Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Till now I still can't believe that I've stepped into the land of Japan and my very first prefecture unlocked is Okayama. Who would've thought so? For most people, their first visited prefecture is either Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka or Hokkaido and I'm glad I manage to stand out a bit from the rest lololol.

Although I've heard about Okayama (just roughly) but I still don't know what they had to offer, so this trip to Okayama and Tottori really made me learn more about Japan's Chugōku region and how fun it was. I'm gonna breakdown my trip this round and blog it area by area, I hope you can find the beauty of Okayama and Tottori prefectures through my blog (and maybe plan an itinerary based on these blog entries?).

Our first destination of the trip was Kurashiki City's famous white walled kominka 古民家 (traditional houses) district called Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Prospered since Edo period 江戸時代 (1600s), this historical quarter preserved the beauty of old times and transported me back to the era where the Tokugawa shogunate roam the land of Japan.

willow trees lining up at the bank of Kurashiki River

Traditional boat tour available to admire Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter from another perspective

Green willow trees and red autumn leaves formed such a contrast view and the photo doesn't do the pretty scene justice

Awed by the cleanliness of the river, even swan swims happily on it and it such a pretty sight to see!

And just when we were happily strolling around, enjoying the good weather which shows Okayama welcoming us, we saw this scene in front of a local temple. I was confused as I never saw something like this in my own country, hence we were curious what it's about:

Seasonal fruits giveaway for free

Only to find out that the temple offers fruits that were overproduced that season to visitors for free. You can take as many fruits as you want - free of charge. I'm not sure if the fruit was yuzu but I'm very sure I was shocked by this warm gesture offered by the locals. Seriously, I wouldn't mind living in a country where people giving away free fruits and ask for nothing as repay. 

Besides that, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is a town which you can find almost everything with a strong hint of local specialties in it:
  • Okayama is Japan's denim capital

And with this statement, you are sure to find a lot of denim/jeans shop around this quarter where you can buy high quality Japan jeans or jeans/denim souvenirs for friends and family. 

You can find denim kimono/yukata here (Kurashiki Kimono Komachi's shop owner - Mr. Kazuhiro Terao's creation), and even rent it for the day and stroll around town in this beautiful piece.

Everything denim, including traditional Japanese accessories to go along with your kimono/yukata look

Denim Kimono are limited only to 3 people per day so be sure to make your reservations as early as possible. Aside Kurashiki specialty denim kimono, casual kimono are available for renting as well. 

Rental Price Chart (Sales Tax not included in prices listed below)

Kimono: Day Rental 3,500 Yen
Kimono: Night Rental 4,500 Yen

Yukata: Day 3,500 Yen
Yukata: Night 4,500 Yen

Denim:Day 5,500 Yen
Denim:Night 6,500 Yen

Simple Hair Styling 1,200 Yen

Kimono:Day Rental 4,500 Yen
Kimono:Night Rental 5,500 Yen

Yukata: Day 4,500 Yen
Yukata: Night 5,500 Yen

Denim:Day 5,500 Yen
Denim:Night 6,500 Yen

Kimono: Day 6,900 Yen
Kimono: Night 8,900 Yen

Yukata: Day 6,900 Yen
Yukata: Night 8,900 Yen

* Kimono available from mid-September through mid-June.

** Yukata available from mid-June through mid-September.

1. Day: 9:00~18:00

2. Night: 15:00~12:00 noon of the following day

--- All rental prices include undergarments, sashes, sandals, and a bag. ---

An English speaking staff member is available to assist you. Please make all rental reservations in advance.

To reserve your rental kimono, call 086-427-0132, or send an e-mail to: kura.kimono@gmail.com

For more information, do check out Kurashiki Kimono Komachi Website here!

Cute findings and good luck on managing your budget lol 

  • Museum Shop - Hayashi Genjyuro Shoten

Based on the theme: "Richness of Life", I find Hayashi Genjyuro Shoten very attractive as it's a combination of museum, cafe, restaurant, shops for living goods and clothes etc all in one. If you like zakka stuff like I do, you definitely have to visit this shop!

Japanese doll shop 

  • Okayama: Home of Japanese Folk Hero - Momotaro

Momotaro Karakuri Museum

With Momotaro being the most popular folktale of Japan, I grew up reading this story from story books in my school library how Momotaro fought off evil which roam his village with the help of his friends along the journey. It is a wonderful story of courage and kindness and now I'm standing at the land of Momotaro hometown. Can you imagine how bizarre I felt? 

Do spend some time to know more about Momotaro's story and its origin by visiting this Momotaro Karakuri museum that was located inside the historical quarter too. And don't forget to eat peach (momo) or kibi dango right after as treat because Okayama is also known for best tasting peaches and kibi dango!

■Operating Hours: 10:00-17:00
■Admission fee]:
Adults 600 yen
Elementary, Junior, High School Students 400 yen
Child (5 yrs and over) 100 yen

Tel: 0864232008 
Add: Okayama Pref. Kurashikishi Honmachi 5-11

  • Kurashiki - Hometown of MT Washi Tape


I lost myself when I learn that Kurashiki is the hometown of MT washi tape where Kamoi's Company is located right in this prefecture itself. Feeling overwhelmed when we visited Tanex612Factory because there are more than a thousand types of washi tapes available for washi tape and journal lovers to add into their collection.

Being the clueless, clumsy person I usually am, I hate myself for not knowing this fact earlier and did not do my research and I missed out my chance of buying the limited edition Kurashiki Machiya 町家 (townhouses)  washi tape here. (T______T) I bet it's more meaningful to buy this particular washi tape right here. So do remember to add this into your collection if you're visiting Kurashiki, don't be like me!

Aside from buying washi tapes, you can have fun decorating your own washi tape storage box by joining a decorating workshop provided by the shop:

create your own personalised washi tape storage box to keep your washi tape collections. Here are the workshop details:

Per Person 500円+tax
※inclusive of 2 MT washi tape and a storage box

■Duration:About 20 minutes
■Operating Hours:10:00~18:00(Last appointment 17:00)

※Based on first come first serve appointment basis (please make appointment through website or check with shop's staff)
※not suitable for kids below primary school age (safety concern due to usage of scissors during the workshop)
※Box are available for purchase. Please contact for more details.

★for more information
Tel : 086-486-3618
Mail : tane@kurashiki.shop
Website: http://kurashiki.shop

  • Traditional Boat Tour

One of the fun thing to do at Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is to take the traditional boat ride and see the historical township from another perspective. 

You can see we are super excited for the boat ride, and the boat rower is giving us straw hats as photo props!

From a lower, further angle and away from the crowds, I can see the white walled townhouses in a much clearer sight. With the blue sky, willow trees and koi fishes swimming around our boat, the whole boat tour around Kurashiki river took about 20minutes and local boat rowers will tell you some histories about the townships and stone bridges being built. (translator not included tho lololol)

The weather was super good and I love this photo so much!
Kinda sums up the beauty of Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter.

Boat ride fee:
Adults: 500yen
Kids: 250yen (5-12years old)
One boat can fit 6 pax

Operating Hours: 09:30-17:00

  • Local Confectionary Shops

A visit to historical township ain't complete without some local confectionaries. There are plenty of confectionary shops around Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter and this particular one has the famous Kurashiki confectionary called "Murasuzume" むらすゞめ.

Kikkodo 橘香堂- The origin of Murasuzume

Murasuzume is a red bean paste wrapped with thin crepe confectionary that's been around for over 140+ years (since beginning of Meiji period). It uses daily fresh eggs, special dough and red bean from Hokkaido to create this famous confectionary. I've seen many visitors come into the shop and bought a lot of Murasuzume as souvenirs. 

You can try making Murasuzume by yourself too as Kikkodo offers murasuzume making experience for a small fee of 600yen.

it may looked easy but in fact we are awed by how smoothly the lady staff can flip and twist the murasuzume without yelling "atsui!"  (means hot)

I made my own Kurashiki famous confectionary! Achievement unlocked!

Normal size 3 pieces making experience 600 yen
Jumbo size 1 piece 1200 yen 

■Operating Hours: 10: 00-16: 00 

Aside from what I've listed above, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter has more to offer as there's Ohara Museum, Ohashi House, Ivy Square and so much more. I guess it'll be best to spend a 2 days 1 night around Kurashiki city to experience the fullest of this Historical Quarter both day and night scenery. 

How to get there:

If you plan to visit Japan but got bored of the usual destinations, do give Okayama a try as it is super easy to reach. It only takes about 44 minutes from Shin-Ōsaka to Okayama by Sanyō Shinkansen "Nozomi" and Kansai WIDE Area Pass (for 2 person or more this option will be cheaper) does cover this area too! (click here for more information).

Shinkansen is the transportation that can reach Okayama fastest departing from Shin-Ōsaka station.
Fare:3,600 yen ~ 8,460 yen
Necessary time:About 50 min ~ 70 min
First Train/Service:6:00(Departure)→6:50(Arrival)
Last Train/Service:23:06(Departure)→23:57(Arrival)

For conventional JR lines which departure station is from “JR Osaka Station”:
Fare:2,370 yen ~ 3,020 yen
Necessary time:About 3 hours
First Train/Service:5:52(Departure)→9:08(Arrival)
Last Train/Service:20:24(Departure)→23:03(Arrival)

For more information of available travel routes and method, please click here.

Kurashiki Bikan Historical District basically located at just about 10minutes wallk from JR Kurashiki Station south exit. 

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