If you’re interested in Japanese culture but something other than temples and shrines, try Okayama, although Kibitsu Shrine is still worth a visit. Better yet, Okayama is the least rainy prefecture, meaning bad weather won’t spoil your adventures.
The city of Kurashiki is known for the Bikan Historical Quarter, where buildings from the Edo and Meiji eras are still preserved, and the Ohara Museum, the country’s first Western art museum. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is not only one of the oldest remaining castles, but also the castle with the highest elevation above sea level.
The Old Shizutani School, in use from 1673 to 1964, was Japan’s first public school and the only school to be designated a National Treasure. And finally, Koraku-en is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.