Okayama, Japan. You probably haven’t heard of it. In short, it’s a less-traveled Japanese prefecture in southern Honshu about four hours by bullet train from Tokyo.
Over a couple days of travel, I noticed that it’s already perfectly popular with Japanese travelers. But travel there yourself and you’ll hardly see a westerner in sight. Yet it has some of the most stunning sights and incredible opportunities to embrace the historic Japanese culture we all have an image of in our mind.
I put this piece together while still traveling in Japan. So rest assured there will be more. Meantime, allow these 17 photos across Okayama to wet your palette for something you might not have been thinking of when dreaming of or actually planning to travel to Japan.
Okayama Castle stands in the background of the park gardens.
The tea room at Okayama Castle.
Stepping stones across a small pond.
A Japanese-style wooden bridge.
This shrine stands just outside Okayama Castle.
The first of many delicious small plates at Arate Saryo.
Samurai sword making with the experts.
A closer look at a real katana blade at the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum.
Outside the Old Shizutani School in Okayama.
The entrance of the Old Shizutani School.
Guide and sensei at the Old Shizutani School.
Taking a 10-minute Japanese foot bath.
Heating up some veggies.
Japanese Giant Hornet tempura.
See more photos of Japan.
Disclaimer: I traveled to Okayama as a guest of Visit Japan. As always, all opinions are my own.