Okayama Questions

#Okayama

Okayama (陝ッ・。陞サ・ア) is the largest city in Okayama Prefecture and a major transportation hub. With its rich history dating back to the Edo Period, Okayama has a lot to offer to travelers.

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About Okayama

Okayama (陝ッ・。陞サ・ア), the capital of Okayama Prefecture, stands as the Chugoku Region's second-largest city after Hiroshima. Renowned as a pivotal transportation nexus, it hosts the convergence point of the Sanyo Shinkansen and the sole railway link to Shikoku. Historically, Okayama flourished as a castle town during the Edo Period (1603-1868), wielding considerable regional influence.

Its crown jewel, Korakuen Garden, ranks among Japan's top three landscape gardens, alongside Kanazawa's Kenrokuen and Mito's Kairakuen. Adjacent lies Okayama Castle, enriching the city's cultural tapestry. Notably, Okayama is steeped in the folklore of Momotaro (the Peach Boy), offering visitors a glimpse into the legend through various references scattered across the cityscape.

Getting around

Within a 15-minute stroll east of Okayama Station, visitors encounter the city's gems: the garden, castle, and museums, all nestled within a compact 1.5-kilometer radius.

For seamless exploration, Okayama offers two tram lines, Higashiyama and Sekibashi, departing frequently from Okayama Station. Optimal for travelers, the Shiroshita stop on the Higashiyama Line, a mere 5-minute ride costing 120 yen, serves as a gateway to all attractions, conveniently reachable on foot.

In central Okayama, a flat tram fare of 120 yen applies, with adjustments outside the core area. Board via the rear door, collect a ticket, and pay upon exit through the front. Payment options include the local Hareka smart card, Suica, Icoca, and other major IC cards. Alternatively, a 400-yen one-day pass grants unlimited tram rides within a calendar day. While bus services like the Korakuen Bus temporarily halt, they typically offer convenient routes connecting Okayama Station with Korakuen Garden and the Prefectural Museum of Art, charging a nominal 100 yen fare every 30 minutes.

Getting there
  • From Tokyo: Tokyo and Okayama are key stops on the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. The journey, around 3.5-4 hours, costs 17,000 yen one way via Nozomi or Hikari trains. Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari trains, but a supplement fee applies for Nozomi.

    JAL and ANA offer numerous daily flights between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Okayama Airport, taking 75 minutes. Regular one-way fare is about 40,000 yen, with discounts usually at 16,000 to 18,000 yen. Buses link Okayama Airport to Okayama Station in 30 mins for 780 yen.

    Various bus companies, like Willer Express, run night buses between Tokyo and Okayama, taking around 10 hours. Costs range from 6,000 to 13,000 yen one way, with online booking via Willer and Japan Bus Online.

  • From Osaka: Osaka and Okayama are key JR Sanyo Shinkansen stops. A one-way trip from Shin-Osaka to Okayama takes about 45 minutes, priced at around 6000 yen. International tourists enjoy discounted tickets at 5100 yen.

    Japan Rail Pass covers Sakura and Hikari trains, while a supplement applies to Nozomi and Mizuho. Passes like JR Kansai Wide, JR Kansai Hiroshima, and JR Sanyo Sanin fully cover all trains. Local JR Tokaido and Sanyo line journeys between Osaka and Okayama cost 3080 yen, with a travel time of approximately 2.5 hours, involving transfers.

    JR and Ryobi Buses offer highway connections from Osaka (Osaka Station, OCAT) to Okayama (JR Okayama Station), taking three hours at 3400 yen one way. Round trip tickets for 6300 yen must be used within ten days, with early-purchase discounts available.

  • From Kyoto: Kyoto and Okayama serve as pivotal stops along the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. The one-way journey, priced at around 7500 yen, takes about one hour via Nozomi or 90 minutes via Hikari train.

    While Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari, Kodama, and Sakura trains, a supplement is necessary for Nozomi and Mizuho. Alternatively, the JR Kansai Wide Area Pass fully covers trains between Shin-Osaka and Okayama, ideal for side trips from Kyoto.

    For local train travel between Kyoto and Okayama, expect a three-hour journey at 3740 yen, with at least one transfer. Ryobi Bus offers highway connections, taking about 3.5 hours at 3650-4050 yen. Online reservations available via Japan Bus Online.

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