Monday, August 3, 2009


Of Interest: Okayama Castle, Korakuen Garden, downtown Okayama, museums
Lodging: multiple
Tourist Office: yes
Nearest international ATM: There is a post office straight down the street in front of the station.
Nearby Internet: Yes. There are two internet cafes across the street from the extreme left of the station area.
Other transit: Okayama Electric Tramway has a stop in front of the station.

Okayama is the capital of Okayama Prefecture, and the train takes you right downtown. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk to Okayama Castle. Just walk straight from the station. This street will take you through downtown Okayama. The castle is nicknamed the Crow Castle because of its distinctive black lacquer walls. Korakuen garden is next to the castle. If you don`t want to walk, you can take a tram to both places. Okayam Orient Museum and the Okayama Perfectural Museum of Art are both near the castle area.

Okayama is a Shinkansen stop. To the west, ShinOsaka is about an hour to the east while Tokyo is about four hours away. To east Hiroshima is between 45 minutes and and hour and a half away. Hakata, on the island of Kyushu, is at the end of the line. Bullet trains take between 100 and 200 minutes to get there. (The faster times are usually by Nozomi trains which do not accept rail passes.)

Local trains take between an hour and an hour and a half to get to the northern border of Okayama Prefecture at Tsuyama. Going east, trains end just inside Hyogo Prefecture. Local trains take about an hour to get to Aioi. Both local (55 minutes) and express trains (35 minutes) go to Kamigori to the north of Aioi. Going west local trains take an hour and a half to get to the middle of Hiroshima Prefecture at Itozaki Station in the city of Mihara.

If you are going to Shikoku by train from Kanto or Kansai, you are probably going to change trains here. Both local and express trains take an hour to get to Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture. Kochi, the capital of Kochi Prefecture, can only reached directly by limited espress trains which take two and a half hours.

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