Kurashiki, located in southern Okayama Prefecture, has ancient tradition and culture, as well as state of the art technology and sophisticated facilities, making it a city where culture and industry intersect.
Kurashiki is located west of Okayama Prefecture's southern plains. During the Edo Period some 350 years ago, the area along the Kurashiki-gawa River was under direct control of the shogunate government and trade by boat helped the town to prosper.
The beautiful streetscape of storehouses and merchant homes south of JR Kurashiki Station was selected as an Important Traditional Structures Conservation Area by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it is still protected as such today as the "Bikan Chiku" historical area. The Ohara Museum of Art is also located here and, with its world famous collections including pieces by El Greco, Gauguin and Monet, is the first museum of western art in Japan, attracting a constant stream of visitors from both home and abroad.
In the Bikan Chiku historical area, boatmen punt two small boats a long the river where, during the daytime, visitors can enjoy a view of the riverbanks while experiencing a gondola-style boat ride, called the "Kurashiki Kawabune Nagashi." When it gets dark, the streets are gently enveloped by soft illumination, making the area enjoyable at night time as well.
Honmachi and Higashi-machi stretch just a short walk from the Kurashiki-gawa River, and it is here where you can find attractive traditional buildings full of local color. These buildings have been closely tied to the livelihood of local people since long ago, and include old storehouses that have been remodeled into cafes, inns and bars. The Bikan Chiku area, which houses the Ohara Museum of Art and beautiful, historical buildings, is growing as one of the greatest tourist spots in the prefecture and, a unique cultural city in Japan.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 15 min from Haneda to Okayama Airport, and 30 min from the airport to Okayama Station by bus.
[Rail] 3h 20 min from Tokyo to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 15 min from Okayama to Kurashiki Station by JR Sanyo Line.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 50 min from Shin-Osaka to Okayama Station by Shinkansen.