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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
      Boasting a restaurant, Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki is situated in Kurashiki in the Okayama region, 800 metres from Shinkeien Garden and 9 km from Tanematsuyama Park. Featuring a shared lounge, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking is available on site. Guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, and some rooms at Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki have a city view. All rooms will provide guests with a fridge. The daily breakfast offers buffet, Italian or Asian options. The accommodation offers a sauna. You can play billiards at Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki, and bike hire is available. Staff at the 24-hour front desk speak English, Japanese and Chinese. Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park is 9.4 km from the hotel, while Rian Bunko Art Museum is 16 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki.
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    • Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki
      Mid-range
      Boasting a restaurant, Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki is situated in Kurashiki in the Okayama region, 700 metres from Shinkeien Garden and 9 km from Tanematsuyama Park. The property is located 10 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park, 16 km from Rian Bunko Art Museum and 16 km from Kuni Shrine. The hotel has a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering 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. Saijo Inari Temple is 17 km from Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki, while AEON Mall Okayama is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from the accommodation.
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    • GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo
      Mid-range
      GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo has air-conditioned guest accommodation in Kurashiki, 500 metres from Shinkeien Garden, 8.8 km from Tanematsuyama Park and 8.8 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park. Among the facilities at this property are a lift and full-day security, along with free WiFi throughout the property. This 3-star aparthotel offers private entrance. Each unit comes with a sofa, a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a well-fitted kitchen, and a private bathroom with slippers. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also offered, as well as a kettle. All units will provide guests with kitchenware. Rian Bunko Art Museum is 17 km from the aparthotel, while Kuni Shrine is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 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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    • 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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    • Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima
      Mid-range
      Situated within 3.1 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 6.4 km of Tanematsuyama Park, Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima offers rooms in Kurashiki. Featuring a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service and luggage storage for guests. At the hotel, every room comes with a desk and a flat-screen TV. At Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima rooms have bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Shinkeien Garden is 8.4 km from Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima, while Daitsu-ji Temple is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 41 km from the hotel.
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    • Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel
      Luxury
      Attractively located in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter district of Kurashiki, Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel is situated 200 metres from Shinkeien Garden, 8.5 km from Tanematsuyama Park and 8.6 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park. Featuring a garden, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy French dishes at the restaurant or have a cocktail at the bar. At the hotel, every room has a desk and a flat-screen TV. At Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel rooms come with bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Speaking English and Japanese, staff are ready to help around the clock at the reception. Rian Bunko Art Museum is 17 km from Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel, while Kuni Shrine is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from the hotel.
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    • Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel
      Luxury
      Boasting in 4 dining options, Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel features accommodations with free wired internet access. JR Kurashiki Train Station is a 10-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Guests can watch video-on-demand movies on the flat-screen TV. The spacious private bathroom comes with marbled floors and slippers. Guests can purchase local gifts at the souvenir shop and luggage storage is available at the 24-hour front desk. Dry cleaning services are provided. Japanese dishes are served at Kurashiki and French cuisines at Hachikengura. A breakfast buffet is available at Cafe Ravenna, and drinks at Heisha Bar. Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Ohashi House and the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Ohara Museum is a 10-minute walk away.
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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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