For Something More Relaxing

  • There is a place which has
  • a long history of around 1,800 years,
  • a mild climate all year around,
  • and few natural disasters.
  • Let's Stroll around Okayama, Japan!
Map of Japan
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  2. Outline
  • Nov. 15 to 24; Illumination events at Okayama Castle and Okayama Korakuen Garden
  • Early Nov. to early Dec.; Best season for viewing sea of cloud around Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  • Dec. 16; Boat service connecting Uno Port and Takamatsu Port expected to be discontinued
  • Jan. 1 to 3; New Year's festival

Okayama on Map of Japan

    Getting to Okayama

  • - By Shinkansen (Superexpress Nozomi) -

    Shinkansen From Tokyo Station: approx. 3 hr. 15min.
    From Shin-Osaka Station: approx. 45 min.
    From Hiroshima Station: approx. 35 min.
    "Japan Rail Pass" available for tourists making a short stay in Japan. For more information, visit "JAPAN RAIL PASS."
    Hello Kitty Shinkansen decorated with images of Hello Kitty runs almost every day between Shin-Osaka and Hakata on the Sanyo Shinkansen line. It makes one round trip a day.
    Free Wi-Fi service available at several places in Okayama Station, such as the Shinkansen gate and waiting rooms, and the concourse for the conventional lines on the second floor. For more information, visit "West Japan Railway Company".

  • - By Expressway Bus -

    bus From Shinjuku Station in Tokyo : approx. 10 hr. 15 min.
    From Kansai International Airport in Osaka : approx. 3 hr. 35 min.
    From Hiroshima Station : approx. 2 hr. 35 min.
    Ryobi Bus operates expressway bus routes from Okayama to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and some other cities in Western Japan.
    For more information, visit "Ryobi Bus".

  • - By Air -

    airplane From Tokyo (Haneda Airport) : approx. 1 hr. 15 min.
    ( approx. 30 min. from Okayama Momotaro Airport to Okayama Sta. by shuttle bus )
    ( approx. 35 min. from Okayama Momotaro Airport to Kurashiki Sta. by shuttle bus )
    Free Wi-Fi service available at Okayama Momotaro Airport. For more information, visit "Okayama Momotaro Airport".

What's Going on This Week ( November 11 to 17, 2019 ) ?

Illumination at Okayama Castle

Special Late-Night Garden "Garden of Dreams" is a night event where visitors can enjoy Okayama Korakuen Garden lit up with lanterns and other illumination devices between November 15 and November 24. The garden has been awarded the highest rank of three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan. Visitors can admire the autumn leaves while enjoying classical music performance played on Sawa-no-ike Pond situated in the center of the garden between November 15 and November 17 twice a day.An Okayama's sake tasting is held in Kakumei-kan Guest House this week. Five different types of sake from Okayama Prefecture can be enjoyed at 1,000 yen. Free admission is offered to those in kimono, entering the garden after 5 p.m. on November 16 and 23

Okayama Castle that stands across the Asahi River from Okayama Korakuen Garden is also illuminated from November 15 to 24. LED lights to illuminate the black castle and other illumination devices creates a fantastic space.

Seasonal Words, "University festival"

Culture Festival

University festivals are a big part of Japanese university life, organised and run by executive committees of students. Universities give advice to them through the student support office and festival-related staff. Many of them are annually held in autumn while some are conducted in spring. Not only students but also local residents are looking forward to the festivals. A large variety of food booths running by students offer culturally-based foods. Basically, members of student seminars and extracurricular activity groups arrange concerts, exhibitions and other events to present their research and activities. A considerable number of universities provide walking campus tours and trial lectures for prospective students during the festivals. At some large university festivals, performances by famous singers, comedians, or other celebrities, and beauty contests spice up them, each with the total number of visitors ranging from 100,000 to 200,000.

The origin of the festivals dates back to the year 1900, when Tokyo University of Foreign Studies started to give presentation, such as readings and speeches in foreign languages, in front of over 1,000 people. The current form of the festivals was created after the establishment of the present national university system in 1949.

There are some unique university festivals, especially in Tokyo. Aoyama Gakuin University in Shibuya plans and executes an annual high quality fashion show at a chapel and its students model dresses. "Harvest Festival" held at Tokyo Agriculture University features distribution and sales of vegetables grown by students and sales of local food and international food at refreshment stalls.

College campus festivals are held on Tsushima Campus ( November 2 and 3, 2019 ) of Okayama University, one of national universities in Japan, and Shikata Campus ( November 2 to 4, 2019 ), either located ten minutes away from Okayama Station by bus. In Okayama Prefecture like other prefectures, there are many college campus festivals, such as those held at Kawasaki Medical School from October 18 to 20, Notre Dame Seisin University on November 3 and 4, and Okayama University of Science from November 22 to 24.

*Reference Sites:

Mynavi Corporation

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Aoyama Festival

Harvest festival of Tokyo Agriculture University

Okayama University

Knowledge Station

Past Seasonal Words

bench

  1. Lounge about Japanese Gardens & Paths to Celebrate Cherry Blossoms & Other Flowers in Spring!
  2. Enjoy Traditional Dancing Festivals & Beautiful Fireworks, Wearing Summer Kimono in Summer!
  3. Feel Traditional Culture through Holly Shinto Festivals with a Long History in Autumn!
  4. Enjoy Traditional New Year's Events and Fresh Sake Made from Okayama's Sake Rice, Omachi, in Winter!

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Specialties

  • Okayama Tourist Information Office

    Okayama Tourist Information Office

    2F JR Okayama Station, 1-1 Ekimotomachi, Kita-ku, Okayama City

    (by the ticket gate of the Shinkansen, or the bullet train)

    9:00-18:00 Closed from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1

    Language: English

  • Momotaro Tourist Information Center

    Momotaro Tourist Information Center

    Basement No.6, Ichibangai, Ekimotomachi, Kita-ku, Okayama City

    (in underground shopping district of Okayama Station, close to Hotel Granvia Okayama)

    9:00-20:00 Open all year round

    Languages: English, Chinese and Korean

    Tel: +81 86-222-2912

  • Kurashiki Ekimae Tourist Information Office

    Kurashiki Ekimae Tourist Information Office

    2F Kurashiki City Plaza, 1-7-2, Achi, Kurashiki City

    (just ahead on the right side when viewed from the south gate side of Kurashiki Station)

    9:00-19:00 (Apr.-Sep.) 9:00-18:00 (Oct.-Mar.) Closed from Dec. 29 to 31

    Language: English

    Tel: +81 86-424-1220

  • Kurashiki Kan Tourist Information Office

    Kurashikikan Tourist Information Office

    1-4-8, Chuo, Kurashiki City

    (in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter)

    9:00-18:00 Tentatively moved to Kurashiki Local History Museum during renovations from Jan. 15, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019

    Language: English

    Tel: +81 86-422-0542

    Under refurbishment from January 15, 2018 until mid-February, 2020. Temporarily moved to the entrance gate of Kurashiki Local History Museum.

    A 90-minute regular tour of the area with an English speaking guide is offered, departing from the entrance of Kurashiki Local History Museum at 9:30. No reservation is required. A charged tour, whose fee for a private visitor is 100 yen, is also available. A reservation is required and can be made by fax, not accepted online. A fax form is available at "Kurashiki Welcome Tour Guides". For more information, visit the site.

  • Kurashiki Kan Tourist Information Office

    TAMANO Tourist Information Center

    1-1-1, Chikko, Tamano City

    (inside Uno Station on JR Uno-port Line)

    9:00-18:00 Closed from Dec. 29 to Jan. 3

    Languages: English, German, French and Chinese

    Tel: +81 863-21-3546

    Rental e-bikes and cross bikes available.