Kurashiki in Okayama, Japan

Kurashiki in Okayama, Japan is an Edo-era merchant town developed around the Kurashiki River.


Brief History of Kurashiki

Kurashiki is located near Okayama city in Okayama Prefecture with a past that dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The city flourished as a merchant center with the help of the Kurashiki River and the canal system.

The Ohara family were the wealthiest, and most influential merchants at the time. They contributed to the city’s cultural significance by establishing the Ohara Museum of Art in 1930.

After World War II, the Bikan Historical Quarter was beautifully reconstructed to preserve its former Edo-era look and charm.

What to See and Do

Kurashiki is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international tourists. It’s most known for its white-walled plaster buildings, weeping willows along the canal, and cobblestone streets.

This quant little city offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions for visitors. Here are some notable things to see and do in Kurashiki.

  • Stroll along the canal and explore the preserved buildings in the Bikan Historical Quarter.
  • Visit the Ohara Museum of Art, which has an amazing collection of Western art, including works by renowned artists like El Greco, Monet, and Picasso.
  • Check out Kurashiki Ivy Square, a former cotton mill turned cultural and shopping complex. It features shops, restaurants, and museums.
  • Explore the Ohara House, a former Edo-era mansion with historical displays, an old library, and a stunning Japanese garden.
  • Shop local stores and boutiques in the Bikan Historical Quarter, offering traditional crafts, souvenirs, and other unique items.

How to Get There

Take the Sanyo Line from Okayama Station to Kurashiki Station. There is an express train once an hour that takes just 11 minutes, or you can take a local train that takes about 20 minutes.

Once at Kurashiki Station, go out the South exit and it’s a 15 minute walk to the Bikan Historical Quarter.

Want a Unique Japan Trip?

Discover Japan planning secrets with our best-selling Itinerary Planning Course. Or inquire about our exclusive Small Group Tours.