Bucket List: Top 10 Best Things to Do in Okayama, Japan

What are the top tourist spots in Okayama?

Okayama Castle photo via Pixabay

Okayama Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Okayama, Japan

Okayama Prefecture is popular with tourists for its historical feudal castles, beautiful botanical gardens, and a cherry blossom spot. The largest city of the Chugoku region is home to some of the most important cultural sites and offers the tourist a lot of the best things to do in Okayama, Japan.

To assure that you won’t miss the must-see in Okayama Prefecture, here are the 10 best things to do in Okayama, Japan.

1. Korakuen Garden

Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle by Fjkelfeimvvn via Wikipedia CC
Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle By Fjkelfeimvvn – Own work, CC BY 3.0, CC

One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, the Korakuen Garden is a major tourist attraction in Okayama. The garden is situated across the Asahi River from the Okayama castle and was constructed by Okayama’s feudal lord Ikeda Tsunamasa during the Edo period in 1700.

Korakuen Garden has a scenic view with a castle backdrop, measuring 133,000 square meters, and features a central pond, and three replica islands.

2. Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle photo via Pixabay
Okayama Castle photo via Pixabay

A great and iconic castle with lots of history, the Okayama Castle or known as the Crow Castle for its black exterior wall, is a must-see for the history enthusiast. The castle was originally built in 1346 by the Nawa clan and rebuilt in 1590 by the head of the Ukita clan.

Today, Okayama Castle exhibits the structure’s history and evolution, pottery studio, a restaurant, and lets visitors wear kimonos for free.

3. Handayama Botanical Garden

Handayama Botanical Garden by Fjkelfeimvvn via Wikipedia CC
Handayama Botanical Garden By Fjkelfeimvvn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Situated at the high land of Okayama, offering a great view of Okayama Prefecture is where the cherry blossom spot lays the Handayama Botanical Garden.

Established in 1953, the botanical garden consists of 3,000 species and over 1,000 cherry trees. If you are visiting during the sakura season, the Handayama Botanical Garden is the perfect place to go.

4. Saijo Inari

Saijo Inari by Fraser Graham via Flickr CC
Saijo Inari by Fraser Graham via Flickr CC

A historical site dating back over 1200 years ago, and the settings of “The Legend of Momotaro” famous Japanese folklore, the Saijo Inari is considered as one of three main Inari Shrines in Japan.

Although the shrine is named after the Japanese mythology God Inari, it is also a Buddhist temple with a massive O-Torii Gate, a worship hall, Niomon Gate, and a Temple Garden.

5. Momotaro Sculpture

Momotaro Sculpture by Dolf van der Haven via Flickr CC
Momotaro Sculpture by Dolf van der Haven via Flickr CC

A monument situated outside the Okayama Station, the Momotaro Sculpture or known as the Peach Boy is a must-see for Momotaro fans and tourists. Momotaro is a famous hero in Japanese folklore that was born directly from a giant peach, and when he grew up, he fought with demons at the Demon Island.

6. Kibitsujinja Shrine

Kibitsujinja Shrine by Reggaeman via Wikipedia CC
Kibitsujinja Shrine by Reggaeman via Wikipedia CC

One of the most popular tourist spots in Okayama is the Kibitsujinja Shrine. It is one of the prime Shinto shrines of the Bitchu Province where visitors can learn about Japanese religious culture. The shrine is reachable by a train ride or through bicycle on the Kibiji Cycle Trail. It consists of a series of shrines and temples with beautiful timber linking pathways.

7. Manekineko Museum of Art

The maneki-neko photo via Pixabay
The maneki-neko photo via Pixabay

If you believe in superstitions and lucky charms, then head to the Manekineko Museum of Art. The museum exhibits 700 lucky cats gathered across Japan, each with a unique look.

Visitors can also write prayers to be hanged on bamboo or the walls of the museum. Moreover, visitors can also create their Manekineko as a souvenir.

8. Inujima Seirensho Art Museum

Inujima Seirensho Art Museum photo via FB Page
Inujima Seirensho Art Museum photo via FB Page

Situated at the ruins of a former copper refinery is the contemporary art gallery of Inujima Seirensho Art Museum. The structure was constructed in 1909 as a refinery, and later on remodeled as an art museum.

Today, the facility exhibits the creation of a Yukinori Yanagi a Japanese contemporary artist, and the art space designed by Hiroshi Sambuichi.

9. Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum

If you want to know more about Japan and how Japanese swords are crafted, then the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum is worth visiting. Situated in the town of Osafune as one of the major producers of Japanese swords, the handicraft museum exhibits several Japanese swords and holds special sword exhibitions from animation to video games.

On the site, there is also a workshop where visitors can see how Japanese swords are made.

10. Miyama Park

A perfect place to relax and see cherry blossoms in spring is Miyama Park. It consists of around 7,000 cherry trees with walking trails, an English garden, duck pond, golf course, playground, farmers market, fish market, cafes, and restaurants.

If you are looking for a calm place to relax and enjoy nature, Miyama Park is the best place to visit.

References

  • Erin, (2021), 10 Wonderful Things to Do in Okayama, Japan, Never Ending Voyage
  • (2019), 10 Unique Things To Do In Okayama, Its Your Japan
  • Ihle, (2018), Top 10 Things to do in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, Things to do post

Okayama Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Okayama and nearby cities? Check out our list of affordable Okayama hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

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