The Kurashiki Bikan Historical area is a traditional townscape in Okayama Prefecture. Its 21 hectares are a tourist spot as well as its surrounding river area being selected as one of the nation's Important Preservations District for Groups of Historic Buildings.
From the early days of the Edo period, Kurashiki had been established as the head office of a distribution and trading centre for goods and materials known in Japanese as Kurashiki Daikansho. There are numerous old buildings still standing from this time including old warehouses called kura and mansion houses with traditional namako walls all leaving behind a traditional townscape feeling. There aren't all that many of these walls still standing so the ones here really are precious. Whenever I have seen them elsewhere, I always have a strong feeling about the past.
Just walking around this area, though, is enough to be enjoyable. There are many restaurants and souvenir stores as well kimono rental shops and stores selling the famous Kurashiki denim. There is no shortage of souvenir opportunities here making it easy to shop to your heart's content.
I visited with my friend and we both popped into a noodle restaurant at lunch time. The restaurant was busy but I really enjoyed it. We then walked around the area window shopping amongst the old buildings. Even though the building interiors were quite modern, I felt the history of the area and wanted to stay longer.
The Bikan Historical Area is often featured as the background for television dramas and commercials. In fact, Okayama Prefecture has a lot of the tourist attractions and the area is very much worth a visit. The traditional beauty of the area charms the hearts of the many people who visit. If you like the old towns, you too will like the Kurashiki Bikan Historical area.
It takes about 10-15 minutes from Kurashiki Station .
Find out more about Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter.