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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
      Situated in Kurashiki and with Shinkeien Garden reachable within 800 metres, Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki features concierge services, non-smoking rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi and a restaurant. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Private parking is available on site. A buffet, American or Asian breakfast is available each morning at the property. You can play billiards at this 3-star hotel, and bike hire is available. Tanematsuyama Park is 9 km from the hotel, while Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park is 9.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki.
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    • GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo
      Mid-range
      Situated 500 metres from Shinkeien Garden in Kurashiki, GRAND BASE Kurashiki Chuo features accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi. The accommodation comes with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, shower and free toiletries, while the kitchen has a fridge, a microwave and a stovetop. Tanematsuyama Park is 8.8 km from the aparthotel, while Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park is 8.8 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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    • Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Tabino Hotel Kurashiki Mizushima is situated in Kurashiki, 3.1 km from Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 6.4 km from Tanematsuyama Park. With 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. Buffet and Asian breakfast options are 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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    • 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. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki. Saijo Inari Temple is 17 km from the accommodation, while AEON Mall Okayama is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from Hotel Grand Cocoe Kurashiki.
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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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    • Hotel Route-Inn Kurashiki Mizushima
      Mid-range
      Set in Kurashiki, within 2.9 km of Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park and 5.5 km of Tanematsuyama Park, Hotel Route-Inn Kurashiki Mizushima offers accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Hourseshoe Crab Museum is 26 km away and Rian Bunko Art Museum is 30 km from the hotel. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the hotel. Shinkeien Garden is 8.6 km from Hotel Route-Inn Kurashiki Mizushima, while Daitsu-ji Temple is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 41 km from the accommodation.
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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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    • Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana)
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana) is located in Kurashiki, 500 metres from Shinkeien Garden and 8.8 km from Tanematsuyama Park. 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. Private parking is available on site. 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. All guest rooms include a private bathroom, slippers and bed linen. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Mizushima Ryokuchi Fukuda Park is 9.3 km from Green Rich Hotel Kurashiki Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana), while Rian Bunko Art Museum is 16 km away. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 23 km from the accommodation.
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