Okayama, Japan is between Osaka and Hiroshima and a major stop on the bullet train. It’s known for being the setting of the Japanese story Momotaro, called Peach Boy in English because he was born from a giant peach.
The city started as a castle town and prospered during the Edo period (1603-1868).
7 Things to Do in Okayama, Japan
1. Okayama Castle
Okayama Castle was constructed in 1597. It was destroyed during World War II and reconstructed in 1966. However, the moon viewing tower, Tsukimi Yagura, escaped destruction and dates to 1620.
2. Korakuen Garden
Korakuen Garden is next to Okayama Castle and is said to be one of the best three landscape gardens in Japan, along with Mito’s Kairakuen Garden and Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen Garden.
The feudal lord of Okayama ordered its construction as a place to entertain and receive important guests. It was completed in 1700 and later opened as a public park in 1884.
The 33-acre garden features a large pond, small rivers, walking trails, and a hill overlooking the garden. Unlike other gardens, it has spacious lawns, plum trees, cherry trees, maple trees, tea fields, and rice paddies.
Photo by 663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0
3. Hayashibara Museum of Art
The Hayashibara Museum of Art is a small art museum located in an Edo period guesthouse of Okayama Castle. There are around 10,000 pieces, including paintings, pottery, armor, and swords.
Photo by 663highland / CC BY-SA 4.0
4. Museum of Oriental Art
The Museum of Oriental Art has around 2,000 historical and artistic artifacts that reached Japan via the Silk Road.
5. Ohara Museum of Art
The Ohara Museum of Art was built in 1930 and features an extensive private collection of western and Japanese art. There are masterpieces by Picasso, Monet, Kandinsky, and many others. There is also a Craft Art Gallery with Japanese ceramics, textiles, and woodblock prints.
6. Bizen Pottery Museum
Imbe is the hometown of Bizen pottery. The Bizen Pottery Museum features local pottery. You can see pieces that were made over a thousand years ago and also modern pieces.
Photo by SLIMHANNYA / CC BY-SA 4.0
7. Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
The town of Osafune prospered as a major producer of Japanese swords. The Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum explains the history of making swords and the steps involved. There are a variety of swords on display, workshops, and traditional sword forging demonstrations.
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Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!