Japan may be the land of rising sun but if you are traveling in the rainy season then it will be hard to find any sun in most of the areas of the country. Okayama prefecture is an exception though; it has the least rainfalls in all the prefectures of Japan making it a most live able and worth visiting place in Japanese prefectures. The area is famous for the fruits that grow here especially the grapes and peaches of which out of the Japan’s total production more than 70 percent are produced in Okayama. If you have seen Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka then you are in for a big surprise when you get to Okayama. While the urban centers of Japan are a perfect example of the fast paced city life, the life style of the Okayama residents is laid back and relaxing.
The city is located 100 km from the capital and has its own airport but the only international flights are for Shanghai in china and to Seoul in South Korea. If you are not already in Japan then taking a will be a better option, from where you can either take a connecting flight to Okayama or make the rest of the journey by the train service. The good thing about Okayama is that its hotels are not as expensive as the ones in Tokyo or Osaka and you can easily find decent accommodation in a comfortable price range.
The city is full of the symbols of Japanese culture but the best place to observe them will be the Cultural zone located on the eastern end of the Central Business Center. There are a number of guides available on the entrance to the cultural zone and if you want to explore the area properly then it will be a wise decision to hire their services. The first place your guide will most definitely take you to is the Imperial gardens of Korakuen that were built in 1683 are one of the finest in the country. You can visit any place in the garden except the central wooden lodge that is reserved for the imperial family.
Just across the lake in Korakuen is the Okayama castle which is also called the crow castle because of its black color. It is a 17th century castle’s replica which was rebuilt in 1966 and is considered as one of the most authentic replica castle of that era. There is a museum inside the castle that provides ample information about the history of the castle and the Okayama city as well. There are a number of museums all across the Cultural zone, the more famous being the Okayama Museum of Arts, Okayama Oriental Museum, Hayashibara Museum of Art and the Okayama Prefectural museum. Another area of the city that may interest you is the KIbiji District in the north eastern part of Okayama that was the capital of the Kibi Kingdom that ruled the major parts of Western Japan till the 17th century. There are a number of shrines and temples in kibiji that dedicated to the kings and princes of the Kibi Dynasty and are worth watching.