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During the Edo Period (1603-1867), Kurashiki was an important point along the distribution route of Japan's most important commodity, rice. Large quantities of rice from the surrounding area were brought into Kurashiki and intermediately stored there in storehouses before being shipped to Osaka and Edo. Because of the city's importance in the rice trade, Kurashiki was put under direct control of the shogunate, and the city was even named after its many storehouses (kura).

Canals were built to allow boats and barges to navigate between the city's storehouses and the nearby port. A central section of the city's former canal system has been preserved in the Bikan Historical Quarter (q~ϒn, Kurashiki Bikan Chiku). The weeping willow trees that line the canal and the stone bridges that cross over the water make for a picturesque scene.

Along the canal, there are many of the original storehouses that were so central to the city's identity. Recognizable by their white walls and black tiles, the former storehouses have been converted into cafes, boutiques, souvenir shops and a number of museums:

Ohara Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (unless Monday is a national holiday), New Year
Admission: 1500 yen (includes entrance to the Kojima Museum)
Typical visit duration: 45-90 minutes

Museum of Folkcraft

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:45)
Closed: Mondays (unless Monday is a national holiday), Dec 29 to Jan 1
Admission: 1000 yen
Typical visit duration: 10-20 minutes

Toy Museum

Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
Closed: January 1
Admission: 500 yen
Typical visit duration: 10-15 minutes

Archaeological Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed: Mon and Tue (except national holidays), Dec 27 to Jan 2
Admission: 500 yen
Typical visit duration: 10-15 minutes

Storehouse Shopping Street

Varies by shop; typically 10:00 to 18:00
Closed: Varies by shop

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

Getting there and around

The canal area is a 10-15 minute walk from Kurashiki Station's south exit. A main road, Motomachi-dori, leads south from the station to the canal area, but walking through the parallel shopping arcade is more enjoyable and almost as fast.

Travelers, who would rather not walk from the station, can take a bus to the Ohara Bijutsukan bus stop (2 minutes, 170 yen), which is located just beside the Ohara Museum.

How to get to and around Kurashiki

Hotels around Kurashiki

Top rated in Kurashiki
Budget:
    • Nagi Kurashiki Hotel&Lounge
      Luxury
      Located in Kurashiki and with Shinkeien Garden reachable within 1 km, Nagi Kurashiki Hotel&Lounge provides concierge services, non-smoking rooms, free bikes, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. The property is situated 10 km from Tanematsuyama Park, 10 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 25 km from Daitsu-ji Temple. The hotel features family rooms. Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. The rooms include a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Guests at the hotel can enjoy snacks. With staff speaking English, Spanish, Japanese and Korean, guidance is available at the reception. Popular points of interest near Nagi Kurashiki Hotel&Lounge include Kanryuji Temple, Yumiko Igarashi Museum and Ohara Museum of Art. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 28 km from the accommodation.
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    • Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki
      Mid-range
      Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki is situated in Kurashiki, within 7 km of Tanematsuyama Park and 8 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. Private parking is available on site. Guests at the hotel can enjoy an American or an Asian breakfast. You can play billiards at Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki, and bike hire is available. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Shinkeien Garden, Kanryuji Temple and Yumiko Igarashi Museum. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 19 km from Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki.
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    • GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo
      Mid-range
      Situated within 500 metres of Shinkeien Garden and 9 km of Tanematsuyama Park in Kurashiki, GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo features accommodation with free WiFi and seating area. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also offered, as well as a kettle. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Kanryuji Temple, Yumiko Igarashi Museum and Ohara Museum of Art. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 28 km from GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo.
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    • Kurashiki Ivy Square
      Mid-range
      Originally built in 1889 as a red-brick cotton mill, this historical hotel is just 300 metres from the Bikan Historical Quarter. It features 2 restaurants, a bar and gift shop. The air-conditioned rooms at Kurashiki Ivy Square feature cherry-wood furniture and a flat-screen cable TV. Ohara Museum, Yurinso Villa and Kyodo Gangukan (Japanese Folk Toy Museum) are all about a 5-minute walk from the hotel. JR Kurashiki Train Station is a 20-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride away. Kurashiki Ivy Square Hotel is an official Heritage of Industrial Modernisation site. The hotel features an art gallery. Tsuta Restaurant serves Japanese dishes in Japanese decor. Restaurant Ivy offers Western foods. Bar Akarenga pours drinks in a relaxed setting.
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    • Kurashiki Base Inarimachi
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Kurashiki, a 6-minute walk from Shinkeien Garden, Kurashiki Base Inarimachi offers accommodation with free bikes. This guest house has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. Kanryuji Temple is 700 metres from the guest house. The units at the guest house are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a kitchen. The rooms will provide guests with a microwave. A rental bicycle is available free of charge. Yumiko Igarashi Museum is a 10-minute walk from Kurashiki Base Inarimachi, while Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is 27 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 20 km from the accommodation.
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    • Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima
      Mid-range
      Situated in Kurashiki, within 3 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 7 km of Tanematsuyama Park, Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima features accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is set 8 km from Shinkeien Garden, 25 km from Daitsu-ji Temple and 9 km from Yumiko Igarashi Museum. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service and luggage storage for guests. At the hotel, rooms have a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. The rooms at Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima are fitted with a seating area. The accommodation offers a buffet or Asian breakfast. Kanryuji Temple is 10 km from Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima, while Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is 46 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 37 km from the hotel.
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    • The Celecton Kurashiki Mizushima
      Mid-range
      Providing free WiFi and free bikes, The Celecton Kurashiki Mizushima offers rooms in Kurashiki, 3 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 7 km from Tanematsuyama Park. The property is around 9 km from Shinkeien Garden, 25 km from Daitsu-ji Temple and 9 km from Yumiko Igarashi Museum. The property is non-smoking and is located 9 km from Ohara Museum of Art. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. The shared bathroom is equipped with a shower, slippers and a hairdryer. A buffet breakfast is available daily at The Celecton Kurashiki Mizushima. Kanryuji Temple is 10 km from the accommodation, while Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is 46 km away. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 37 km from The Celecton Kurashiki Mizushima.
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    • Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki
      Mid-range
      Situated within 7 km of Tanematsuyama Park and 8 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park, Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki features rooms in Kurashiki. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is 18 km from Daitsu-ji Temple and 27 km from Bitchu Matsuyama Castle. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom with a bidet. The rooms have a wardrobe. Guests at Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki can enjoy a buffet breakfast. At the accommodation guests are welcome to take advantage of a sauna. Popular points of interest near Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki include Shinkeien Garden, Kanryuji Temple and Yumiko Igarashi Museum. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 19 km from the hotel.
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    • Dormy Inn Kurashiki Natural Hot Spring
      Mid-range
      Dormy Inn Kurashiki is a 6-minute walk from Kurashiki Train Station and a 40-minute drive from Okayama Airport. It features a restaurant, free wired internet and a public bath with hot spring water. Air-conditioned guestrooms are fitted with a fridge and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Communal bath facilities are available. The hotel features a large open-air bath and an indoor public bath on the top floor. A coin launderette, massage services and sauna facilities are also available. English speaking staff can be found at the front desk. Kurashiki Dormy Inn is within 500 metres from Kanryuji Temple and Yumiko Igarashi Museum.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana)
      Mid-range
      Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana) is located in Kurashiki, within 9 km of Tanematsuyama Park and 9 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park. Featuring a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. At Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana) each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Staff at Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana) are always available to provide guidance at the reception. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Shinkeien Garden, Kanryuji Temple and Yumiko Igarashi Museum. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 28 km from Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana).
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