Picturesque Historical streets– Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Kurashiki is a town in Okayama Prefecture, located not far from the prefectural capital of Okayama City. The name Kurashiki can be roughly translated as the town of storehouses,testifying to its importance as a rice distribution centre in the Edo era. The most famous part of Kurashiki is perhaps the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. With a well preserved canal area and monumental historical buildings, this part of Kurashiki is crowned as one of the most scenic Merchant Quarter in Japan.
Café in the morning and guesthouse at night – Yuurin-An (有隣庵)
Looking for a place to stay when you are in Kurashiki? Seek no longer! Yuurin-An is a guesthouse located at the centre of Bikan Historical Quarter. The building of Yuurin-An is a traditional Japanese house with more than 100 years of history. Here, you can connect with other visitors or exchange talks with the friendly staffs. Nothing gets more Japanese than sleeping on the Tatami floor in a Japanese Futon. The staffs here also speaks English, so you do not have to worry if you cannot speak Japanese. If you want to stay in a traditional Japan housing and exchange conversations with other local Japanese tourists (as well as some foreign ones), this is the place to go.
While Yuurin-An operates as a guesthouse at night, it transforms into a cosy café in the morning. From 11am to 5pm, Yuurin-An serves many home-made meals and desserts. They are most famous for their Tamagokakegohan(Rice topped with a raw egg) and Shiawase no Purin (Pudding of Happiness). While eating a raw egg seems unappealing to most foreigners, it is a traditional Japanese delicacy. This place serves the rice dish with their home-made special soy sauce. The soy sauce actually masks the smell of the raw egg and adds a delicious hue of sweetness to the dish, so it is strongly recommended for you to try it here. The pudding served here is also their signature. It is believed that you will taste the taste of happiness after trying the pudding here. The puddings here have cute faces drawn on them, and you can pick which one you would like to have. Although the pudding must be ordered with a drink, the café provides the drink free if you had stayed there the previous night, so be sure to try the pudding if you have lodged here previously.
Finding quality goods with style – Kurashiki Ishou (倉敷意匠)
Located inside the Hayashigenjurou Shopping Building(林源十郎商店) , Kurashiki Ishou is a shop which provides a wide variety of goods. The shop owner used to be in the wholesale business before setting up this shop in his hometown of Kurashiki. Goods sold in this place are exquisitely made with high quality craftsmanship. Stylish handkerchiefs and beautiful porcelain dishes are among the popular choices that tourists make. Many items in the shop are made using local materials, so if you are interested in finding a good souvenir, be sure to visit this shop!
Great designs, great products – Living Design Museum Kurashiki (生活デザインミュージアム倉敷)
On the 2 nd floor of the Hayashigenjurou Shopping Building, is the Living Design Museum Kurashiki. This is a shop which carefully selects their products to ensure that they are of quality designs, so you can be assured that you are getting the best here. Once you climb up the stairs to the second floor, you will be greeted with many shelves displaying a wide variety of products. This shop not only sells handicraft goods and accessories, but also card games like Karuta(a type of traditional Japanese card game) and home-made jam. There is also a café beside the shop, so you can stop for a quick bite before continuing your journey through Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter.
Visit Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter’s Japanese Site here: