme. They also sell denim looking ice cream – can you guess the flavor?
Station: Kojima Address: 2 Chome-2-85 Kojimaajino, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 711-0913, Japan Phone: 086-472-4450
Aeon Mall Okayama
It’s one of the largest Aeon Malls in Western Japan, and consumers will never get bored here. The complex hosts an impressive 365 stores. The upper floors house Japanese, Chinese, and European restaurants.
“Haremachi Tokku 365” is a great souvenir shop that sells local Okayaman products.
Station: Okayama Address: 1-2-1 Shimoishii, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0907, Japan Phone: +81 86-803-6700 Website: Aeon Mall Okayama
Mitsui Outlet Park
Find 120 stores offering anything from clothes and toys to cosmetics and kitchen goods. No wonder Mitsui Outlet Park is labeled the biggest outlet mall in the Chugoku Region.
Station: Kurashiki Address: 12-3 Kotobukichō, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 710-0813, Japan Phone: +81 86-423-6500 Website: Mitsui Outlet Park
Omotecho Shopping Street
Running 2 kilometers in central Okayama City, Omotecho Shopping Street has an impressive 350 shops lined up providing an assortment of goods from tea, kimonos to luxury-brand products. Every now and then, entertaining events are held here, which you can attend for free.
Station: Saidaiji Cho Address: 3 Chome-5-16 Omotecho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0822, Japan Phone: +81 86-226-2290 Website: Omotecho Shopping Street
Okayama International Circuit
Okayama International Circuit’s world class facilities hold Japan’s top auto and motorcycle racing series. Rental bikes and go-karts are a fun activity offered here besides watching the race. The track is not the easiest to reach, being located some 200 miles southwest of Tokyo between Osaka and Hiroshima. From Okayama, take the Sanyo Expressway and exit at the Wake interchange. From there follow National Highway Route 374, County Road 414 and County Road 46 until you reach the main circuit entrance.
Address: 1210, Takimiya, Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture 701-2612 Phone: +81 868-74-3311 Website: Okayama International Circuit
The Yubara Onsen (Japanese hot spring) is famous for its open-air sand bath. Once you’re in the water, you’ll notice the jaw-dropping height of the 70-meter tall Yubara Dam.
Bus Stop: Yubara Onsen Guchi Address: Yubara Onsen, Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture 717-0402, Japan Phone: +81 867-62-2526 Website: Yubara Onsen
The area offers an open-air bath that overlooks the nearby Yoshinogawa River. Its flow of crystal clear water is a nice touch to the hot spring experience. Don’t miss it!
Bus Stop: Yunogo Onsen-ka Address: Yunogo, Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture 707-0062, Japan Phone: +81 868-72-2636 Website: Yunogo Onsen
Nothing beats the experience of a hot spring in a truly secluded mountain village that’s surrounded by nature’s beauty. Relax, inhale deeply, and look forward to the smooth skin you’re going to have afterwards.
Address: 462 Okutsu, Kagamino-chō, Tomata-gun, Okayama-ken 708-0503, Japan Phone: +81 868-52-0610
Shibukawa Coast (渋川海岸)
Popular with the locals, this beach on the Shibukawa Coast is a good place to help you forget your cares during any season of the year. The picturesque sand strip stretches 400 meters, and the sea is calm and shallow for quite some distance off the shore.
Bus Stop: Shibukawa Marine Hotel Address: 2, Shibukawa, Tamano, Okayama Prefecture 706-0028, Japan Phone: +81 863-33-5005
Hoden Beach (宝伝海水浴場)
Hoden is a fishing village with a decent stretch of sand. On a hot and humid day, nothing can beat a jump into the clean water found here. You’ll see families having picnics and couples on double dates, and the atmosphere is generally very peaceful.
Address: 3904-1, Houden, Higashi Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 704-8117, Japan Phone: +81 86-944-5038 Website: Hoden Beach
For an Australian touch to your night out, visit Aussie Bar. The place is quite small but good for enjoying your cold beers or whiskeys. The Australian-themed burgers are heavenly.
Station: Okayama Address: 1-10-21, Ekimae-cho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0023, Japan Phone: +81 90-2290-8136
If you particularly enjoy drinking in a quiet surrounding, then Bar Legend is the place for you in Okayama. The interior decoration of this bar creates a wonderfully calm atmosphere but doesn’t lack any glitz or glamor.
Station: Okayama Address: 1−4, ラタンビル 2F Honmachi, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0901, Japan Phone: +81 86-232-7746 Website: Bar Legend
Okayama Food & Restaurants
Their modern interior may be intimidating, but Teppan Ku-Ya offers a casual teppanyaki concept that offers something for every taste. One of the more popular dishes is their take on the classic takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls), and the six-course meal that includes pumpkin soup, grilled prawn, Wagyu beef or Salmon Steak.
Station: Okayama Address: 1 Chome-1-17 Nodayacho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0815, Japan Phone: +81 86-224-8880 Website: Teppan Ku-Ya
Azumazushi Sun Station
Azumazushi, located just next to the train station, is popular for its local style of sushi. Simple, yet extravagant in taste, with fish and vegetables from the area. Take-out food is available as well if the restaurant is too crowded.
Station: Okayama Address: 1-1, Sun Station Terrace Okayama, Ekimoto machi, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0024, Japan Phone: +81 86-227-7337 Website: Azumazushi
Okayama’s own take on katsudon (deep-fried pork cutlet on a rice bowl) is the Demi-Katsudon, which adds a rich demi-glace sauce and peas to the pork cutlet. You can try this delicious Okayama specialty at Ajitsukasa Nomura.
They also have a set of half a bowl of demi-katsudon and half bowl of classic katsudon for a direct comparison between the two versions.
Station: Okayama Address: 1−10, Heiwacho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0827, Japan Phone: +81 86-222-2234
Parfaits (Fruit Farms)
Because of its mild climate, Okayama is blessed with various seasonal fruits. They’re best tried on top of a parfait (custard-like purée), and are found in over 30 shops around Okayama City.
Kibi Dango (Okayama Station)
Kibi Dango, a sweet dumpling snack, has become the most recognizable Okayama souvenir thanks to the tale of Momotaro, in which a similar snack appears. The story is said to have originated from the ancient Kibi province, the former name of Okayama prefecture.
The Kibi Dangos come in different flavors, such as muscat or white peach. Koeido at Okayama Station is one of the main companies to sell them, and they even offer 8 types that are Halal certified.
Shaped as Okayama’s popular fruit, the peach, Hakuto Jelly is a seasonal Japanese dessert available in Summer. It’s best served ice-cold.
Okayama Koraku Hotel
Suitably located in the center of Okayama City, Okayama Koraku Hotel offers many convenient amenities such as microwaves, coin-operated laundrette, rentable laptops, and a free bicycle rental service. Some of the nearest attractions from the hotel are the Okayama Castle, Okayama Korakuen Garden and the Oriental Museum.
A great Japanese restaurant is located on the second floor, which offers a daily buffet-style breakfast from 6:30 am to 10 am. For lunch and dinner, delicious Japanese set menus are available.
Station: Okayama Address: 5-1 Heiwacho, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0827, Japan Phone: +81 86-221-7111 Website: Okayama Koraku Hotel
Ana Crowne Plaza Okayama
The ANA Crowne Plaza Okayama has 219 guest rooms with two restaurants and the main bar. The hotel is conveniently close to Okayama Station, Aeon Mall and the Takashimaya department store. The Okayama Convention Centre is also within walking distance, making it a perfect accommodation especially for business travelers.
Station: Okayama Address: 15-1, Ekimoto Machi, Kita Ward, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture 700-0024, Japan Phone: +81 86-898-1111 Website: Ana Crowne Plaza Okayama
The beautiful Ryokan Kurashiki is located in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, bringing both nostalgia and complete relaxation. Please note that the ryokan does not accommodate children under the age of 12.
For a full guide to traditional Japanese hotels like this, read on at Compathy magazine.
Station: Kurashiki Address: 4-1 Honmachi, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 710-0054, Japan Phone: +81 86-422-0730 Website: Ryokan Kurashiki
First timers to the prefecture can use this three-day trip as a reference for future trips.
Upon arriving at Okayama Station, the Momotaro statue offers a first welcoming sight nearby. Once you are done with checking into the hotel and leaving your luggage, head back to the area around Okayama Station, which is filled with attractions. To start off, Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden are some of the nearest and most popular tourist destinations.
For lunch, treat yourself with the local Demi-Katsudon at the Ajitsukasa Nomura restaurant in the area. From there, you may leisurely tour around the museums close-by, namely the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art and the Okayama Orient Museum. After doing so, take a breather in Nishigawa Canal Park and enjoy the greenery. If dinner is already in mind, Teppan Ku-ya will give you a classy and delicious grill food opportunity. Once full, you can have the rest of the day for window shopping at Aeon Mall, or just head back to the hotel and end the day.
Head to Handayama Botanical Garden on day 2. After a walk in the garden, stop by Sun Station and go to Azumazushi to get a try their famous Bara Zushi. After that, take the JR Line to Kibitsuhiko Shrine to get some of those peach-shaped lucky charms.Then, head to Soja Station to cycle around the Kibi Plains and take in the historical scenery that’s accompanying the site. Once you are tired from all the walking and cycling, take some rest, and later head out to either Aussie Bar and Bar Legend for drinks.
Then, head to Soja Station to cycle around the Kibi plains and take in the historical scenery that’s accompanying the site. Once you are tired from all the walking and cycling, take some rest, and later head out to either Aussie Bar or Bar Legend for drinks.
Travel to Kurashiki for some back-to-the-past sightseeing in the historical quarter. At the kimono rental shop, you can dress up in style for the Meiji period and keep the outfit for the rest of the day. Visit the Ohara Museum or the Japan Toy Museum next, and take the fantastic boat tour afterward. For lunch, visit one of the many restaurants and cafes in the area. After that, return your kimonos and head to Mitsui Outlet Park for some last minute shopping. When you’re done with that, the evening leaves you with one last dinner in Okayama.
Being a major transit hub in Western Japan, Okayama Station is the major station in the prefecture. From Tokyo to Okayama, it takes about 4 hours using the Hikari or the Nozomi train.
In the city, local trams will get you to every corner (Higashiyama line and Seikibashi line).
From Haneda Airport, JAL and ANA are the main airlines that offer flights to Okayama Airport. The flight takes about 75 minutes. From the airport, there’s a limousine bus that takes you to Okayama Station.
There are various bus companies that travel from Tokyo to Okayama, such as Odakyu, Ryobi, and the JR Bus. The ride takes about 10 hours and costs around 10000 yen for a one-way trip. However, bus discount companies such as Willer Express can offer a one-way ticket for 6500 yen, so look out for those for a cheaper option.
To get around Okayama by bus, Okayama Denki Kido is the main bus company operating around Okayama city. For longer distances, Ryobi Bus is the go-to company.
The nearest larger city from Okayama is Hiroshima, an impressive place with many fascinating things to do and see. When visiting Okayama from Hiroshima, taking a shinkansen (Japanese high-speed railway) is the fastest way to do this.
If you’re in Kobe and want to visit Okayama, it will take you about an hour using the shinkansen.
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