Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Takahashi City and the Amazing Sea of Clouds View

Takahashi (高梁市) City in Okayama Prefecture is a great place for anyone after some stunning sea of cloud pictures. Within the city, it has not one, but two spots where you have a high chance of capturing the stunning weather phenomenon. You might even have a sunrise over the sea of clouds on one side of the city. And on the city’s other side, prepare to see a castle floating in the sky!

So when you visit Okayama Prefecture next time, consider including some or all of the places below in your itinerary (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Bitchū Matsuyama Castle (備中松山城)

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Bitchū Matsuyama Castle is most famous for its view of it floating eerily in the sky.

When the cloud shrouds the rest of the mountain below the Castle, a fantasy painting of a castle floating in the sky is complete (=゚ω゚)ノ.

The phenomenon happens due to the significant temperature variations from the early morning to the late afternoon. From late September till early April, you will have a chance to see this breathtaking view.

For more information, please refer to our Bitchū Matsuyama Castle Article!

Konya Kawasuji (紺屋川美観地区)

The Konya River (紺屋川) used to be the outer moat of Bitchū Matsuyama Castle. During the cherry blossom season, from early to mid-April, the cherry trees on both sides of the river make this spot a must-visit after your adventure to Bitchū Matsuyama Castle (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

How to Get to Konya Kawasuji

It is a 15-minute walk from JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅).

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

Raikyū-Ji Garden (頼久寺庭園)

Raikyū-Ji Temple and its surrounding garden were completed back in 1339. The Zen Buddhism Temple’s garden is especially famous because it represents the garden style of the late Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568 – 1600) to the early Edo period (1600 – 1868).

Even if you are a complete novice without any gardening knowledge, it isn’t hard to tell how much work has been put in to maintain this National Scenic Spot. Even every little pebble on the ground is specially arranged in a nice pattern!

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Raikyū-Ji Garden’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • The temple and the garden are open from 9 am to 5 pm daily
  • The admission fee is
    • 400 yen for adult
    • 200 yen for high school students
    • Free otherwise
  • From Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅), it is a 15 to 20-minute walk

Tip: Get a combined ticket deal for 1,000 yen for access to Bitchū Matsuyama Castle, Raikyū-Ji, and Katsyuama Former Samurai Residence (勝山武家屋敷館). There is also a set ticket deal for 1,500 yen for access to all three attractions in the 1,000 yen deal plus the Takahashi City Museum of Local History (高梁市 郷土資料館) and Yamada Hōkoku Memorial Museum (山田方谷記念館).

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

Fukiya Furusato Village (吹屋ふるさと村)

From the city center of Takahashi, if you continue traveling in a northwest direction deep into the mountain up to the plateau, which is 500 meters above sea level, the Fukiya Furusato Village will suddenly appear in front of you.

The village that prospered as a Bengala dye mecca in the Edo period is a great destination for those who hold an interest in the dyeing and mining industry!

For more information, please refer to our article on Fukiya Furusato Village.

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

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

Nishie Residence (西江邸・西江家住宅)

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

The residence was built between 1704 to 1715. It is located about 4 km from the Fukiya Furusato Village. Judging by the grand scale of the house, it isn’t hard to see that copper mining was very profitable for the family.

In the Edo period, the family also played the role of the magistrate. They assisted the Tokugawa shogunate in governing the local areas. Unlike the Hirokane Residence, Nishie Residence has military-related facilities such as a training ground!

Even now, the Nishie family still lives in this residence. Therefore, when you visit the property, you will find it is in a lot better condition than the other old residences that opened up as museums.

For more information, refer to their website HERE.

Nishie Residence’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • The residence is open from 10 am to 4 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. It is closed from the end of December to the beginning of January.
  • Reservations are essential to visit the residence. To book, please fill in the web form HERE. Below is a list of programs that you can book, but please note the guided tours are in Japanese.
    • Guided tour: 1,650 yen. This includes the admission fee and comes with tea and sweets. The tour will take 90 minutes.
  • Coming from JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅), take the bus bounds for Sakamoto and get off at Sakamoto (坂本). The residence is then a 50-minute walk.

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

Mt.Yatakayama (弥高山)

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Another great place to admire the view of the sea of clouds is Mt.Yataka. Even taller than Mt. Komatsu, at 654 meters above sea level, the sea of clouds continues further across the horizon to the distant mountains of the Shikoku region.

As with Bitchū Matsuyama Castle, your best chance to see the sea of clouds is in October and November.

The summit of Mt. Yataka is actually on the grounds of Yatakayama Park (弥高山公園). Within the huge 17-hectare park grounds, there are around 10,000 azalea trees of 14 different types that usually start blooming in early April and last all the way till mid-May (*’▽’).

In June, the hydrangeas entertain the park visitors. The autumn foliage season starts in late October and peaks from early to mid-November.

Accommodation Facilities at Yatakayama Park

The sea of clouds is great to see in person. But adding the sunrise into the picture makes the view more magnificent!

That is why the park provides a range of accommodation facilities for you to choose from (^_-)-☆. Whether you prefer to camp overnight or want something more comfortable such as a villa, they can accommodate all your needs!

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Please note that payments are payable for all their accommodation facilities when you check in. Please note it is cash-only at the moment.

To book, please give them a call at +81-866-48-2830. You can also fill in their online inquiry form HERE. They should reply with their availability. However, you will still need to call to confirm your booking.

HERE is the park’s map. Whilst in Japanese, it should give you some idea of where the below facilities are located.

  • S stands for shower
  • T stands for toilet
  • W stands for water fountain
  • C stands for cooking facility

Apart from the list below, HERE is a list of items that can be rented from the park’s administration office. As the website is in Japanese, please translate it by using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar. If you still have queries about the list of items, you can contact us HERE, and we will get back to you.

Important: If you want to cook, please bring your own ingredients.

The Five Campsites in Yatakayama Park

There are a total of five different campsites for you to choose from.

  • Akamatsu Campsite (アカマツオートキャンプ場): The campsite is fully equipped with AC power with a shower facility close by. There is also space for you to park your car next to the tent.
  • Azalea Campsite (ツツジキャンプ場): There is a large lawn area in front of the site. In spring, the azalea flowers will bloom in front of you.
  • West Campsite (西オートキャンプ場): The quietest campsite in the park with AC power. It is possible to drive in a camper.
  • Sakura Campsite (サクラ上キャンプ場): The most popular campsite as it has the best view. It faces south, and the entire site is covered with a lawn. There is also a kid’s playground next to the site.
  • Satsuki Campsite (サツキキャンプ場): The biggest campsite in the park is located in the grove.

The check-in time is 12 pm, and please check out by 12 pm the following day. One cooking and one toilet facility are available at each of the campsites.

Below is a list of charges you may incur:

  • 400 yen will be charged for each person camping at the park’s campsites
  • Renting a tent: 2,500 yen
  • B.Y.O. tent: 1,000 yen
  • B.Y.O. tarp: 1,000 yen
  • Camping with a camper: 2,000
  • Electricity charges: 500 yen per equipment
  • Shower facility: 100 yen/3 mins

Other Accommodation Facilities

Check-in is at 3 pm, and please check out by 10 am the next day for the below facilities.

  • Lodge (ロッジ): It is a Japanese-style guesthouse type of facility that has a TV, air conditioner, and Japanese futon bed (note if you prefer a soft mattress, a futon may not be suitable).
    • 3,300 yen per adult and 2,500 yen for anyone from the age of 4 up to junior high school students
      • 1,100 yen extra per person will be charged in winter between November and March
    • Booking is required for a minimum of two people and 3 days in advance.
    • Cooking is to be done at the facility at the campsite.
  • Villa (別荘): it is Western-style on the ground floor, and the upstairs bedroom is Japanese-style (meaning Japanese futon bed).
    • The air conditioner is equipped in the living room only
    • Villas that accommodate up to 8 people will cost 22,200 yen from April to October for up to 6 people (22,800 yen from November to March). Additional guests are charged at 1,200 yen or 1,300 yen from November to March
    • Villas that accommodate up to 6 people will cost 14,800 yen from April to October for up to 4 people (15,200 yen from November to March). Additional guests are charged at 1,200 yen or 1,300 yen from November to March
    • 100 yen extra per person will be charged in winter between November and March
    • Facilities in the villa: kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and amenities
  • Bungalow (バンガロー): it is a Japanese-style lodge house
    • Bungalow of the size of 8 tatami mats: 5,000 yen per bungalow
    • Bungalow of the size of 6 tatami mats: 4,000 yen per bungalow
    • Bungalow of the size of 5.5 tatami mats: 3,500 yen per bungalow
    • 400 yen per person will be charged upon arrival in addition to the above bungalow rental fee
    • There are no kitchen, bathroom, or toilet facilities in the bungalow. These facilities are located outside of the bungalows and are shared between all guests who stay in the bungalows
    • Also, bedding isn’t included in the above fee, so it needs to be rented out separately
    • Wash basins are available for bungalows of the size of 8 or 6 tatami mats. But please note there won’t be much water coming out of the faucet from November to March as it freezes.
  • House (山の家): it is a big house that can accommodate 10 – 20 people that has 3 bedrooms each of different sizes (one 10 tatami mats room and two 6 tatami mats room)
    • 1,800 yen per adult and 1,600 yen per child that are between the age of 4 to middle school students
    • You have to have at least 10 people to book this facility
    • Only the 10 tatami mat-sized rooms come with an air conditioner
    • Japanese-style futons will be provided
    • You will have to share the toilet and shower facilities located outside of the house with the others.
    • There is a kitchen in the house, but there won’t be any cooking equipment.

How to Get to Yatakayama Park

From JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅), it is a 50-minute drive.

It is really inconvenient to take public transport to Yatakayama Park. You will have to take a bus from either JR Okayama Station (岡山駅) or JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅) and get off at Kawakami Bus Center (川上バスセンター). Then, change for bus services bound for Yatakayama and Takayama City (弥高山・高山市行き) and get off at Yatakayama Iriguchi (弥高山入口).

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

Explore Other Scenic Cities Close By

Find out how to get to the above scenic spot by clicking the photo!

Okayama Prefecture, also known affectionately by the Japanese people as the country of sunshine, has other stunning places close to Takahashi city that await your visit!

Find out more about where else to go with our Sōja City Article (=゚ω゚)ノ.

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