Your Ultimate Okayama City Travel Guide

Many people know about Okayama because of the famous black Okayama Castle and the garden Kōrakuen that was chosen to be one of the Three Great Gardens in Japan. But the city is more than just these two top destinations. There is a shrine where you can hear a god’s answer in a boiling pot, a museum full of waving cats made of various materials, the temple where the Naked Festival takes place in February each year, and much more!

If you are unsure about where to go when you get off the train at JR Okayama Station, then read on!

Here is a list of attractions in Okayama City for you to consider (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Exploring Okayama with a Rental Bicycle

As you will find out below, Okayama City has a lot of attractions that are worthwhile to visit. But, they aren’t exactly close to each other. And some of them aren’t close to a train station or bus stop.

So, how about renting a bicycle around JR Okayama Station to save transportation costs?

In Okayama, there are many bicycle ports in the city centre where you can easily rent and return a bike whenever you want. For more details of how this works, please refer to their official website HERE!

And you can follow the CYCLING MAP to visit some of the most popular destinations in Okayama City! For biking in other parts of the Okayama Prefecture, please refer HERE (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Okayama Castle (岡山城)

Okayama Castle Okayama Japan
Click on the photo to learn more about this castle with a long history!

Okayama Castle is practically the symbol of not only Okayama City but also Okayama Prefecture.

As one of the top 100 Japanese castles, not only can you learn the history of the castle, you can also participate in some fun activities!

To find out more about what to do and how to get to the Castle, please refer to our Okayama Castle article!

Kōrakuen Garden (後楽園)

Kōrakuen is the garden of the Okayama Castle. It is also known as one of the Three Great Gardens in Japan.

To find out more about what to do and how to get to the Garden, please refer to our Kōrakuen Garden article!

The gorgeous beauty of this garden was given a Michelin 3-star rating, and the garden’s name actually reminds people of the characteristics of a great leader as the name is part of an ancient leadership philosophy known as “experience hardship earlier, and enjoy pleasure later”!

Kourakuen-Okayama-Japan
Click on the photo for more information about this beautiful garden!

Asahigawa Sakura-Michi Walk (旭川さくらみち)

Asahigawa Sakura-Michi Walk Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

In any list of cherry blossom viewing spots in Okayama, the Asahigawa Sakura-Michi Walk must be near the top.

At the east bank of Okayama Kōrakuen Garden, along the Asashigawa River, the cherry blossom trees stretch as far as 1.3 km!

Depends on when the cherry blossoms bloom, the Okayama Sakura Carnival is held each year to entertain the crowd with temporary stalls and nighttime light-up shows.

The cherry blossom usually peaks between late March to early April each year.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

RSK Rose Garden (RSK バラ園)

Just a few stations away from JR Okayama Station, the flowers in the biggest rose garden in the city – RSK Rose Garden – are blooming throughout the year!

Although it’s called “Rose Garden”, there are actually 12 different types of flowers including 450 different species of roses planted for visitors to enjoy.

To check out what flowers are blooming at which month, you can refer to their calendar HERE. It is in Japanese, but it shouldn’t be hard to read with Google Translate.

RSK Rose Garden Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

When their restaurant is re-opened, you can have some deliciously made light meals and even a cup of tea with rose honey!

RSK Rose Garden’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • The garden is opened from 9:30 am to 5 pm daily except Wednesday from Dec to Mar and Jul to Sep. The last admission is at 4:30 pm
    • If Wednesday is a public holiday, the garden will close on the next business day
  • The admission fee is 600 yen for middle school students and above and 300 yen for primary school students and below
  • From JR Niwase Station (庭瀬駅), it is a 5 mins drive
  • From JR Okayama Station (岡山駅), take the bus services operated by Ryōbi Bus (両備バス) bound for Nakashō Station (中庄駅) or Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅) or Seishin High School (清真学園) and get off at Shimonatsukawa (下撫川). The garden is just a 5 mins walk from the bus stop
    • The timetable for services departing FROM JR Okayama Station can be found HERE. Please refer to page 4 of the PDF. The left column is for weekdays and the right column is for weekends and public holiday
    • The timetable for services departing FOR JR Okayama Station can be found HERE. Please refer to page 1 of the PDF. The left column is for weekdays and the right column is for weekends and public holiday
    • As the timetables are in Japanese, please use the Chinese characters to read the timetable

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Kibitsu Shrine (吉備津神社)

For those who know a bit about Japanese folktales, you most likely have come across the story of Momotarō (桃太郎, “Peach Boy”). And if you haven’t, you will want to familiarise yourself with the story before you come to Okayama, especially if you are paying a visit to Kibitsu Shrine (Wikipedia has a nice summary of his heroic life)!

It is said that the folktale – Momotarō is modelled based on the myth of the Shrine. A lot of the rituals and some parts of the Shrine have a deep connection with the myth as well!

For the spots that we introduce below, please refer to the Shrine’s map HERE. As the map is only available in Japanese, please use the Japanese characters when you read the map. Hovering your mouse over the red dots and the name and a photo of that place will show up.

Narukama-Shinji Ritual (鳴釜神事)

This mythic Narukama-Shinji Ritual (鳴釜神事) has been conducted from ancient times to this day. From the myth, the head of the demon that was enshrined here was buried underneath the cooking stove. When a ritual is performed with the stove, the demon will answer your question by the sound coming out of the pot. If the pot produced a rich and joyful sound, it means something good should happen. On the other hand, if an awful sound is coming out of the pot, you better be careful with what you have asked the god for direction with.

Kibitsu Shrine Narukama Shinji Ritual Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

If you would like to participate in this ritual, please apply to the Shrine’s office by 2 pm.

Yadate-no-Shinji Ritual (矢立の神事)

Yadate-no-Shinji Ritual is another ritual related to the myth. Performed on the 3rd of January each year, the ritual came from the part of the myth that the now enshrined main god of Kibitsu Shrine – Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto (吉備津彦命) defeated the demon with his archery skills.

The ritual involves several priests firing arrows in different directions. It has the meaning of preventing demons.

Kibitsu-Zukuri (吉備津造り)

Kibitsu Shrine Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

The Kibitsu-Zukuri-Style Main Hall was rebuilt in 1405 and took 25 years to complete. Because of the paired roofs, it makes people associate this paired image with a great relationship. A lot of worshippers, therefore, come to the Shrine praying for a harmonious relationship.

For those who are into architecture, this Main Hall is where you will want to explore it in detail. The only building that was built with the Kibitsu-Zukuri-Style is here, which made the building a designated Japan’s National Treasures!

The 400-Meter Long Corridor

The Main Hall and the Narikama Hall (鳴釜殿), where the Narikamashinji Ritual is performed, are connected by a corridor that is almost 400 meters long. This gorgeous corridor, which was rebuilt in 1579, not only protects you from the rain but is also one of the best photo spots in the shrine!

Especially from late March to early April, the sides of the corridor will be decorated with white and pink cherry blossom (*´ω`).

Kibitsu Shrine Corridor Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Hydrangea Garden and the Great Ginkgo Tree

Kibitsu Shrine Kydrangea Garden Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Somewhere in the middle of the 400 long corridors, there is this Hydrangea Garden that has about 1,500 Hydrangea planted.

From mid-June for a month, if you drop by Kibitsu Shrine, you get to admire the hydrangea flowers of various colours!

Also, at the far end of the corridor, there is a peony garden where the flowers blossom from late April to early May (*´ω`).

Although not flowers, there is a giant ginkgo tree close to the Main Hall. Apparently, the tree is around 600 years old! From early November, the foliage of the tree will start turning yellow, which is another good time to visit the Shrine for stunning photos!

For those who worry about your shoes being stinky because of the stinky gingko nuts, this won’t be a problem at Kibitsu Shrine because the tree doesn’t produce nuts anymore (´▽`*).

Other Facilities at Kibitsu Shrine

There are coin-operated lockers at the rest area opposite the Shrine’s car park.

Opening Hours and Access Information of Kibitsu Shrine

  • The Shrine is opened from 5 am to 6 pm
  • The office of the Shrine is opened from 9 am to 3 pm
  • From JR Kibitsu Station (吉備津駅), it is around a 10 mins’ walk to the Shrine
  • From JR Okayama Station (岡山駅), it is a 20 mins’ train ride to JR Kibitsu Station
  • From JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅 ), it is a 40 mins’ train ride to JR Kibitsu Station
  • From JR Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪駅), it is around a 60′ mins train ride to JR Okayama Station
  • From JR Shin-Osaka Station (博多駅), it is around a 2 hours’ train ride to JR Okayama Station

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Kibitsuhiko Shrine (吉備津彦神社)

Kibitsuhiko Shrine Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Just a 25 minutes’ walk away from the Kibitsu Shrine, there is another shrine with a really similar name – Kibitsuhiko Shrine.

A long time ago, Okayama Prefecture was divided into three different countries. So part of the spirit of the god of Kibitsu Shrine – Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto (吉備津彦命) was separated to be enshrined into the Kibitsuhiko Shrine to look after the people in the country next door.

Kibitsuhiko Shrine is also known as the Asahi-no-Miya (朝日の宮). On the summer solstice day, the sun rises right in front of its torii gate. The sunlight directly shrines onto the mirror in the worship hall that the locals believe making the god of the Shrine extra powerful.

What is worthwhile mentioning is one of the charms and the fortune slip come in the shape of a peach!

Leaving the effectiveness and the accuracy aside, they are just too cute to not get one (≧▽≦).

Kibitsuhiko Shrine Peach Omamori Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Opening Hours and Access Information of Kibitsuhiko Shrine

  • The Shrine is opened from 6 am to 6 pm
  • The office of the Shrine is opened from 8:30 am to 5 pm
  • From JR Bizen-Ichinomiya Station (備前一宮駅), it is just a 3 mins’ walk to the Shrine

Kinojo Castle Ruins (鬼ノ城跡)

If you ever wonder where the demons in the Momotarō folktale came from, the answer is the Kinojo Castle located northwest of Kibitsu Shrine.

For more information, please refer to our Sōja City (総社市) article!

Kinojo-Castle-Ruins-Soja-Okayama-Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Saijō Inari (最上稲荷山妙教寺)

Saijo Inari Torii Gate Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Saijō Inari is a special place as it is one of the only few spots in Japan that combine Buddhism and Shintoism together. It is also one of the major Inari Shrines in the country (the other two are Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Kyoto and Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) in Aichi).

As the formal name of Saijō Inari is Saijō Inari-San Myōkyō-Ji Temple, we will refer to it as “Temple” here.

The symbol of the Temple is the gigantic Saijō Inari Torii Gate that stands out even from a distance. With a height of 27.5 meters and its two pillars with a diameter of 4.6 meters, the total weight of this gate is a whopping 2,800 tones!

It was first completed in 1972 and had undergone a major renovation in 2014. Passing through the gate though doesn’t mean the Temple is within metres. It is actually closer to the Takamatsu Jōshi Kōen Park (高松城址公園), and the reason has everything to do with Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉)’s footstep in the Temple and the Takamatsu Castle. From the Saijō Inari Torii to the Temple, it is another 40 minutes’ walk.

With a history of more than 1,200 years, there are many spots such as the Kanshō-Tei Garden (寒松庭) and the secret stone Hachijōiwa (八畳岩) that are worthwhile to explore!

For more information about the Temple and a map of the Temple’s ground, please refer to their website HERE.

Saijo Inari Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Tips: Please show the staff at the Kansho-Tei Garden THIS COUPON on your device’s screen (you can print it out as well) to get a 200 yen discount on the admission fee.

Hachijōiwa (八畳岩) and The Inner Shrine (奥の院)

The view from Hachijōiwa is magnificent. But to get there, it involves a bit of hiking. So, we highly recommend you to visit Hachijōiwa first when you get to the Temple. You want to get there while you still have enough physical stamina!

The Inner Shrine isn’t on the English map for some reason, but it is definitely there and your trip to the Saijō Inari won’t be complete without paying the beautiful fox statue a visit!

Be warned though to get to the Inner Shrine, it is a 15 minutes’ hike further up the Hachijōiwa. So head up while you still have the energy (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Shōjin Ryōri and Staying at Saijō Inari

  • You can enjoy an 11-courses (2,750 yen) or a 13 courses (3,300 yen) vegetarian set menu (Shōjin Ryōri) in one of the private rooms in Kenmyōkaku (顕妙閣) at the Temple. Please call to book at least 5 days in advance at +81-86-287-3706 from 9 am to 4:30 pm
    • Note Kenmyōkaku is closed on Wednesday
  • With 9,900 yen, you can stay in one of the rooms in Kenmyōkaku overnight. The price includes dinner and breakfast. From the balcony, you can see the great torii gate of Saijō Inari!
    • Check-in is from 4 pm and please check out by 9:30 am the next day
    • Please call to book at least 7 days in advance at +81-86-287-3706 from 9 am to 4:30 pm

Saijō Inari’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • There is staff in the office from 5:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Kanshō-Tei Garden is opened from 9:30 am to 3 pm
  • From JR Okayama Station (岡山駅)’s west exit, it is a 20 mins drive
  • From JR Bitchū-Takamatsu Station (備中高松駅), it is a 5 mins drive

Tips: Catch one of the free shuttle buses from JR Bichu-Takamatsu Station (備中高松駅) to save on transportation! Please refer HERE for the timetable.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Ryūsenji Temple (龍泉寺)

Another spot in Okayama that relates to Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto (吉備津彦命) is the Ryūsenji Temple. But instead of the Momotarō folktale, the legend of the Temple is related to a dragon god.

For the full story, please refer to the Temple’s website HERE.

The special thing about Ryūsenji Temple is that it is the perfect place to admire the autumn foliage from mid to late November!

There are thousands of stunning red maple trees on the ground of the Temple. And the best thing is, it is still a less known spot for autumn foliage even amongst the locals.

So although it will take a bit of effort to get to Ryūsenji Temple, it will totally worth every bit of effort if you are trying to avoid the massive crowd!

In spring, the plum blossoms bloom in early to mid-March and are followed by the cherry blossom from late March to early April (^_-)-☆.

Spiritual Training

From Japanese anime or drama, you might have seen warriors or monks undergoing spiritual training under a waterfall. If you ever wanted to experience this, Ryūsenji Temple is a must-visit for you!

You can borrow the traditional kimono for spiritual training from the Temple (please let them know in advance by calling +81-86-295-0130).

Important: Consider your physical stamina before you decide to participate in this activity. The Temple won’t take responsibility in case of any accidents.

How to Get to Ryūsenji Temple

From Bitchu-Takamatsu (備中高松駅), it is a 10 mins drive.

If you enjoy hiking, you can actually hike from the Hachijōiwa (八畳岩) which takes around an hour to get to Ryūsenji Temple.

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Omizuen Garden (近水園)

Apart from the Kōrakuen Garden, the Omizuen Garden is another scenic garden that you can visit when you come to Okayama.

Designated as a prefectural scenic spot in 1959, the garden has a ground of 5,500 square metres. If you are seeking a spot with the best view, then make sure you stand in front of the Ginpukaku which is the two stories house in the garden (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Omizuen Garden is also a great place to be for autumn foliage admiration!

Opening Hours and Access Information of Omizuen Garden

  • The garden is free to enter
  • Ginpukaku (吟風閣) is opened from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily except Monday, the next business day of any public holidays as well as the 29th of Dec to the 3rd of Jan
  • If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on Tuesday instead
  • From JR Ashimori Station (足守駅), it is a 5 mins’ drive

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Manekineko Museum (招き猫美術館)

Especially if you are a business owner, when you come to Japan, remember to bring back a beckoning cat – a Manekineko – to help you attract more good customers!

Apart from the standard Manekineko that is white in colour, there are also other variations. From the one that weighs 100 kg made from a camphor tree to the small one made of Japanese paper – washi, the Manekineko Museum is definitely the best spot to get a beckoning cat or lucky cat for a boost of good fortune (≧▽≦).

Manekineko Museum Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Important: Just to be clear, the ones on display are not for sale. The trading activities only take place in the museum’s shop!

Manekineko Painting Workshop

Instead of bringing one of the cats from the museum’s shop, you should be able to build a better connection with the lucky cat if you paint it yourself (and therefore get even more benefits from it)!

The workshop is taking place every day when the museum is opened from 10 am to 5 pm (the last admission at 4 pm). As the number of people that can participate is limited, you can reserve your spot by emailing them at [email protected]. It will cost you 1,700 yen to join this activity.

For more information, please refer to the museum’s website HERE.

Manekineko Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • The museum is opened from 10 am to 5 pm (the last admission at 4:30 pm) daily except Wednesday and the end of Dec to the beginning of Jan
  • You can also refer to their calendar to see when the museum will close HERE
  • The admission fee is
    • 600 yen for adults
    • 300 yen for primary and middle school students
  • From JR Okayama Station (岡山駅), it will take 8 mins by train to JR Bizen-Hara Station (備前原駅). From there, change for a taxi that will take around 10 minutes
  • You can also take a taxi straight from JR Okayama Station which will take around 20 minutes and cost you around 3,000 yen

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Ukankei Nature Park (宇甘渓自然公園)

Travelling further north of the Manekineko Museum, this park is particularly stunning in spring and autumn! The cherry trees usually blossom in early April and if you want to catch some vibrant colour in autumn, come in November (=゚ω゚)ノ.

The Ukankei Nature Park is formed by a valley that stretches for about 4km in the middle of the Ukai River. In summer, chilling in the Ukai River is a great idea before or after some trekking on the park’s well-maintained promenade. In winter, when the red Akahashi Bridge and the surrounding landscape are covered by white snow, it is another incredible painting drawn by the nature!

What is worthwhile to mention is the public toilet in the park. Located at the back of a waterfall. Because of its location, this toilet, named as Iwaya-no-Kawaya (岩屋のかわや) is at a spot where you can hardly realised its exitance if you were not told in advance, as it just blends in with the surrounding nature (≧▽≦).

To have a peek at what it looks like, check out the 3rd photo in the Instagram post below in the access information section.

How to Get to Ukankei Nature Park

To get to Ukankei Nature Park, it is more advisable that you drive there yourself or catch a taxi, which takes around 45 mins to get there.

Although bus services stopping at the Ukankei bus stop twice a day, it is the return trip at night will the bus pick you up from a JR station and drop you off at Ukankei Nature Park.

The bus timetable can be found HERE though for anyone who is still interested.

Stopping at Yanagibashi Observation Square (柳橋展望広場)

If you are driving and visiting Ukankei in autumn foliage season, definitely stop by the Yanagibashi Observation Square that is just 500 meters away from the entrance of Ukankei Nature Park.

A lot of people will drive straight through without knowing they are missing out on a great hidden gem for autumn foliage!

Forest Park Takebe (たけべの森公園)

Another great place that you can enjoy nature throughout the year is the Forest Park Takebe. Especially from late March to early May, around 15,000 cherry blossom trees of around 100 different species will bloom one after another!

The best thing about this park is you can camp or stay in one of their bungalows around the cherry blossom trees (note not all camping sites are next to the cherry blossoms)! To adorn the gorgeous pink and white flowers, all you need to do is stick your head out of the tent (≧▽≦).

From mid-July to the end of August from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, chill at one of their four pools! One of the pools comes with a slider and there is also a wave-making pool for anyone who is looking for some thrill! If you have small kids, the smallest pool only has a depth of 30 cm making it perfect for them to have some fun as well.

Staying Overnight at Forest Park Takebe

  • The campsite usage charges are 2,856 yen and if you need to rent a tent as well, it is 2,040 per tent
  • Check-in is from 1 to 4 pm and check-out time is by 11 am the next day
  • You can rent out everything you need for a comfortable camping trip from the Park. For the whole list of items that you can rent out and the rental charges for each of them, refer to the Park’s westie HERE. The website is in Japanese, but it shouldn’t be too hard to read with Google Translate. However, if you need assistance with reading it, please contact us HERE and we will get back to you
  • If you would like to stay at one of the bungalows instead, the cost is 5,814 yen per night
  • Reservation is essential which can be booked through HERE. You will either need to create an account or use your Facebook account to log in. Again, the website is in Japanese so let us know if you need assistance

Important: Please bring your own ingredients if you want to cook.

Sunrise at Forest Park Takebe

Another benefit of staying overnight at the Park is the beautiful sunrise. If you are lucky, you even get to see the sunrise and the sea of cloud at the same time (*´ω`).

Important: The Park is located 250 meters above the ground. During the day, the temperature will be around 2 degrees lower compared to the city centre. In the early morning and at night, it will be a lot colder. So remember to bring enough clothes with you!

Entry Fee, Opening Hours, and Access Information of Forest Park Takebe

  • Entry fee for high school students and above is 300 yen, primary school and middle school students is 200 yen
  • The Park is opened from 9 am to 5 pm daily except Monday from Sep to the 14th of Jul
    • If Monday is a public holiday, the Park will close on Tuesday instead
    • From Dec to Feb, the Park will also close on Tuesday as well
  • Between the 15th of Jul to the end of Aug, the Park will close later at 6 pm and will open every day
  • It is best to drive to the Park, but if that isn’t possible, catch a taxi from either JR Takebe Station (建部駅) or JR Fukuwatari Station (福渡駅). It will be a 15 mins’ drive

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Okayama City South Village (岡山市サウスヴィレッジ)

Okayama City South Village Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Okayama City South Village is a vast agricultural facility where you can enjoy fruit picking (especially strawberries) and source fresh local produces.

On the first, third, and fifth Sundays of each month from 9 am to 12 pm, there is also a market that has a large range of goods. From craftworks to daily necessities, you can easily spend the whole morning strolling around the stalls in the Village’s third car park!

Strawberries Picking at Okayama City South Village

  • The strawberries picking 2020/2021 season starts from the 2nd of Dec to early Jun from 9 am to 4:20 pm
    • The strawberries picking session may end earlier if all ripe strawberries are gone
  • There are two courses that you can choose from
    • 1st option: Fee is charged based on the weight of the strawberries you picked
      • From the start of the season to the 5th of May, the strawberries will cost you 260 yen/100 g
      • From the 7th of May to the end of the season, the strawberries will cost you 130 yen/ 100 g
      • You cannot eat while you pick if you choose this option
    • 2nd option: All you can eat 40 minutes course
      • From the start of the season to the 5th of May, the fees are
        • 2,000 for primary school students and above
        • 1,500 yen for kids from 3 to 6 years old
        • For kids that are aged 2 years and below, the first kid will be free with additional kids be charged at 1,000 per kid
      • From the 7th of May to the end of the season, the fees are
        • 1,000 for primary school students and above
        • 750 yen for kids from 3 to 6 years old
        • For kids that are aged 2 years and below, the first kid will be free with additional kids be charged at 500 per kid
      • Reservation is required for this option. You can book by calling them from 9 am to 5 pm when the Village is opened at +81-86-362-5500, or by filling in their web form HERE. Note if you want to reserve online, you will need to register your account. All web pages are currently in Japanese
  • Please note currently the payment method is limited to cash only

Grape Picking at Okayama City South Village

  • The grape picking 2021 season’s started from the 31st of July and ended early on the 26th of August due to COVID-19. The sessions was from 9 am to 4 pm (the last admission at 3:30 pm
  • There are two courses that you can choose from
    • 1st option: Fee is charged based on the number of clusters you picked
      • The grape is charged 1,800 yen for every 2 clusters
      • You cannot eat while you pick if you choose this option
      • Depends on the type of grapes you pick, some types of grapes will incur an extra 500 yen per cluster. Please confirm with staff on your arrival
    • 2nd option: All you can eat 30 minutes course
      • The costs are
        • 2,000 yen for primary school students and above
        • 1,200 yen for kids from 3 to 6 years old
        • For kids that are aged 2 years and below, the first kid will be free with additional kids be charged at 1,200 per kid
      • Depends on the type of grapes you pick, some types of grapes will incur an extra 1,000 yen per 30 minutes. Please confirm with staff on your arrival
  • Reservation is not required for grape picking

Other Fruit/Vegetable Picking at Okayama City South Village

From late September to early December, there may be other fruit/vegetable picking (such as sweet potato and olive) that you can participate in. Reservations aren’t required and are usually on a first come first serve basis. If you read Japanese, you can check out their website HERE. Or you can contact us HERE if you want to know more about what activities are on during this time of the year and we will get back to you.

The Opening Hours of Okayama City South Village and Its Access Information

  • From JR Bizen-Kataoka Station (備前片岡駅), it is a 7 mins’ walk.Please use the white tower as a landmark
  • JR Bizen-Kataoka Station is around 30 mins by train from JR Okayama Station (岡山駅)

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Kinryozan Saidaiji Kannonin/Saidaiji Temple (西大寺 観音院)

Saidaiji Temple Okayama Japan
Photo from Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Saijaiji is a temple that worships Kannon Bodhisattva. It is also the first temple of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Route.

With a long history dating back to 751, the statues in the temple, as well as the worship halls, are all of great historical and cultural value.

Across the Yoshii River, there are cherry trees that beautifully blossom in spring and ginkgo tree that adds colour to the temple’s ground in autumn.

Naked Festival – Saidaiji Eyō (西大寺会陽)

Saidaiji Temple is, however, best known for its Naked Festival – Saidaiji Eyō.

On the 3rd Saturday in February, hundreds of thousands of naked men gather at Saidaiji Temple hoping to receive blessings and good fortunes from the 14 days ritual. It really is fascinating to see how the guys don’t show any sign of feeling of coldness on a freezing cold winter night only wearing the traditional underwear!

Although it is extremely hard to be a participant in this event, the festival is filmed by the temple each year for us to watch later on YouTube (=゚ω゚)ノ.

You can also check out photos of the entire ritual on their website HERE.

Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information of Saidaiji Temple

  • The temple is opened 24 hours a day, but if you want to explore the interior of the worship halls, please do so from 9 am to 4 pm
  • It will cost you 500 yen (200 yen for kids)
  • It is a 10 mins’ walk from JR Saidaiji Station (西大寺駅)

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

Inujima Island (犬島)

Inujima is an artistic island in Okayama City. The fine quality of copper and granite used to be produced from the island’s copper smelter and granite quarry. The foundation stones of the various famous castles (such as Osaka Castle) across Japan might be coming out from Inujima!

Nowadays, the islanders don’t earn their living from the heavy industry anymore. Instead, they work with artists and through this, they have transformed their hometown into an art paradise!

The old houses and even the remains of the copper refinery are all now artworks themselves. As photography isn’t allowed inside any of these art museums small or big, you really need to be there personally to experience the impact that these artworks will bring to you (=゚ω゚)ノ.

For more information, please refer to our Inujima Article!

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Okayama City.

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