Ocean and mountains. Okayama, the home of Japanese historical buildings and streets.
The area produces many fruits, including peaches and grapes, and there are numerous delicious seasonal fruits.
It is convenient to rent a car to efficiently travel around the famous places in a short time.
I am from Taiwan and will introduce my recommended sightseeing spots.
The information on this website is as of when it was last edited, July 2017.
There may be changes to various items including when facilities are open and fees. Check the latest information from any of various sources such as the facilities’ website before visiting the facility. All prices include tax.
The castle is located on the top of Mt. Gagyu.
The mountain towers 430 meters high. Among the various mountain castles in Japan, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle sits at the highest elevation.
The first castle was built in 1240. After that, it was expanded and then underwent various renovations and took its present form in 1683. There is also an observatory located a short distance from the castle. During the spring and fall, it is possible to see the dreamy castle floating in a sea of clouds in the early morning.
The castle is located 50 minutes by car from Okayama Airport. You should wear comfortable shoes since you will be walking on mountain paths.
I went there in February and enjoyed the mountain snow scenery. Cars can be parked in the Shiromibashi parking lot.
If you take the shuttle bus from the parking lot, the castle is about a 20-min. walk after getting out of the bus. The castle is about a 50-min. walk if you do not take the bus.
(bus: ¥300 yen for junior high school students and older)
I walked up the mountain path to the castle using a walking stick. Visitors can also see inside of the castle.
(adults: ¥300; elementary and junior high school students: ¥150)
The temple is known as a five-story pagoda.
The temple was built in 741. It was destroyed by fire in the 1300s, and the current structure was rebuilt around 1711. In spring, the grounds are colored with the light pink of pansies. In fall, the grounds are full of the color of cosmos, providing beautiful scenery.
This is the temple’s main gate. There are several structures on the temple grounds, and they can be viewed for free.
The five-story pagoda stands 34.32 m tall. When you enter the pagoda, you call see colorful pictures of trees and flowers that were painted one by one on the ceiling boards.
It looks like walking or cycling around the areas would be pleasant.
The fruit farm Nomaru Engei is a neighboring tourist farm.
You can try picking strawberries from the middle of December through the early part of June.
(adults: ¥1800; children: ¥1500)
This is also a store the sells agricultural products and fruits.
The area preserves the look of the streets as they were in latter 1600s.
The whole area has the appearance of ancient times, making it possible to feel as if one experienced a timeslip. There are numerous facilities including a museum, souvenir shops, and restaurants. If you spend a leisurely time, there is more than you can do in a day.
Ohara Museum was the first western art museum in Japan.
The museum displays various paintings, including El Greco’s the Annunciation.
Enjoying the scenery on a cruise is wonderful.
(adults: ¥500; children: ¥250)
There are numerous stores that sell various products including, dango (rice flour balls), ice cream, and souvenirs.
You can have lunch at Kura Pura, a restaurant in the Bikan quarter.
This is the popular kaeshi-zushi dish. When the box is turned over, sumptuous sushi appears.
Mt. Washu faces the Seto Inland Sea.
The mountain top, 133 meters above sea level, provides a spectacular view, a scaled-down view of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. You should be sure to see the sweeping view of the various islands and Seto Ohashi bridge.
The contrast between the tranquil ocean and islands and Seto Ohashi is truly beautiful.
The museum Mukashi Shimotsui Kaisendonya is located at the foot of the Seto Ohashi.
There is also a kiosk that sells locally produced processed seafood products and souvenirs.