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OKAYAMA
  • TOKYO
  • OKAYAMA

PLEASURE BOATS

After seeing the wonders of Tokyo by modern sightseeing boat on the Sumida River, take a trip to Kurashiki, an area that prospered under the rule of the Edo Shogunate. As you ride in a nostalgic rowboat, you’ll feel as if you’ve slipped back in time from Tokyo to the far-off Edo period.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide
https://www.gotokyo.org/en/

Local government official website
https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/

TRAVELER

  • Traveled : August 2017 Sarah Dawalibi
    Reside in Paris, France
  • Traveled : August 2017 Samantha
    Reside in Tokyo
    Home country: France

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

ANA216 Examine the directions from your country

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    I flew on ANA for my trip from Paris to Tokyo, and I was even lucky enough to ride the Star Wars promotional plane. It was great to be greeted by the cabin attendants and Yoda. The seats were very comfortable, and I had enough space for my legs. The food was also delicious, and I could pass the flight comfortably while watching movies. After landing at Haneda Airport, we had an easy trip to the Tokyo city center aboard the monorail.

Haneda Airportmore

Haneda Airport

The airport serves as an air gateway for Tokyo. The passenger terminal is filled with various commercial facilities, and visitors can command a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from the rooftop observation deck, so that every one, even those who are not flying, can enjoy the terminal.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Day1

TOKYO

Happo-en: Enjumore

Happo-en: Enju

Enju is found inside the wedding venue, Happo-en, overlooking an expansive Japanese garden. To allow enjoyment of the changing of the four seasons through foods in season and views of the garden, diners are served original multi-course Kaiseki meals featuring different bowls of seasonal foods for every month of the year that are also a feast for the eyes. Moreover, diners can savor chef-recommended Kaiseki dishes prepared in ways that take full advantage of seasonal delicacies at the height of their deliciousness.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Happo-en has the feeling of a serene natural oasis. You can walk along the paths that wind the scenic ponds and watch Japan's famous colorful carp. Happo-en also has a superb bonsai collection on display. It's a romantic garden popular with couples, and you can take a relaxing break here while sipping matcha tea in a traditional tearoom.

  • Samantha

    Happo-en is one of the hidden gems of Tokyo, and you can take a serene rest here from the unending noise of the city. From one of the teahouses, you can stroll through a garden that provides a glimpse into the former way of life in Japan to view the vivid, colorful carp swimming in the pond.

Tokyo Metro Namboku Line
Shirokanedai → Korakuen
About 20 minutes / 200 yen

Toei Subway Oedo Line
Kasuga Station → Ryogoku Station
About 10 minutes / 220 yen

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    The Japanese restaurant Sakura is located on the 25th floor of the Dai-ichi Hotel Ryogoku. You are also treated to expansive vistas of Tokyo, including the Sky Tree. The restaurant offers a wonderful buffet and selection of Japanese sweets.

  • Samantha

    The Japanese restaurant Sakura is a place all lovers of Japan will be thoroughly satisfied, whether they are going for pictures or to dine. Breathtaking views of Tokyo expand before you from the expansive windows, and you feel that you are even higher than the Tokyo Sky Tree, which can be seen far in the distance.

The Sumida Hokusai Museummore

The Sumida Hokusai Museum

World renowned artist Katsushika Hokusai was born in the Hokusai Street area of present day Sumida Ward. He created countless masterpieces while spending nearly all of his 90-year life in Sumida.
This museum introduces the works of Hokusai and takes a closer look at the relationship between Hokusai and Sumida through various themed exhibitions and educational programs.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    The Sumida Hokusai Museum of Tokyo is an art museum that was newly opened in November, 2016. The museum is devoted to the works of Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most famous Japanese artists in the world, the artist of the renowned Ukiyo-e series the "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji." The architecture of Hokusai Museum, designed by Kazuyo Sejima, is also a magnificent sight unto itself.

  • Samantha

    The Sumida Hokusai Museum of Tokyo is a unique, contemporary building where you will not be able to resist taking pictures. Hokusai's works are the representative Ukiyo-e illustrations of the Edo era, and you can particularly understand their appeal from the enchanting woodblock prints. You can see world-famous works, such as his well-known ocean waves, and seeing them in person will undoubtedly leave you exhilarated.

About 20 minutes

Sumida River Cruising (Hotaluna)more

Sumida River Cruising (Hotaluna)

Hotaluna has a metallic silver, streamlined body, made in the image of a spacecraft, with gullwing doors and a promenade deck on the roof, allowing people to enjoy the view from outside the boat. Moreover, the glass windows at the back of the boat emit a pale light, lighting up Sumida River like a firefly through the night from dusk.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    I recommend the Hotaluna Sumida River Cruise if you're looking to discover an entirely new charm of Tokyo. You can ride a cruise boat that is both entirely unique and offers a modern design. The cruise leaves from Asakusa. In Asakusa, you can explore historical temples and purchase traditional souvenirs, and it's a great place to take a stroll before boarding the ship. The final landing point of the cruise is in Odaiba. The view from the Rainbow Bridge is a particularly unforgettable memory.

  • Samantha

    If you want to visit Odaiba, the best way to go is certainly the Hotaluna Sumida River Cruise. The riverboat is gaining widespread attention thanks to its superb design. You can look out on ever changing views of Tokyo both from the upper promenade and within the ship.

Hotaluna
Asakusa → Odaiba
About 60 minutes / 1,560 yen

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Odaiba is the most contemporary city in Tokyo. One of Odaiba's most famous monuments is a replica of the Statue of Liberty from Paris. Another popular monument is a GUNDAM robot statue from the world renowned anime series.

  • Samantha

    Odaiba is a particularly popular spot even within Tokyo. Even so, it does not feel overcrowded, and you can relax and enjoy yourself. One of the most fascinating ways to spend your time is to visit the many unique buildings and sculptures, such as the GUNDAM statue and replica of the Statue of Liberty. There are many restaurants and shops with beautiful views of the Rainbow Bridge. If you ride Odaiba's famous giant Ferris Wheel, you can see the entire area all at a glance.

New Transit Yurikamome
Daiba Station → Shimbashi Station
About 15 minutes / 320 yen

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    "Hibiki" is a restaurant located on the 47th floor of the Caretta Shiodome building. The view from this skyscraper restaurant is simply fantastic. The best idea is to arrive a bit early so you can witness the sun setting across the city. The menu features refined and sophisticated Japanese cuisine, and from meat to fish, it offers a truly diverse range of flavors.

  • Samantha

    At the restaurant Hibiki, you can enjoy Japan's famous Hibiki whiskey together with exquisite cuisine. The restaurant provides an elegant, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Viewing the endless sea of skyscrapers from the windows will transport you to another dimension.

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome in Ginza is located close to the world-famous Tsukiji Market, and provides a magnificent and stylish experience. The guest rooms feature a modern design and are very comfortable. I loved the breakfast buffet, which offers a varied selection from European to Japanese cuisine. You can enjoy breakfast while taking in delightful views of Tokyo Tower. The hotel staff were also very warm and friendly, and readily spoke English to me.

  • Samantha

    The Royal Park Hotel located in Shiodome is located right in the center of town, and is the perfect place to enjoy not just convenient, but beautiful Tokyo. The hotel provides impeccable service, and you can quietly enjoy the views from the hotel lounge bar. Staff are also available who speak foreign languages.

Day2

CHUGOKU(OKAYAMA)

Haneda Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Haneda Airport is located approximately 40 minutes from the hotel. You can take a massage at the airport to relax while you wait prior to the flight. The flight from Tokyo to Okayama aboard ANA was just one hour, and went off without the slightest hitch. I was able to enjoy a truly comfortable experience thanks to the friendly and caring service. There is a bus stand right in front of Okayama Airport, and in a mere 30 minutes you can reach central Okayama City.

  • Samantha

    Haneda Airport is closer to the city center than Narita International Airport, and if you take the monorail there, you can take in views all around Tokyo. The one hour flight to Okayama is wonderfully relaxing thanks to the conscientious service of the staff. You simply don't have to worry about a thing when you fly with ANA. Their planes are never delayed, the staff is always caring and kind, and they are defined by the first-class service that makes you want to fly with them again and again.

Okayama Momotaro Airportmore

Okayama Momotaro Airport

Okayama Airport has three domestic routes to Tokyo, Sapporo, and Okinawa and four international routes to Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Numerous charter and provisional flights operate here as well.
Very conveniently located, it is just 30 min. by car from central Okayama City, and just 10 min. away from the nearest highway interchange. With regular buses to Okayama City and Kurashiki City, travel to nearby large cities is simple. Furthermore, since the cities of Kobe, Osaka, Hiroshima, Yonago, Takamatsu, and Kochi are just 2 hours away by highway, many people from in and outside the prefecture use Okayama Airport for domestic, international, and business travel.

Okayama Momotaro Airport Limousine Bus
Okayama Momotaro Airport → Oyakama Station West Exit
About 30 minutes / 760 yen

JR Ako Line
Okayama Station → Imbe Station
37 minutes / 580 yen

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    I dined on exquisite sushi at Kokorozushi in Imbe, Okayama. While it's a very small and traditional sushi restaurant, it was also abounding with charm. The sushi prepared by an authentic sushi artisan before our very eyes was unbelievably delicious.

    The "Bizen Yaki" pottery of Imbe, which is a lovely town located amid a sea of green rice paddies, is renowned for its subdued colors. Bizen Yaki is also one of the oldest forms of pottery in Japan. Highly significant works of Bizen Yaki made by Living National Treasures are on display at the Bizen Yaki Dento Sangyo Kaikan.

  • Samantha

    Just like its name states, Kokorozushi is a restaurant where you can feel the true heart of devotion. A professional sushi artisan will welcome with a smile in the simple and warm restaurant. You can choose whether to sit at the counter, or at a table on a tatami mat floor.

    Bizen Yaki is one of the special products of Okayama Prefecture, and is also a recognized art of Japan's six ancient kilns. Here you can learn about the techniques polished over hundreds of years by true lovers of pottery.

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum more

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum was established on September 6, 1983, as a museum dedicated to swords. The museum is located at Osafune-cho in Setouchi City, which flourished as the center of sword-making in the Kamakura period and remains a place where quality swords are made. There are 16 swords on display in the first floor exhibit, and 23 swords in the second floor exhibit. In addition, the exhibit also includes accouterments, and information on the sword making process as well as sword polishing process.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    The Japanese Sword Museum is a highly fascinating facility. Many ancient and beautiful Japanese swords are on display, but the most intriguing attraction is watching the work of the Japanese swordsmiths themselves. If you ask, you can also experience hammering metal into shape. You can reach Osafune, where the museum is located, by train from Okayama City.

  • Samantha

    At the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum you can learn about the physical power and techniques that swordsmiths put into forging the swords wielded by samurai. The museum provides a wealth of explanations on its historical displays, and both texts and videos are supported in English. You can also view a sword smithing demonstration provided by local artisans. It also goes without saying that the most beautiful swords in Japan are exhibited on the second floor.

JR Ako Line
Imbe Station → Okayama Station
37 minutes / 580 yen

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Doppo-kan is a traditional brewery for both beer and sake in Okayama Prefecture. The brewery also features a restaurant where you can taste samples of the beer and sake brewed at the site. I was delighted with everything about the Dappo-kan, from their welcoming customer service, interior decor, and wonderful atmosphere.

  • Samantha

    Doppo-kan is a wonderful little restaurant. It serves creative, high-quality Japanese cuisine paired with perfectly matching beers.

Hotels and accommodations around Okayama Station

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    The Okayama Plaza Hotel is a clean and comfortable business hotel. It is located next to Okayama Castle, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the castle and surrounding area during breakfast or other occasions.

  • Samantha

    The Plaza Hotel of Okayama Prefecture is just a short two minute walk from Okayama Korakuen Garden, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the park at breakfast.

Day3

Hotels and accommodations around Okayama Station

Okayama Electric Tramway (Streetcar) Higashiyama Line Higashiyama bound
Okayama Eki-mae Station --> Shiroshiya Station
5 minutes / 100 yen

Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castlemore

Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle

Okayama Korakuen Garden
One of Japan's Three Great Gardens. It was made approximately 300 years ago by the 2nd feudal lord of the Okayama Domain, Ikeda Tsunamasa. A circuit-style Daimyo (feudal lord) garden, its wide lawns, ponds, artificial mountains, and tearooms are tied together with walkways and waterways.
It has a three-star rating from the Michelin Green Guide Japan. Every year, in the summer and autumn, the park is specially opened at late at night for the "Garden of Dreams" and "Autumnal Fantasy Garden" events.

Okayama Castle
The castle was built in 1597 by the military commander, Ukita Hideie. Its black-lacquered exterior of wooden boards earned it the nickname, "Crow Castle." However, the main tower, which was a National Treasure before World War 2, burned down due to war damage and was later reconstructed.
Within the main tower are a shop, a cafe, and other attractions, such as a free fitting corner for feudal lord and princess outfits.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Okayama Korakuen Garden is one of Japan's Three Great Gardens. It is worth the trip to Okayama simply to see this exquisite garden. The garden was built approximately 300 years ago at the foot of Okayama Castle. If you would like to take a break, it's a perfect chance to enjoy one of their traditional teahouses.

    Kushibe Futon is a small, traditional restaurant in Okayama specializing in fried skewer cuisine, and serves high-quality, health dishes. I was very impressed with their impeccable service.

  • Samantha

    If you are in Okayama, you will not want to miss visiting Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle. The spacious and highly artistic Okayama Korakuen Garden is impeccably maintained by a master gardener. In the summer, you can cool yourself at the beer garden while taking in the enchanting illumination. Okayama Castle is integrated with the surrounding area, and projects an aura of beautiful art and history. According to legend, the mythical shachi lion-headed carp statues on top of the castle are said to spew water in the event of a fire to extinguish the flames.

    You can taste a wide range of skewer dishes from meat, to fish, to vegetables at the restaurant Kushibe Futon. It is located in the center of town and features Japanese décor. The restaurant staff will quickly serve your food, allowing you to have a relaxing, satisfying meal.

Okayama Electric Tramway (Streetcar) Higashiyama Line
Okayama Station bound Shiroshita Station → Okayama-ekimae Station
5 minutes / 100 yen

JR Sanyo Main Line and Hakubi Line
Okayama Station → Kurashiki Station
19 minutes / 320 yen

Ohashi Housemore

Ohashi House

Ohashi House is a classic merchant's house in Kurashiki that is designated as a nationally important cultural asset.
The house was headed by a samurai that served the Toyotomi clan, who moved from Osaka after the fall of Osaka Castle, via present day Nakashima of Kurashiki City to this location in 1705, and later made a fortune through rice and salt farm development as well as the finance industry.
The building retains architectural features representative of Kurashiki's wealthy merchants, including Nagaya-mon gate, Namako wall, Kurashiki windows, and Kurashiki lattice inside the Nagaya style rowhome that were not publicly permitted. Upon entry into the building, one can easily slip back in time to the height of the bygone era's glory.

3 minute

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quartermore

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter preserves the beauty of traditional Japanese architecture for the present day, with its rows of willow trees gently swaying in the wind, and the beautiful contrast between the white walls and the black-and-white "namako" walls casting their shadows onto the Kurashiki River below.
During the Edo period, this area prospered as a place for rice shipping, and the earthen storehouses let visitors have a glimpse into the past.
This quarter is also home to many cultural establishments, including the Ohara Museum of Art, which has many world-famous works of art, the Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft, the Kurashiki Archaeological Museum, the Japanese Rural Toy Museum, and others.
Sightseeing riverboats can be ridden and enjoyed on the Kurashiki River, which, in days past, used to bustle with the back-and-forth traffic of riverboats loaded with cargo.

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    The Ohara Museum of Art is located in Kurashiki, and has built a collection of European artwork including Picasso, Cezanne, Monet and Mathis. The museum is surprisingly large, and also features exhibitions of Japanese artwork.

    Parlor Fruit Komachi located in Kurashiki is an adorable café and restaurant that is perfect for a light meal. You can relax on tatami mats in a bamboo garden grove right on the premises. The white peach, the most popular fruit in the region, is a sweet, succulent delight.

    The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is located along a placid canal surrounded by willow trees. You can choose to either ride a riverboat or stroll along the paths of Kurashiki. Viewing the many historical houses and wandering into the side streets bustling with souvenir shops is a wonderful way to pass the afternoon.

    Restaurant KIYÙTEI is a traditional restaurant located in the Kurashiki District. It offers a menu that incorporates both Japanese and European culinary concepts. I enjoyed a beef dish with a wonderful dessert.

  • Samantha

    The Ohara Museum of Art is one of the most beautiful art museums in the region. Paintings and sculptures crossing both the Eastern and Western spheres are displayed both within and without this Western-style building. The serene interior is extremely spacious, and imbued with the atmospheric charm of a wonderful old Western-style building.

    Parlor Fruit Komachi is one of the most fascinating places I visited on this trip, and I definitely recommend visiting! The staff who serve you in kimonos and the manager who entertains tourists are all simply wonderful. The Japanese-style café will take your breath away with its serene, simple beauty, and you can view a delightful bamboo grove from their terrace. The seasonally changing menu is also exquisite. Please do not miss this cafe!

    You will want to spend the entire day walking as if you were in a dream in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. You can watch willow trees gently sway in the breeze from the countless stone bridges that cross the river. You might not believe the dark wooden frames and white plaster walls of the Namako-style buildings are even part of Japan, but the entire atmosphere is one of an island nation. The many small, unique shops that symbolize Japan are all thriving, and well-loved by the local community. The shadows and brilliant reflections off the water are continuously changing with the ever-shifting sunlight. And while you have to make a small climb to get there, the unique shrine at the center of town will reward you will unforgettable views of the town.

    Restaurant KIYÙTEI is a building that symbolizes the fusion of Western and Eastern cultures in the Kurashiki District. Here you can enjoy impeccable service and unforgettably delicious food. As it's located a bit outside the center of town, you can take a break from the bustle, and enjoy a different sort of travel experience than what can be found in the city.

10 minutes

Okayama Airport Limousine Bus
Kurashiki Station North Exit → Oyakama Airport
About 35 minutes / 1,130 yen

Okayama Momotaro Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

Haneda Airport

  • Sarah Dawalibi

    Japan is an extremely diverse country. This was a superb experience to discover many charms of the country that typically go unknown. Even if you can't speak any Japanese, it is still entirely possible to enjoy a trip to rural Japan thanks to the fantastic infrastructure. I was entirely enchanted with the Kurashiki riverboat ride, and wish I could have stayed there even longer!

  • Samantha

    While Okayama is a region that is not well known in Japan, it is definitely worth a visit. Travelling here will allow you to truly learn about traditional Japan. The town that combined old Western culture with Japanese tradition was simply unforgettable. This is a trip recommended for travelers who are not satisfied just by seeing the famous sites everyone already knows about.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

I had many new discoveries on my recent trip to Japan. I was able to see a new side of Tokyo in the riverside views from the Sumida River. Okayama Prefecture is also a fascinating prefecture just an hour away by plane, and I was able to experience the true spirit of Japan and Japanese traditions there.

Sarah Dawalibi
Journalist & Travel Blogger
Reside in Paris, France
  • Hobby

    Travel

  • Number of visits to Japan

    3times

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

The Chugoku region of Japan is not widely known, and travelling to Okayama in the Chugoku region allowed me to touch an aspect of Japan I had never known before. I was immediately captivated by the charms of the region, and my trip was a continous series of delightful surprises.

Samantha
Travel site journalist
Reside in Tokyo
Home country: France
  • Hobby

    Shintoism

  • Length of stay in Tokyo

    5 years

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