"Just Peachy!" Top 5 Page for this destination Okayama by Rabbityama
Okayama Travel Guide: 105 reviews and 335 photos
Okayama City is most famous for being the birthplace of the legend of Momotaro, the Peach Boy. It's arguably the most famous and well-known Japanese folktale in the world. Peaches grown in Okayama are known for being the best in Japan, (as are their muscat grapes and peonies)! I can concur that Okayama peaches are definitely the best peaches I've ever had! It may be strange to miss a fruit, but I really do miss eating those peaches when I'm not there!
The most famous attractions in Okayama are Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle. Once travelers finish seeing these sights, they often seem to complain that the city has nothing else to offer, but that's just not true!
There are many museums, more gardens, temples, shrines and famous festivals in the city! The Kibiji District (Kibi Plains) is especially great! The problem is that most tours and guide books only focus on just those two attractions, so tourists simply don't know where to go! With a little more planning, you will find that Okayama is not at all boring! It's a beautiful city with many nice places to visit!
If you're planning a trip to Okayama, consider these (Locations marked with * mean that I have written a tip about it. Other people may have written about others though):
Okayama is rightfully known for Korakuen however, Okayama has many more gardens. Those who like gardens will find that Okayama has more than nearly all other cities in Japan. All of the following gardens are part of Okayama city:
* Korakuen Garden
* Tokoen Garden
* Handayama Botanical Garden
* RSK Rose Garden
- Omizuen Garden
If you are interested in gardens, using Okayama as a base, you can also make a daytrip to Takamatsu's Ritsurin Garden, one of the largest in the country and Tsuyama's Shurakuen, another beautiful landscape garden.
Okayama city is home to one castle and one famous castle ruin (there are many other ruins within the city, though):
* Okayama Castle
* Bit'chu Takamatsu Castle Ruins
If you are interested in Japanese castles, there are some excellent ones within daytrip distance: Bicchu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi is one of only 12 original castles remaining in the nation is one of my personal favorites. The Tsuyama Castle Ruins in Tsuyama are impressive and beautiful during cherry blossom season. Himeji Castle, Fukuyama Castle, Takamatsu Castle, and Marugame Castle are also all easy daytrips. Even Hiroshima Castle and Matsue Castle are doable as daytrips to the respective cities.
- Ikeda Zoo
Okayama's museums are really nice and convenient for travelers. Many are located within the "Culture Zone" around Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden. They also don't take forever to see, so you can easily visit some of the museums along with the other sites in a single day.
* Okayama Orient Museum
* Okayama Prefectural Museum
* Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art
* Hayashibara Museum of Art
* Kibiji Literary Museum
* Okayama Digital Museum
* Yumeji Art Museum
- Manekineko Museum of Art
- Mitsu Town Historical Museum
* Kibi Ancient Cultural Property Center
Okayama's temples are rarely given mention, but Saidaiji and Sogenji are especially worthwhile. There are meditation sessions held at Sogenji for those who are interested in it. Saidaiji is a great historic temple and host of the famous Naked Man Festival (Hadaka Matsuri) known as the Saidaiji Eyo held on the third Saturday in February:
* Saidaiji Temple
- Sogenji Temple
- Renjoji Temple
* Hokai-in Temple
* Busshinji Temple
- Okayama Temple
Okayama's famous shrines are mostly located within the Kibiji District (Kibi Plains). They are architecturally interesting, spiritually significant, and some have connections to the Momotaro folktale.
* Saijo Inari
* Kibitsu Shrine
* Kibitsuhiko Shrine
* Koikui Shrine
- Okayama Shrine
* Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Man Festival held every February)
- Momotaro Festival (Held at the end of summer)
- Inujima Island
* Former Ashimori Clan Samurai Residence
* Tsukuriyama Kofun (Burial Mound)
- Kubo Fruit Farm
- Kirin Beer Park
You can also check to see if there is a show at the Okayama Symphony Hall or sporting events, such as a Fagiano soccer match, if you are interested. There are also arcades/pachinko, onsen (hot springs), and a variety of shopping areas!
Hopefully, this shows that the city is much more than what the guidebooks write about. There are plenty of interesting and diverse places to go and things to do in Okayama City if you take the time to explore! It's never a dull place! I hope others will take the time to visit some of them and see the wider range of sightseeing opportunities in this great city!
- Pros:Many Gardens, Famous Shrines, Tasty Fruit, Interesting History
- In a nutshell:A Highly Underrated City!
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