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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter 倉敷美観地区

Relive Japan's past in this historic quarter

The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, also referred to as the Bikan area, was once the political and commercial center of Kurashiki. Now preserved as a historic district, it's no less busy, with many former storehouses converted into specialty stores, museums and cafes.

How to Get There

The historical quarter is about a 10-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station.

Local Sanyo Line trains connect the station to JR Okayama Station and Shin-Kurashiki Station. The latter is reached by bullet train from Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, or anywhere on the Sanyo and Tokaido Shinkansen Lines.

Don't Miss

  • Boat tours along the willow-lined Kurashiki River
  • The art of French Impressionists at the Ohara Museum of Art
  • Soaking up the town atmosphere while donned in a rented kimono

A juxtaposition between old and new

Canal-lined, white-washed and stone-tiled, the streets of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter are quintessentially Japanese.

This ambiance is enhanced by the area's architecture, which is a mixture of Edo period (1603-1867) Japan and Western influences. The blended styles make the environment seem somehow contemporary, despite being steeped in history.

Japan's first museum of western art

While many local shops, boutiques, and cafes are converted storehouses, stately Ohara Museum is not. Built in 1930, specifically as the first museum of Western art in Japan, this majestic building is striking both inside and out.

The museum is a fabulous repository of international fine art, particularly the work of French impressionists such as Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec among others. Japanese artists are also well represented, with works by Fujishima Takeji, Aoki Shigeru, and Munakata Shiko.

From cotton mill to contemporary restaurant complex

Make sure to visit Ivy Square, a Western-style hotel and restaurant complex. Built of bricks, but covered entirely in ivy, the site was the first cotton mill in Japan, built in 1889.

Still waters that run deep

The willow-lined Kurashiki River flows through the historical quarter and, if you like, you can even take a short guided boat ride on it. A romantic but also an informative way to gain insight into Kurashiki, purchase tickets from the tourist information center in the old city hall building.

Souvenirs and other sundries

Several shops in Kurashiki specialize in Kojima denim, as the area is a center for Japanese indigo dye production and the birthplace of Japanese denim. With everything available from jeans to jean suits to denim kimono, you can also purchase all manner of indigo textiles and handcrafted items.

Also famous is Kurashiki brand sake, available directly from breweries and retail outlets. Wine from the Funao district and locally produced delicacies such as sweet rice cakes and rice dumplings offer a few more souvenir possibilities.

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