Kurashiki (倉敷) is a historic town near Okayama known for its merchant past and old-fashioned canal, which dates back to the Edo period. The area has some interesting museum, cafes and restaurants to experience, most of which are housed in tastefully converted merchant buildings. A lovely place to spend a relaxing day, just strolling around and taking some photos.

Budget travel tips

  • Walk around to all the museums with the map below, or a free one from the Tourist Information center in the station.
  • If you don’t want to spend lots of money on museums, it is perfectly possible to spend a day walking around the area. Take any of the traditional streets that go off from the main canal or shopping streets and take a stroll. Having the free map from the Tourist Information Center in the station will help.
  • Walk to the canal area, which has all the below tourist spots. It is only 10 minutes or so on foot.

Things to do

Kurushiki Museum of Folkcraft
Three Edo-period rice granaries that have been converted into museums. Around 4000 folkcraft objects are on display, including ceramics, rugs, bamboo items and other textiles.
Open: 9:00-17:00 (March-Nov), 9:00-16:15 (Dec-Feb) (closed Monday and Dec 29-Jan 1)
Cost: 700 yen

Japanese Rural Toy Museum
Edo-period house now open to the public, with over 5000 old-school toys from all over the world. Very kitsch. Next to the Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft.
Open: 9:00-17:00
Cost: 400 yen

Ivy Square
Build in the center of a former weaver plant, this square is full of hip cafes and restaurants. A short walk from the Archaeology Museum.

Archaeology Museum
This former storehouse exhibits over 1400 relics unearthed in Chugoku, plus some from south America. A short walk from the Japanese Rural Toy Museum.
Open: 9:00-17:00 (March-Nov), 9:00-16:15 (Dec-Feb) (closed Monday and Tuesday apart from national holidays, and Dec 29-Jan 2)
Cost: 400 yen

Honmachi-Higashimachi Street (本町踊り、東町踊り)
A quiet, nostalgic street that is a cool way to see a traditional way of life with all the tradesmen’s homes. These were mainly constructed in the Meiji era (17th to 20th centuries) and are now shops, mini museums and inns. A 3 min walk from Ivy Square.

How to get there

From Okayama station, take a JR Sanyo line train to Kurashiki station (15 mins, 320 yen or free with a train pass).

Recommended hostels and cheap hotels

Kurashiki no Guesthouse Kakure-Yado Yuji-inn

Friendly new guesthouse with helpful staff, a large living room to meet new people and share travel ideas and traditional Japanese rooms. Free tea and coffee. Check prices at Booking.com.

Compare more at Booking.com