Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Okayama Station Area Attractions and Gourmet Spots

The Okayama station area boasts a variety of attractions, offering history, nature, and art, making it ideal for shopping and strolling.

Okayama Castle 岡山城

Okayama castle

Okayama Castle, also known as “Crow Castle” due to its black walls, was built by warlord Ukita Naoie in 1573. It was later renovated by his son Ukita Hideie in 1582. During the Edo period, it served as the base for the Ikeda clan and the Okayama Domain. The castle tower offers a stunning view of Okayama City, especially enchanting with its nighttime illumination. The interior is filled with historical exhibits, providing visitors with a deep sense of Okayama’s history from the Sengoku to the Edo periods. Although partially destroyed during WWII, it was rebuilt in 1966 and continues to attract many tourists. Nearby is Korakuen, a spot where history and nature can be enjoyed simultaneously.

Korakuen 後楽園

後楽園

Korakuen, one of Japan’s three great gardens, was developed between 1687 and 1700 by Okayama feudal lord Ikeda Tsunamasa. Initially called “Gokuen” and used as the lord’s retreat, it was renamed Korakuen and opened to the public during the Meiji period. The garden features seasonal flowers, ponds, teahouses, and diverse landscapes, including artificial hills and expansive lawns, offering a picturesque experience throughout the year. Events such as tea ceremonies, cherry blossom viewings, and lantern festivals are held, providing relaxation and cultural experiences to visitors. Particularly during cherry blossom and autumn leaf seasons, it is bustling with tourists who enjoy the harmonious blend of history and nature. Korakuen’s beauty and historical significance have earned it the status of a special scenic spot in Japan.

Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art 岡山県立美術館

Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art

This museum showcases works by artists connected to Okayama Prefecture, with a rich collection of permanent and special exhibitions. It features a broad range of art, including Japanese paintings, Western paintings, and sculptures, offering deep insights into local art culture. Regular educational programs and workshops are also available.

Hayashibara Museum of Art 林原美術館

Specializing in Japanese antiquities, this museum offers a diverse collection of tea utensils, calligraphy, and crafts. The extensive display of tea utensils is particularly noteworthy, making it a must-visit for those interested in tea culture. Through historically valuable items, visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture.

Aeon Mall Okayama イオンモール岡山

Located within walking distance from Okayama Station, this large shopping mall offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. With fashion, miscellaneous goods, gourmet food, and a cinema all under one roof, it is a popular spot for families and tourists, providing a full day of enjoyment.

Okayama Orient Museum 岡山市立オリエント美術館

Okayama Orient Museum

This unique museum displays ancient Oriental artworks, including precious artifacts from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It offers valuable exhibits that allow visitors to experience the history and culture of ancient civilizations, making it a must-see for archaeology enthusiasts.

Nishigawa Canal Park 西川緑道公園

Nishigawa Canal Park

Located just a short walk from Okayama Station, this lush park is ideal for strolling and relaxation. It features seasonal flowers and a well-maintained riverside promenade, providing a peaceful environment to unwind. Regular events attract both locals and tourists, making it a beloved community space.

Famous Gourmet Spots around Okayama Station

Kikkōdō (Murasuzume Main Store) 橘香堂 本店

This long-established Japanese confectionery shop offers “Murasuzume,” a local specialty of Okayama. These delicate pastries, filled with sweet bean paste, are known for their refined sweetness. Freshly made Murasuzume can be enjoyed in the store, and they are also popular souvenirs. The traditional flavors of these sweets provide a delightful experience.

Ebimeshiya えびめしや

This restaurant specializes in “Ebimeshi,” a famous Okayama dish. It features rice fried with a special sauce and plenty of shrimp, offering a unique sweet and savory taste that is loved by locals. The casual and cozy atmosphere of the restaurant makes it a must-try spot for visitors to Okayama.

Okayama Barazushi (Sushi) 岡山ばらずし

Sushi Okayama

Okayama Bara Sushi is a vibrant sushi dish adorned with seafood from the Seto Inland Sea and seasonal vegetables. In the Edo period, Mitsumasa Ikeda, the first lord of the Bizen Okayama domain, encouraged frugality and issued an austerity order that mandated ‘one soup and one side dish’ per meal. In response, the common people rebelled, reasoning that ‘even if placed on top of rice, one side dish is still one side dish,’ and began to eat fish and vegetables placed on top of rice, creating what is now known as ‘bara sushi.’ Today, it is cherished by the prefecture’s residents as a local sushi enjoyed during festivals and celebratory occasions.

Rental Cycle in Okayama

Okayama rent a bike

Okayama offers convenient rental cycle services, perfect for sightseeing and city commuting. Near Okayama Station, the “Momochari” share cycle system provides easy access with stations located near the station and tourist spots. The service can be easily used via a smartphone app, at affordable rates. Biking is an efficient way to visit Okayama Castle, Korakuen, museums, and more.

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