Kurashiki & Okayama City (岡山市)

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May 22nd 2013
Published: July 7th 2013
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Wednesday, 22nd May 2013

From Fukuyama, I travelled another 42km on the train to Kurashiki, a beautiful merchant town in Okayama Prefecture that evolved during the Edo Period. Since Kurashiki was spared from the WWII bombings, most parts of the old town including the Bikan Historical Area were well-preserved.

Coming out from the north exit of the train station, I was pleasantly surprised by the well-thought out "European Area" centred around a clock tower. Within the town square were two shopping malls including a branch of the Mitsui Outlet Mall which I was soon going to visit in Kobe City.

My shopping trip was cut short as I was targeting to reach the Bikan Area before sunset today. This was reachable via the south exit of the train station after about 20 minutes on foot. As touristy as it sounds, the Bikan Area was a perfect place to showcase old Japanese merchant houses along a picturesque canal. The nearby Ivy Square was a pleasant encounter given its green façade made up entirely of trees which brought a cooling respite to calm the souls from the afternoon heat.

To round up my day, I hopped on to a local train to Okayama city for a brief stop before transferring to another Shinkansen train for my last 161km journey back to Hiroshima in 40 minutes. This was a great day of travelling around the prefectures on trains made possible by my ever-dependent Japan Rail Pass.

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