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Okayama Prefecture
 
 
Sakura Spots April

■Tsuruyama Park | Tsuyama City
Tsuruyama Park is the site of Tsuyamajo, a castle founded by Mori Tadamasa, the younger brother of Honnoji defeated Mori Ranmaru. In 1900 the site was opened as a public park and today about 5,000 Someiyoshino cherry trees surrounding the stonewalls come to full blossom in spring. During the Sakura Festival season a tea house is built and a daimyo (domain lords) procession is made. The park is as crowded at night when the blossoms are lit with paper lantern light.

■Yugasan Rendaiji Temple | Kurashiki City
Yugasan Daigongen, the guardian god of ocean, is enshrined in the deep and beautiful mountains of Yugasan and has been worshipped by laypeople from a long time ago. In spring about 3,000 cherry trees blossom like pink haze. The temple grounds also show different beauty every season - especially fresh green in summer, and crimson and gold leaves in autumn.

 
 
Prefectural Guide
 

Okayama

“The country of sun”, Okayama has a generally warm and sunny climate all year round.
Korakuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan alongside of Kenrokuen (Ishikawa Pref.) and Kairakuen (Ibaraki Pref.), and Okayama Castle overlooking the Garden are the landmarks of the city. Surrounding the two forms a cultural zone with many museums and art galleries.

Besides being the production site of white peach and Muscat grapes, Okayama is also known as the stage of Momotaro, a famous Japanese folktale, and produces good kibi dango (millet dumplings) appearing in the story.
 
Kurashiki

Kurashiki is known to be a city where the beautiful townscape of the old days is well preserved, and is also a cultural tourist area with the masterpiece-filled Ohara Museum of Art and Kurashiki Tivoli Park.

The Washuzan gives you a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea, and at Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland and Seto Ohashi Memorial Bridge Museum with the characteristic dome-style building people of all generation can have a pleasant time.
 

Takahashi

With many parts of the city retaining the old townscape, Takahashi is a great area to explore for history lovers. In this former castle town spreading out at the foot of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, old merchant houses and streets with samurai residences are preserved in their original forms as much as possible. Scenery of old houses, traditional performing arts such as Bitchu Kagura (Shinto music and dancing) are still kept in the Fukiya district of Nariwacho.

 
Hiruzen

Hiruzen is a hot spring resort area located in the north of the prefecture and you can also spend a relaxing time in the cool breeze of the tableland.
A range of outdoor leisure activities may be enjoyed in Hiruzen Heights during all seasons such as horseback riding, driving, skiing and many more.

“Sunayu”, an outdoor hot spring bath in Yubara-Onsen resort, also called “the yokozuna of the west”, is open 24 hours free of admission. A stay in one of the refined Japanese style hotels with hot springs is also recommended.

 
Spirited Away (2001)
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