It had already been a long, long day for me but time is money and all that, so with a couple of hours of daylight remaining I decided to squeeze in one more site before retiring to my capsule hotel for some much needed rest.
Following my lone appearance at Washuzan Highland Theme Park I ventured on to Kurashiki which is a city famed for its Bikan historical area just fifteen minutes away from Okayama by train on the Sanyo Line. It was 5:30pm when I arrived and ten minutes later I had already found my way over to the historical quarter located by the picturesque canal area.
The entrance area possesses some scenic townscape preserving history from the Edo-era (1603 – 1868) when samurai were still commonplace, to the Meiji and Taisho (1868 – 1926) periods when European cultural influence grew. The merchants’ quarter is reminiscent of warehouse streets in Kawagoe and Narita.
Turning the corner, the canal with pedestrian-only streets running parallel to it takes you into a bygone era with weeping trees reflecting beautifully in the water amidst some fine canal-side stonemasonry and arching bridges.
The canal area is fairly short. At a guess it’s only about 800 metres in length and is dotted along either side with a collection of museums which had all closed by the time I arrived
As someone who is not too fussed by museums, it was probably a good time for me to go as the crowds had really dwindled and it was lovely to just loop round the Kurashiki canal and venture off down some even more quiet backstreet lanes where there were more sights. One such place was the ivy-covered, red brick buildings of Ivy Square, a multi-purpose public space which used to be a cotton mill.
My time in Kurashiki was always going to be quite short but I probably didn’t expect to do what I wanted to do so quickly. Fully content with what I had seen I decided to walk back to the station (below) and headed back to Okayama to find my capsule hotel accommodation.
Click here to read ‘Okayama 2016 Pt IV: Korakuen Gardens And Okayama-Jo Castle’