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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  • Oct. 23, 2020 to Mar. 31, 2021; Main Gallery of Bizen Osafune Sword Museum Closed for renovation
  • Dec. 23, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021; Illuminated five-storey pagoda of Bitsu Kokubunji Temple
  • Dec. 28, 2020 to March 31, 2023; Denchu Art Museum temporarily closed for renovation works
  • Feb. 20, 2021; Saidaiji Eyo Festival to be held only by authorized people without spectators
  • Feb. 20, to Mar. 7; Kurashiki Hina-Meguri
  • Mar. 1, to 4; Bizen Katakura Hina-Meguri
  • May. 31, 2021 to autumn 2022; Okayama Castle temporarily closed for renovations
  • Late March to Early April; Okayama Sakura Carnival canceled due to coronavirus

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 ( March 1 to 7, 2021 ) ?

Plum Blossoms in Okayama Korakuen Garden

March 2 falls on Garden Opening Commemoration Day of Okayama Korakuen Garden located in downtown Okayama. It is the day when a commemorative ceremony was held to mark its handover from the Ikeda family of the former feudal lord to Okayama Prefecture in 1884. It was designated to mark the 300th anniversary of the garden in 2000. Plum trees in the garden are in full blossom. Plum blossoms mark the start of the spring season in Japan. Admission is free on that day.

In Japan, people traditionally celebrate girls' growth on March 3, with a set of traditional dolls, "Hina dolls," and miniature furniture displayed on a tiered stand. The festival is called Hina-Matsuri. The doll stands are to be set up and decorated around February 3, the first day of spring. Hina doll stands are showcased at Okayama Castle on March 2 and 3 and at Tsuyama Castle, , other tourist facilities and some shops for one month between March 3 and April 3.

Coronavirus-related Information in Okayama Prefecture

Okayama Prefecture has 2,484 confirmed cases for the coronavirus in total, consisting of 1,263 cases in Okayama City, 663 cases in Kurashiki City, the rest in the others, and 32 death toll as of February 28. Nearly 20 new cases were confirmed during the last week ranging from February 22 to 28. The number of confirmed new cases for the virus is on a downward trend. There have been 2,389 confirmed recoveries.

Okayama Prefecture released on Wednesday the number of tourists visiting 30 main tourist facilities in the prefecture during last January. It decreased sharply by 52.3 percent to 199,316 from a year earlier, whereas it dropped below 40 percent in November or December. It can be assumed that the drastic decline was caused by political measures that Tokyo and other major 8 prefectures were excluded from "the Go to Travel campaign," which the Japanese government has set up, to contain the third wave of the coronavirus.

Inside Japan

Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Mori's derogatory comments about women, "board of directors meetings with many women takes a lot of time," caused chaos both at home and abroad. Media in Japan covered the issue extensively every day. But it seems their concern is whether other countries, expecially advanced western countries, regard Japan as a democratic nation, rather than sex discrimination itself. There was a clash of opinions on who would be his successor: choosing by abilities, regardless of the gender, or replacing him for a woman. In conclusion, Seiko Hashimoto, a former female Olympian at seven Olympic Games and Japan's Olympic minister, has been chosen as the new president of the Olympic Organizing Committee effectively with closed doors, not in the selection panel.

In Japan, it is not common to discuss gender discrimination in our daily lives. It comes up when someone famous makes sexist remarks in public such as this case or Japan has been ranked much lower by a global gender equality ranking, like Global Gender Gap Report. Japan has placed 121st out of the 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020 rankings.

Some men say Japanese women are passive in improving their career. But Japanese girls have not received necessary and proper education on building their career and the leadership of women at school. Researchers revealed that males were main characters in 122 out of 170 stories included in Japanese language textbooks used in the elementary schools in 2008. It accounted for 71.8% out of all the stories. In the rest of the stories, a female main character or a leading character whose gender was unknown was featured. Stories on only three women's lives appeared in the textbooks while those on seven men's lives were included. As for social studies, 45 people were in the textbooks, but only three females, such as Murasaki Shikibu, were included. There were no females in modern times and later.

In Japan the despotic leadership style is still the most common among public and private organizations. Despotic leaders are forceful, direct, and tough, based on personal dominance and authoritarian behavior. In contrast, many in advanced western countries have adopted the democratic leadership style. The shared leadership allows equal participation of team members in the decision-making and the problem-solving processes. Women have a tendency to place more importance on relationships with other people. Which comes first, spreading the democratic leadership style in Japan or drastically increasing the ratio of female leaders? Or neither of them?

*Reference Sites:

World Economic Forum

Hiroshima University Institutional Repository

STU Online

February 21, 2021

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  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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