Yakage Town - a town at once cozy and verdant, modern and rich with history.
Yakage--a scenic town devoted to upholding the festive tradition of Edo Period Japan within the comforts of modernity. Yakage is the quaint home of 14,000 residents along the Oda River, southwest of Okayama. Here, residents and tourists alike can enjoy the town’s historical charm, warm hospitality, and hand-made confections. All year round, Yakage’s verdant landscape flourishes with beautiful seasonal flowers and yields delicious farm-fresh produce. The town celebrates a variety of festivals all year round, such as the Nagashibina festival in March and Daimyo Gyoretsu festival in November.
Honjin Inn - a rare opportunity to tour an Edo period monument
During the Edo Period, Yakage was a popular resting stop for daimyo samurai making their way to present-day Tokyo. The daimyo lord and his guests of honor were permitted to stay in the officially appointed Honjin Inn, while samurai warriors and servants of the lord stayed in a nearby subsidiary inn called the Waki-Honjin. Today, both inns are nationally registered as Important Cultural Properties of Japan, and many visitors come to admire their historical significance and beautifully maintained architecture.
Daimyo Gyoretsu - a fantastic, large-scale remaking of samurai history
Since 1976, the Daimyo Gyoretsu has been the biggest festival in Yakage. A celebration of the Edo Period “Sankin Koutai” samurai procession, the tradition attracts more than 30,000 spectators each year. Nearly 80 participants adorn themselves in the costumes of the Edo period, playing the roles of the Daimyo, servants, princess, and more. As each role parades through the streets, spectators can also observe gun performances and relay races. Held on the second Sunday of November, the Daimyo Gyoretsu is a unique and memorable sight to behold, one that is sure to take you back in time.
Shotengai - a shopping street full of sweet stores, restaurants, and historical sights
All along the Shotengai, you are free to simply wander--in and out of friendly cafés, souvenir shops, and cultural monuments. Maybe you will find yourself lodging at the Yakage-Ya Inn and Suites, or renting a walking bicycle at the Yakage Machiya Koryukan, or climbing the tower of the nearby Yakage art museum. On the second Sunday of every month, you may stumble upon the morning market, where local entrepreneurs present all sorts of wares, ranging from fresh fruits to fair-trade African fabrics. Whatever you decide, don’t miss on tasting the local specialties, such as the yubeshi (a sweet made with the yuzu citrus), and the hakka mint, which was thought to be extinct 40 years ago...that is, until it was rediscovered and cultivated to prosperity in Yakage!
Fruitopia - seasonal fruit picking, fresh from the source
No matter the season, there’s always fresh produce to pick or buy at Fruitopia. While Okayama is famous for its grapes and peaches, Fruitopia’s professional growers insist that their pears, oranges, and in-season vegetables are also well worth a taste. Personal Udon-noodle making courses are also available. Please book fruit picking in advance if you would like to experience some of Okayama’s finest produce!
Fruits picking booking information in Yakage :
3974-20 Higashiminari, Yakage-Cho, Oda-gun, Okayama
Beer garden - enjoy a lively summer night out
As the sun sets, the Shotengai comes to life with delicious Japanese street food, lively music, and good beer. What else could we want? Local friends, families, and tourists all come together to relax and unwind in one another’s company. This event occurs from 6-9 pm every Saturday in the summer months.
Yakage-Ya Inn and Suites - lodging with comfort, aesthetics, and a peaceful onsen
Ideally located in the historical district, the Yakage-Ya Inn and Suites has been renovated from a 200-year-old house, with each room uniquely decorated in a mix of traditional Japanese and contemporary Western styles. The inn offers a kimono rental service, restaurant meals, and relaxing hot spring baths. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Yakage, a long soak in the natural onsen will nourish your mind and body.
Transportation to Yakage
Access by Train
From Osaka (大阪)
After taking the Shinkansen from Osaka to the JR Okayama (岡山) Station, transfer to the JR Hakubi Line (伯備線). On this line, get off at Kiyone (清音) to transfer to Ibara-Line (井原線), which will stop at Yakage (矢掛). Travel time from Okayama to Yakage is approximately 1 hour.
Take the Shinkansen KODAMA (こだま) to Fukuyama (福山), then take the JR Fukuen-Line (福塩線) to Kannabe (神辺). At Kannabe, transfer to the Ibara-Line train, which will stop at Yakage.
Alternatively, after getting to Fukuyama station, take the JR Sanyo-Line to Kasaoka (笠岡). At Kasaoka station, take a bus to Yakage. Bus travel time from Kasaoka to Yakage is approximately 40 minutes.
Access by Bus:
The only bus service towards Yakage leaves from JR Kasaoka station, run by Ikasa bus company. The bus leaves from bus stop No. 1, costs 740 yen, and takes about 40 minutes to reach Yakage.
Yakage city web: https://www.yakage-kanko.net/