AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Okayama and Kurashiki tour

Okayama and Kurashiki tour

Okayama and Kurashiki tour Overview

Okayama and Kurashiki tour Discover historic Okayama and neighbouring Kurashiki on this beguiling adventure. Explore one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens and admire Okayama’s unusual Crow Castle. Take a kawabun, traditional riverboat along Kurashiki's canals to admire the Edo-era buildings and ancient shrines.

Best time to visit Japan: Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November)

Touring Style: Travel by train independently with a private local guide during the tours.

Prices are seasonal and start from GBP 348 per person, minimum of 2 travelling and based on standard hotels. International airfares are extra. Japan experiences dramatic pricing fluctuations based on Festivals, domestic holidays and in some instances on weekends. Please ask us for an individual quote.

Admire One of Japan's Three Great Gardens: Korakuen

Stroll Kurashiki’s Canal Area and and admire the well-preserved Edo buildings that line Kurashiki’s canals.

Day 1: Arrive Okayama. Visit Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden

Head towards Okayama, the capital of Okayama Prefecture.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary: Start with two of its most picturesque and well-visited places – Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden.

Okayama Castle is also known as the “Crow Castle” for its black exterior. Go to the top floor for fabulous views of the surrounding park and city.

Next stop is Korakuen Garden, hailed as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan and a designated Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The only way to get to the garden from Okayama Castle is via Tsukimi Bashi Bridge, a steel and concrete bridge that crosses over Asahi River.

Overnight in Okayama

Day 2: Transfer to Kurashiki and enjoy a riverboat cruise on the Kurashiki River

Meet your guide at the hotel for a transfer by train to Kurashiki. During the Edo era, Kurashiki had served as the hub for storing rice and other local produce in the region. Nowadays, Kurashiki is frequented by local and foreign tourists for its well-preserved old houses, depots and canals.

Begin with a stroll through Ebisu-dori Shopping Street filled with local restaurants, cafés, specialty shops, and even ateliers. The boutiques and studios vary from traditional Japanese paper to handmade ceramics. During the walk, pass by a small statue of Ebisu, the Shinto god of fishermen and good luck. Here, you may wish to make a quick detour to Achi Shrine, a 1700-year-old Shinto shrine that sits on top of Mt. Tsurugata.

If you are visiting in spring, visit Tsurugata Yama Park to see the “Great Wisteria of Achi,” a designated national treasure which is believed to be between three to five centuries old. Descend from the shrine and continue walking towards the nostalgic Kurashiki Bikan and Canal Area, filled with traditional houses and shops. Visit the Ohara Museum of Art, the first and oldest Western art museum in Japan.

We recommend a ride on the kawabun, a traditional riverboat, for a 30-minute cruise along the Kurashiki River.

Overnight in Okayama

Okayama Station to Kurashiki Station: 20 min

Day 3: Departure from Okayama

Find out more about the Okayama and Kurashiki tour