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Uninspiring as you leave the station, Kurashiki’s charm lies a ten-minute walk away, in the south Bikan district of the town.

The bland modernity of an average Japanese town gives way to a wonderful enclave of traditional merchant’s homes, old storehouses, museums, galleries, and a narrow street intersected by a weeping willow-fringed canal swimming with golden carp.

These streets of white plaster and checkerboard patterning date from the Edo-era. The Ohara Museum of Art, in Bikan, is noteworthy for its separate halls housing a fine collection of Japanese, Western and local art.

Local attractions

Also in Kurashiki you can explore a Danish theme-park, a toy museum and a pleasant park.

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Audley Travel specialist Tamatha

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Map of Kurashiki

Places & hotels on the map