Bikan Area (1/3)
Canal (2/3)
Bikan Area (3/3)


A former merchant town from the 17th century


Kurashiki is a small town located west of Okayama prefecture which prospered during the Edo period as an important rice distribution point, thanks to its convenient location between the Takahashi River and the Seto inland sea. Preserved as a Traditional Structures Conservation Area by the agency of cultural affairs, nowadays Kurashiki offers a unique look into the past.

Bikan Historical Quarter


During the Edo period Kurashiki became such an important rice distribution point in Japan that the Shogunate took control directly over the city. Large cargo boats reached Kurashiki through the river and the goods were distributed and stored in warehouses through a network of canals, which were specifically built for that purpose.

The Bikan Historical Quarter is what remains of Kurashiki's days of glory and it's considered as one of Japan's best preserved merchant neighborhoods. Having escaped the bombings of World War II, most of the original warehouses, mills, shops and inns along the canals have been beautifully preserved to this date. The characteristic white-colored warehouses dating from the 17th century are known as Kura and give the name to the city.

Ohara Museum

1000¥ 9:00 - 17:00

The Ohara Museum of Art was the first privately operated museum of Western Art in Japan. In addition to an impressive collection of renowned European masterpieces, such as El Greco's "The Annunciation" and Claude Monet's "Water Lilies", the museum also houses a variety of works ranging from pieces by Shiko Munakata and other famous Japanese artists to ancient works of Asian and Egyptian art.


Okayama Station

Sanyo Line, Sanyo Shinkansen
15 min.Railpass

Kurashiki Station


The Bikan Historical Quarter can be reached in a 5 minute walk from JR Kurashiki station.