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This museum is dedicated to Senichi Hoshino, as famous baseball player who was born here in Kurashiki. He was first drafted in 1968 for the Chunichi Dragons and became a star pitcher, winning 2 league championships.
After retiring, he became the manager of the Chunichi Dragons, leading them to two championship, and later he brought the Hanshin Tigers from the bottom of the league to win the championship. He was also the coach for Japan's team at the Beijing Olympics but they did not win any medals.
The small museum features uniforms, autographs, awards, and other memorabilia from and related to him. They also have the torch he held in the Beijing Olympics Torch Relay and some things related to that which I found interesting. Prior to seeing the museum there is an informative video that you can watch. They also have a variety of souvenirs. It's a nice museum for baseball fans.
Entrance is 500 yen.
Written Feb 25, 2013
Makibi Park is a Chinese garden located in the northern part of Kurashiki. It is named after Kibi no Makibi, a Japanese scholar born here who traveled to China and introduced the game Go to Japan when he returned. He is also said to have created the katakana syllabary.
Prior to entering the garden, there is a Chinese-style building on the left that contains artifacts and information about Kibi no Makibi and the history of Chinese learning.
The garden is small but is still nice to stroll about. It contains a pond with a Chinese pavillion, the circular Chinese entranceway, and monuments to Kibi no Makibi. A path from the garden also leads to the grave of Kibi no Makibi himself.
Everything is free to enter, so it's a nice place to come both for the garden and for the historic artifacts and grave.
Written Sep 6, 2012
Heartland Kurashiki is an annual event held in May with most festivities set around Golden Week (the first week of May), but many events are also held on weekends after Golden Week to the end of the month.
Many of the events utilize the canal. I was able to see the Taketori Monogatari (Taketori Tale) which was an evening boat ride featuring a princess and two men, everyone adorned with the fashion of the times of the tale and the man in front was playing a calming tune on his flute. The canal was very scenic, as it was lined with candles and seeing the traditional outfits and boat on the canal was of course nice.
There are many different types of events, both day and evening, so it's worth checking out if you are in the area. Outside the tourist information center within the Bikan area, they have pamphlets as well as a signboard outlining the events of the day (and upcoming days).
Written May 18, 2012
The Ohara Museum of Art is a private museum (the oldest in Japan) dating back to 1930. It features an impressive array of European art in the main gallery, which were purchased by Kojima Torajiro with financial support from Ohara Magosaburo, the founder of the museum.
Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with European art should be able to recognize many of the artists. The El Greco painting "Annunciation" is advertised as the most famous work however, I found that nearly all of the works in the museum are from extremely famous European artists, such as Rodin, Paul Gaughin, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, and many more.
Although the European artwork is enough to make this museum worth the visit, there are also three other galleries. The Asiatic Art gallery is a great exhibit, housing mostly Chinese works. I particularly found the display of prehistoric oracle bones to be fascinating. The Craft Art Gallery features works by a few different Japanese artists. The Annex Building building is an interesting contrast to the other galleries, because the works are by modern Japanese artists. The Shinkeien Garden is located between the Annex Gallery and the other galleries. If you want, you can see the garden for free, without going to the galleries however, the galleries house such impressive works, I would highly recommend going to see them!
The entrance fee for adults is 1000 yen. College and high school students can enter for 600 yen if you show your student I.D. The fee covers entrance to all four museums, and you can re-enter as many times as you like that day! There are English audio guides available in the main gallery for an extra fee. If you plan on visiting the Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall exhibits in Ivy Square, consider purchasing the combination ticket for 1300 yen (saving you 200 yen).
The Museum is closed on Mondays.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1-1-15 Chuo Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken 710-8575
Kurashiki tivoli park is a hugh garden with the lake and beautiful flower. Because the park tied up with Denmark tivoli park, all the buildings in the park are designed similar with that in denmark tivoli park.
It is amusement park for children.
When night falls, numerous illumination from each buildings decorate the park, it is fantasy world for adults.
In spring, the park will full with tulip.
Opening hour : 10.00-21.00
Ticket: ￥2,000 (adult), ￥1,700 (senior high student), ￥1,000 (child)
admission after 5 p.m. : 1,000 (adult), 800 (senior high student), 500 (child).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
One of the things I love about Japanese people is their willingness to embracethe aesthetics of other cultures and to recreate them on their own soil. Kurashiki is a romantic and charming town, but for me, the real gem was Tivoli Park, a recreation of Copenhagen's Tivoli Park and generally gushing salute to Danish culture. The Park is meticulously maintained, filled with charming cafes and flowering gardens. I was there on a sunny day in June, but there were still far more employees than actual guests. For thrill seekers, the rides are pretty tame. You really should come here just to enjoy the atmosphere and to stock up on Scandinavian toys. The best attractions are the ones that are about Denmark, such as the Hans Christian Anderson Theater and the town hall film about Denmark. My only complaints are a) ride tickets are a bit pricey (but hey, that's normal in Japan) and b) the food was less authentically "Danish" than I'd hoped for (but again, what was I expecting in Japan?).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Behind the Kurashiki Train Station
Saisou-Tei, also known as the Yunoki House, is known for being the site of the seppuku (ritual suicide) of Ataka Kumata in 1868. The Yunoki family had served the Lord of Bicchu Matsuyama. When Tamashima was on the verge of war as riots broke out across the area, Ataka Kumata, who was the associate chief of his clan, committed seppuku. Because of this, war was avoided and lives were spared.
Although it is interesting enough to visit a building were a ritual suicide took place, what makes Saisou-Tei a truly fascinating place to visit is the fact that you can still see the actual blood stains of Kumata on the ceiling of the room! This makes the Saisou-Tei a truly unique destination and one that very few foreigners in Japan know about. For some it may seem a bit morbid, but to visit this house, stand in the room, and see the blood stains from a real hara-kiri, for me, was quite surreal. It's a look at an aspect of Japanese culture that many people are aware of but are rarely able to learn about outside of books.
At Haguro Shrine, the small shrine to the right is Kumata Shrine. It was built to allow Kumata's soul to rest peacefully, since he died during such tumultuous times and in such an unnatural way.
A visit to the Saisou-Tei House only takes about 30 minutes. If you speak or read Japanese, there is information inside the house and the guide is more than happy to answer questions! I was not charged to enter, but I do recommend making a donation. It is well worth it to preserve such an amazing historical building!
Updated May 11, 2009
Entsuji Temple is a beautiful temple founded by the priest Gyouki. It is located atop a hill in the Tamashima area of Kurashiki and offers a great view of the city. You can even see the Seto Inland Sea!
The temple is most famous for being the site where the Priest Ryokan trained for eighteen years beginning around 1779 under Priest Kokusen. For his training he meditated, recited sutras, and farmed. After the death of Kokusen in 1791 he left Entsuji Temple, going on a pilgrimage and living as a hermit for the rest of his life. He wrote a lot of poetry while at Entsuji Temple, and his poetry is quite famous.
Today the temple has become a popular pilgrimage site for people of the Soto-sect, as well as for those who are interested in viewing the sites where the famous poems were written. The temple is quite nice, and the gardens and view of the Seto Inland Sea around it make it even better!
Written Jan 30, 2009
The Momotaro Museum is a museum dedicated to Momotaro, the famous legend of the Peach Boy however, it is not just a museum of artifacts. While there are some old books and Momotaro artwork on display, the museum is also a fun display of optical illusions. The ticket salesperson will walk you through the first floor of the museum and show you the various tricks. It's fun and quite cute!
Along with the artifacts and optical illusions, the museum houses a small haunted house, featuring the demon from the Momotaro story. It's a short walkthrough, but it's cute and probably enough for a child to enjoy without getting too frightened. Most of the Momotaro memorabilia on display are on the second floor, along with a video in which one of Momotaro's companions, the pheasant, is featured flying to see Kinojo Castle, where the demon from the original story was believed to have resided.
If you are travelling with a child or you yourself are a child at heart (or fan of the Momotaro tale), I highly recommend a visit to this museum!
The entrance fee is 600 yen for adults, 400 yen for elementary and middle school students, and 100 yen for children. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Written Jan 19, 2009
Address: 5-11 Honmachi Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken
Achi Shrine is Kurashiki's most important shrine, dedicated to the city's patron deity, and it sits in the middle of the city as part of Tsurugatayama Park. According to one of the miko (shrine maidens), the current shrine dates back to the seventeenth century.
Some tourists in Japan claim to get tired of seeing temples and shrines after a while, but because many of Kurashiki's most famous sites are museums, I think it's quite nice to visit Achi Shrine while in Kurashiki.
Written Jan 19, 2009
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