Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
A retro-modern streetscape where you can still feel the presence of people's lives
The town of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, facing the Seto Inland Sea, is one of the largest industrial towns in Western Japan, as well as a sightseeing city that preserves the atmosphere of olden day Japan. Building structures constructed in different eras from the 17th to 20th centuries are preserved without being washed away by the waves of time, to form a retro-modern town that attracts many tourists.
The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is a symbolic area of the town. Scenery of the old days is still mostly preserved, with white earthen-walled warehouses and villas lined up along Kurashiki River, weeping willows swinging their branches over the river, and stone bridges. Boats carrying supplies used to ply the Kurashiki River, but now sightseeing river boats operate there. You can look up at the streetscape from the river on these boats.
This area is also characteristic in that many people still actually make a living in these buildings. Walk down the alleys to find cafes, souvenir stores and galleries in refurbished warehouses, and merchant's houses-great places to drop in for a break.
Address: 1 Chuo, Kurashiki City, Okayama
Phone: 086-426-3411 (Sightseeing Department, Culture and Sightseeing Division, Cultural and Industrial Affairs Bureau, Kurashiki City Office)
Directions: Train: 15 minutes on foot from Kurashiki Station, which is on the JR Sanyo Main Line (1 hour 10 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station)
Car: 20 minutes from Kurashiki Interchange on the Sanyo Expressway