However, Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture is welcoming to foreigners, unlike some other places of Japan. This small town is full with unusual surprises and shops on every corner, and the residents are extraordinarily welcoming. When it comes to Bizen pottery, you’ll find it in plenty in the shops and on the streets. Kurashiki has erected a magnificent tourism center at the top of the entryway to Historical Quarter, which is primarily visited by Japanese couples and families wishing to relax. Tour guides are available from 1pm to 5pm and will accompany you around Kurashiki to make sure your one day there is one to remember.
In what season is Kurashiki best?
While visiting Kurashiki at any time of year is a pleasure, visitors should keep an eye out for the periodic typhoons that pass through the region between June and October. You’ll see a different aspect of town depending on the time of year. So, for example, in Spring you get flowers and in Winter you get lights! If you’re not careful, you may find yourself back here again and again!
Itinerary for a Single Day in Kurashiki
Take use of this advice even if you have a limited amount of time on your hands. If you just have one day in Kurashiki, make the most of these highlights.
Visit the Bikan Historical Quarter and get lost in history.
The historical district of Kurashiki Bikan is where you want to be if you’re visiting this charming town. Within a few steps, the road surface changes, lampposts line nearly every street corner, and you get an entirely different sense of place than you had before. Mochi, chewy rice balls, and the peculiar kibidango () are all sold by street sellers. In folklore tales, Momotaro (the Peach Boy), a character in Japanese folklore, employed this food to ward off evil spirits.
Indulge in some Japanese if you dare, and if you’re up for it, don’t be afraid to tell them where you live and what you eat. Even the eateries are unique in their own way. Many of the menus are available in English, French, Chinese, and Spanish, making it easier for non-Japanese speakers to order.
Bizen pottery is a wonderful subject to learn about.
In Kurashiki, the importance of ceramics cannot be overstated. Known as “Bizen pottery,” these ceramics are fired to a high temperature, which imparts their distinct coloration. As a result, they don’t have as many decorative ornaments as in other parts of Japan or other civilizations.
Ceramics from the city of Bizen
When purchasing a gift, be sure to let the shop know if it is for a loved one or if it needs special attention for the journey home. You must visit a pottery shop near to the town center if you want to see something truly unique. A magnificent wall outside the store is a bonus, as is the fairly priced merchandise within, depending on your budget.
The wall itself is framed by a raised, white tic-tac-toe-like structure of gray and bluish stone. If you’re looking for a unique bathroom experience, don’t miss the one across the street and down a few flights of stairs.
Try something new for lunch.
Set a timer for when lunch will be served so you can find a place to sit down. Try something new and see what happens! A clipboard with a wait list will be posted on the door of a select establishments. It’s always adequate to write down your name and the number of persons that will be there with you.
Visit the city’s wonderful museums.
Kurashiki has a plethora of museums, and the Ohara Museum is only one of them. Attractions include a huge gift shop and a collection of artwork by famous artists. There is also a Candy and Piggy Bank Museum if you’re searching for something a little off the main path. The Momotaro Museum is an excellent resource for learning about Kurashiki’s colorful past. In fact, there’s something for everyone in this town.
Take a trip down the canal in a Boat
Take a break from walking by taking a ride on a canal boat. As you travel through town, you’ll come across numerous picturesque bridges with koi fish swimming freely around you. You’ll always get a wave from vendors that line the canal banks. The rickshaw may be a better option if you don’t want to go out on the water. As you stroll over the canal bridges, you’ll be approached by people offering to take you on a tour of the city. They aren’t as aggressive as those in other cities, so don’t worry about it!
Achi Shrine is a Must-see
As the sun begins to set, it’s a good idea to check out the Achi Shrine, which offers a stunning view of the town. In addition to the stairs, there is an additional ramp that curves to the right, making the journey a little easier. Make sure you get back downstairs in time to catch the sunset hues, and the canal lined with old buildings provides a beautiful backdrop for your photo.
Appreciate this lovely evening.
During the night, Kurashiki’s streets take on a whole other vibe. The lanterns’ champagne-colored glow blankets the streets in a European-style glow. On a clear night, you might be able to view the stars in the canal’s reflection. Many photographers hide in every alleyway, so be careful not to obstruct any photographs and always offer your services because many people are afraid to ask for a photo.
A night out in Kurashiki
Salon De Rics is a great place to end your one-day stay in Kurashiki with a few cocktails. A prohibition-style mug is used to serve the Moscow Mule. Kurashiki also boasts a jazz cafe if that’s what you’re looking for! Pay a little cover charge at most restaurants, and think of it as a gratuity because you won’t have to pay any further money on top of the bill (unless you feel inspired).
Are you short on time? Visit Kurashiki at the very least for the canal boat ride and the Ohara Museum.
Accommodations in Kurashiki
While it is possible to visit Kurashiki in a single day, staying at a hotel may be more convenient. Make sure to check into your hotel before the trip begins so that you can freshen yourself and put your luggage away. For the countless photos to be taken in and around this picturesque town, you’ll need a new look.
Kurashiki’s Dingy Inn (The Dormy Inn)
However, despite being part of a hotel franchise, the Dormy Inn Kurashiki offers a stunning Japanese-style onsen/bathroom on the top level. If you visit in the winter, you can enjoy one of the baths even if it is outside. Many visitors are embarrassed to use these public restrooms, but once you get past your initial shock, you’ll find that they are very soothing.
Ryori Ryokan Tsurugat
There are a number of traditional Japanese ryokans scattered across the city if you want a more traditional lodging option. Breakfast and dinner are frequently included in the accommodation rate while staying in one of these places. Staying on a tatami mat floor with thick pillows and using a public bath gives you a true taste of Japanese culture. Yoshii Ryokan or Ryori Ryokan Tsurugat are two of the best ryokans in town.
All-Day Excursions From Kurashiki
A Japan Rail Pass gives you the freedom to travel around the country at your own pace. Even though Kyoto and Osaka are only a short distance away, Okayama has a lot to offer those who choose to stay a little more out of the tourist trail. Okayama, Japan’s most famous garden, Korakuen, is located here, and the municipality has its own electric car. There are five unique pieces of pottery to be made in the gardens belonging to the well-known castle provided you arrive early enough. Castles that are accessible by bus, local train, and taxis can be found on the outskirts of town. Bar Legend, Sky Bar at Hotel Granvia, and Aussie Bar, to mention a few, are just a handful of the many tiny bars in Okayama that stay up till 7 p.m.
Is there anything else I can do? Naoshima, the art island, is only a short distance away!
Additional Suggestions for a Kurashiki Visit
Kurashiki is also well-known for its Kojima denim. In fact, it’s where Japanese denim got its start. Look beyond the storefronts of many establishments to see what they have to offer. When looking for norens, keep an eye out for the store that employs a pair of jeans. The opening and closing times of businesses in Japan might vary greatly, so be sure to verify ahead of time. Make the most of your one-day visit to Japan’s historic capital, Kyoto!