Here’s the latest on Okayama sightseeing in 2022! Four historical hotspots

With an eye on Okayama’s historical townscapes, we bring you a list of four carefully chosen destinations causing a buzz in the region these days, topped by the ever-popular “Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter.” We also bring you: the Sword Village in Setouchi City’s Osafune Town, home of the revered blade “Sanchomo (Yamatorige)”; Maniwa City in Katsuyama, the first area in Okayama designated as a Historical Preservation District; and Yakage Town, selected as Asia’s first “Albergo Difusso.”

Kurashiki City Bikan Historical Quarter

Why do so many old townscapes remain in Okayama?
Okayama faces the Seto Inland Sea in the Chugoku region. With arteries connecting every city and port in West Japan, Okayama has long served as a key point for the flow of people and goods. Many towns along these roads prospered as commercial centers or stopover points and traces of this past remain here and there in the old streets.

2022 is the year for Okayama!
Okayama NEWS

Okayama Destination Campaign
Thinking about a trip to Okayama? We recommend doing it this summer!
Campaign Term: July 1-September 30, 2022
Check here for details→

Setouchi Triennale 2022
Spring: April 14-May 18
Summer: August 5-September 4
Autumn: September 29-November 6
One of the country’s preeminent festivals of contemporary art will be held on the 12 islands and two ports of Okayama and Kagawa in the Seto Inland Sea. The festival is held every third year including this year, as the Seto region comes alive with all kinds of art.

On November 3, 2022, Okayama Castle will be back better than ever!
Okayama Castle overlooks Okayama City. It has been closed since June 2021 for repair. Don’t miss this sight as it opens once more on the same day as its reopening after reconstruction in 1966.

1. 【 Kurashiki City Bikan Historical Quarter 】A town where past and present live in harmony

Everyone loves the old streets of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. The townscape blends the architecture of traditional Japan with modern Western design in a harmonious area now designated as one of Japan’s “Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings.” From stylish boutiques to cafes set in old traditional houses, there’s plenty to catch your eye here!

Kurashiki City Bikan Historical Quarter

A beautifully illuminated nightscape
Be sure to take a stroll not only in the daytime but also at night ♪ The beautiful town enveloped in a dreamlike illumination is not to be missed.

A beautifully illuminated nightscape

Address Kurashiki River area, Kurashiki Ivy Square area
Business hours April-September (sunset-22:00), October-March (sunset-21:00)

Kurashiki Kimono Komachi Bikan District Store

The Kojima district of Kurashiki City is the birthplace of Japanese domestic denim, an industry that began around the 17th century when cotton cultivation and the textile industry flourished here. Take a walk through the beautiful area wearing a unique “denim kimono” made of Okayama denim ♪

Take a stroll in a denim kimono

Address 5-10 Honmachi, Kurashiki City, Okayama
Business hours 9:30-17:00
Regular holiday No fixed holiday


Masking tape with cute, colorful designs is said to have originated in Kurashiki. The city’s industrial tape manufacturer, Kamoi Kakoshi, developed the adorable stationery, and the product name “mt” is now famous. Masking tape with unique designs like motifs of the Kurashiki cityscape make perfect souvenirs!

TANE store
Kurashiki’s original design “mt”

Address 5-12 Honmachi, Kurashiki City, Okayama
Business hours 10:00-17:00
Regular holiday Tuesday

Kurashiki SOLA

On April 28, 2022, a shopping area set in a restored old folk house opened in Kurashiki. The five stores here showcase Kurashiki’s craftsmanship through clothing, food, and living spaces, including a denim store, a Western-style restaurant, accommodation, a Japan-style shoe store, and a Japanese restaurant. The “Mingei Square” courtyard is a relaxing space to hang out with friends.

Taking a rest at Mingei Square

Address 1-4-13 Chuo, Kurashiki City, Okayama

2. 【 Setouchi City Osafune 】In this Japanese Sword Village, the soul of the swordsmith lives on

In southeastern Okayama, Setouchi City’s Osafune area is famous as “sacred ground for Japanese swords.” The region has a long history of steel-making expertise and many famous swords have been fashioned here, fed by the rich resources of the Chugoku Mountains.

Demonstration of sword forging(写真提供:備前長船刀剣博物館)

The Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum

This museum exhibits a variety of swords, mostly made in Okayama Prefecture. Here you can observe the techniques of real modern swordsmiths at work in the sword workshop on the premises. Hands-on courses (reservation required) offer the experience of making various items such as small swords and paper knives, in addition to rings made with metal engraving technology.

Sword exhibition room(写真提供:備前長船刀剣博物館)

Address 966 Osafune, Osafune-cho, Setouchi City, Okayama
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30)
Regular holiday Mondays (If Monday is a national holiday, the museum will close the following day), days following national holidays, New Year holidays (December 28-January 4), exhibition renewal period

A national treasure, “Sanchomo (Yamatorige)”

The national treasure “Sanchomo (Yamatorige)” sword, made in the Osafune region, is one of the finest, most famous blades in Japan, beloved by the feudal warlord Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578). Passed down for generations as a prized possession of the Uesugi family, it was purchased in 2020 when Setouchi City collected 500 million yen through crowdfunding. Its homecoming for the first time in about 800 years caused a sensation. Currently, it is publicly exhibited about once a year at the Bizen Osafune Sword Museum. Keep an eye out for your next chance!

A national treasure, “Sanchomo (Yamatorige)”


Bizen Fukuoka townscape

This historical cityscape is about 2.5 km from the Bizen Osafune Sword Museum. Around the 14th to 16th centuries, the city prospered as one of the largest commercial hubs in medieval Western Japan, handling various items from clothing to food and weapons. These days, a regular market is held on the 4th Sunday of every month, and efforts are now under way to revive the energy of the former business center.

Bizen Fukuoka Area

Bizen Fukuoka Ichimonji Udon

This “self-style” udon noodle restaurant uses locally grown wheat and a special manufacturing method, and was also awarded Michelin Plate’s “Green Star” in 2020. Enjoy a set that includes a hands-on class making udon noodles and grinding wheat in a stone mill (reservation required), along with information about the townscape of Bizen Fukuoka.

Bizen Fukuoka Ichimonji Udon
Self-styled store

Address 1588-1 Fukuoka, Osafune-cho, Setouchi City, Okayama
Business hours 10:00-15:00
Regular holiday Wednesdays, 1st and 3rd Tuesday

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The information herein is as of May 2022
att.JAPAN consists of members in their 20s and 30s, and we are all travel lovers. In addition to information about sightseeing and great dishes all over Japan, we offer a wide range of information about various subjects/topics, such as onsen (hot spring) and ryokan hotels. We introduce lots of information only att.JAPAN can offer, including information about famous sightseeing spots, the latest news about new facilities all over Japan and rare less-known areas in Tokyo, one-day model walking courses, and anime pilgrimages. We also offer contents to introduce Japan from the view of writers from abroad.

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