Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

In a domestic survey, Kurashiki's Bikan Historical Quarter was chosen as the most picturesque merchants' quarter in Japan. When the shogunate took control of the area about 300 year ago, a magistrate's office was established and the town and its canal were developed into a trade center. This national historical preservation district, nestled along the narrow canal and against the base of the low-lying hill Tsurugata-yama, is by no means large, but its townscape preserves history stretching from the Edo Period (1603–1868) when samurai were still commonplace, to the Meiji and Taisho (1868–1926) periods when European cultural influence grew. Even tourist information centers and a bank are housed in restored historic buildings. The Bikan Historical Quarter was fortunate enough to escape natural and wartime calamities, and beloved enough by its citizens to have retained both the white walls of its Japanese townscape and venerable examples of older Western architecture in Japan.

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum

This museum of archaeology is housed in an old, whitewashed earthen storehouse. Artifacts on display were unearthed mainly in the Kibi region (southern Okayama), and range from prehistoric stone implements to ancient bronze bells.

Hours
(Mar–Nov) 9:00–17:00
(Dec–Feb) 9:00–16:30
Closed
Mon and Tue (but open all national
holidays), Dec 29–Jan 2
Admission
Adults ¥400 (reduced for children)
Ohashi House

Ohashi House

Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property

The Ohashi family, having amassed great wealth through the development of new rice fields and other ventures, erected this house in 1796. It provides an excellent example of Kurashiki merchant house and it retains its original form to this day. It has been designated as an important cultural property by the national government.

Hours
9:00–17:00
Closed
Fri (Dec–Feb *but open all national
holidays), Dec 28–Jan 3
Admission
Adults ¥500 (reduced for children)
Shinkei-en Garden

Shinkei-en Garden

A Japanese garden adjoining the Ohara Museum of Art, Shinkei-en contains a hall (Keiken-do), a tea room (Yushin-tei), and a restaurant.

Open
9:00–17:00
Closed
Dec 29–Jan 3
Admission
Free
Ohara House

Ohara House

Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property

With features such as windows and latticework in a unique Kurashiki style, and austere white walls, this is a classic example of a Kurashiki merchant house. It survives to this day in its original form.

Museum of Folkcraft

Museum of Folkcraft

The Museum of Folkcraft revolves around the folkcraft movement in Japan that sprang from the desire for beauty in everyday objects. Pottery, glass and other charming works of folkcraft are displayed in a restored rice granary. The building, dating from the late Edo (1603–1868) period, is a tourist attraction itself.

Hours
(Mar–Nov) 9:00–17:00
(reception closes at 16:45)
(Dec–Feb) 9:00–16:15
(reception closes at 16:00)
Closed
Mon (but open all national holidays),
Dec 29–Jan 1
Admission
Adults ¥700 (reduced for children)
Momotaro Karakuri Hakubutsukan Museum

Momotaro Karakuri Hakubutsukan Museum

Momotaro, the protagonist of one of Japan's best-known folk tales, is said to be based on someone actually active in the Okayama region. This museum displays woodblock prints, picture-card shows and other materials related to Momotaro, and fascinating karakuri wind-up dolls that fool the eye are on display throughout the museum.

Hours
10:00–17:00
Closed
Open daily
Admission
Adults ¥600 (reduced for children)
Traditional Boat Tour of Kurashiki Canal

Traditional Boat Tour of Kurashiki Canal

Enjoy the sights of the Kurashiki canal from an old-fashioned boat on this 20-minute cruise.

Closed
(Mar-Nov) Closed second Mon (but open all national holidays)
(Dec-Feb) Open only Sat and Sun and national holidays (but closeYear-end and New Year holidays)
Hours
9:30–17:00
(depending on weather conditions)
Fare
Adults ¥500, children ¥250
Tickets
Tickets available at Kurashikikan Tourist
Information Office
Tel. 086-422-0542 (+81-86-422-0542)
Inoue House

Inoue House

Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property

Of the many houses of traditional construction in Kurashiki, this is the oldest.Currently it is closed to the public as it undergoes preservation repairs. It is scheduled to re-open in april 2018.

Achi Shrine1

Achi Shrine2

Achi Shrine

With a history stretching back 1,700 years, this shrine is proudly perched atop the Tsurugata-yama hill. It features a stage for Noh plays and the Achi wisteria, a national treasure which is estimated to be 300–500 years old.

Kurashikikan (Tourist Information Office)

Kurashikikan (Tourist Information Office)

Nationally Registered Tangible Cultural Property

The wooden, Western-style building was originally erected as the Kurashiki town hall in 1917. Located in the center of the canal-side district, the tourist information office not only provides tourist information, but also serves as a free rest area with vending machines, coin lockers, and restrooms.

Hours
9:00–18:00
Closed
Dec 29–Dec 31
Inquiries
TEL. 086-422-0542(+81-86-422-0542)
Ohara Museum of Art

Ohara Museum of Art

The Ohara Museum of Art was the first privately operated museum of Western art in Japan. In addition to world-renowned European masterpieces such as El Greco's The Annunciation and Claude Monet's Water Lilies, the museum displays a variety of works ranging from pieces by Shiko Munakata and other Japanese artists to older works of Asian and Egyptian art.

Open
9:00–17:00 (reception closes at 16:30)
Closed
Mon (but open all national holidays and during summer vacation and Oct), The year-end
Admission
Adults ¥1,300 (Main Gallery / Annex / Craft Art and Asian Art Gallery / Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall)
For inquiries
TEL. 086-422-0005(+81-86-422-0005)
Torajiro Kojima Memorial Museum

Torajiro Kojima Memorial Museum

Nationally Registered Tangible Cultural Property

Housed in a renovated warehouse in Kurashiki Ivy Square, this memorial museum celebrates the achievements of painter Torajiro Kojima, who helped the Ohara Museum of Art acquire a large amount of art. Some of Kojima's best-known works as well as ancient Asian and Egyptian art are also on display.

Open
9:00–17:00 (reception closes at 16:30)
Closed
Mon (open on all national holidays and during summer vacation and Oct), The year-end
Yurinso Villa

Yurinso Villa

Magosaburo Ohara, who played a great role in making Kurashiki what it is today, built this detached villa for his wife. It is nicknamed “the Green Palace” for its unique roof tiles, fired with a special technique, that appear green from certain angles.

* Only the exterior can be viewed except on special public opening days.

Japan Toy Museum

Japan Toy Museum

This museum exhibits rural toys from all over Japan from the Edo, Meiji, and Showa (1603–1989) periods. Attached facilities, including galleries, shops, and cafes, are arranged around a central garden courtyard.

Hours
9:00–17:00
(times differ for attached facilities)
Closed
January 1
Admission
Adults ¥400 (reduced for children)
Kurashiki Ivy Square

Kurashiki Ivy Square

This multi-purpose public space was formerly a cotton mill. The picturesque, ivy-covered, red brick buildings house a cotton mill memorial museum, a studio offering pottery workshops, a hotel, and more.

Kurabo Memorial Museum

Kurabo Memorial Museum

Nationally Registered Tangible Cultural Property

Located in Kurashiki Ivy Square, this building housed the original factory of textile-maker Kurabo and is a cherished piece of historic architecture.

Honmachi and Higashimachi1

Honmachi and Higashimachi2

Honmachi and Higashimachi

A glimpse into Japanese daily life

This east-west street on the southern edge of Tsurugata-yama was once the main route to destinations east of Kurashiki, and thrived as a merchants' and artisans' quarter. It has an altogether different atmosphere from the Kurashiki canal district and gives visitors a sense of everyday life in Japan. Cafés, galleries, and izakaya pub restaurants in renovated storehouses and townhouses make it a charming and picturesque area.

Kusudo House

Kusudo House

This combined shop and residence is a prime example of Meiji-period (1868–1912) architecture and has unique features including “mushikomado” latticed windows. It has been designated by the city as an important cultural property and currently houses a kimono shop.

Bikan Historical Quarter1

Bikan Historical Quarter2

Bikan Historical Quarter:
Nighttime Scenic Lighting

At sundown, gentle lights appear along the Kurashiki canal and in the Ivy Square area. Developed under the direction of a lighting designer, this scenic illumination provides a fantastic glimpse into an old-time Japanese townscape. The lights stay lit until 22:00 from April to September, and until 21:00 from October to March.

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