In my opinion cycling is the best way to see the main sites in Tsuyama. While walking is possible, the historic Joto Street is rather long and its best views are the furthest from the castle area, closer to HigashiTsuyama Station. Shurakuen Garden, one of the town's most famous sites, is also a bit removed from the castle. Biking eliminates most of the distance that walkers would notice so you can go at a leisurely pace, and of course, allows you to see more in a day or go further out.
Bikes can be rented at the Tourist Information Center to the left of the station (upon exiting). Short 2 hour rentals cost 400 yen and full day rentals cost 1000 yen. Bikes can also be rented at the Kanko Center below Tsuyama Castle.
To get to Tsuyama, you can either take the railway from Okayama Station or drive. The JR Tsuyama Line will take you straight to Tsuyama from Okayama. The line uses Wanman Trains, which are operated by one person and only have 2 cars. Depending on where else you've been, it may be a nice experience. Wanman Trains are not quite as smooth as others, but I think they create a nice atmosphere. It takes about an hour to get to Tsuyama from Okayama station.
If you choose to drive however, it is also not difficult. From Okayama, simply drive on Route 53. That's it! Route 53 will take you into Tsuyama. I think the view is better when driving, but the train is also nice and of course both will get you here.
Tsuyama does have a bus system, as well as taxis, that you can use to get around. If you don't mind using the bus (depot across the road from the station) or taxi (right outside the station), then feel free to use them. I used both. The bus is pretty cheap, but the price goes up a bit every stop, so know where you're going or you'll be paying unnecessary fares!
The easiest and fastest way to get around in Tsuyama is to drive. This will give you more freedom to roam around or to go wherever you please without having to worry about the bus, and you can visit Yokono falls easily. To see the main sites (Kakuzan Park, Shurakuen Garden, Joto Street, etc.), you can walk, and the walk is quite nice, especially because Joto Street is a historical street, so even if you are driving you should walk down this street rather than driving through it. Maps of Tsuyama can be obtained at the station (tourist center is on the left) or at the tourist center below Kakuzan Park to make navigation even easier.
If you are in Osaka or Kyoto, it can be expensive travelling by train to Okayama prefecture, but even without a car, the train is not your only option. Highway Buses depart from Osaka Station, Shin-Osaka Station, and Kyoto Station bound for Tsuyama daily. More buses depart from Osaka Station, so if you try the Kyoto buses and they are filled, I recommend making your reservation from Osaka Station. (The bus that leaves Osaka Station is the same bus that stops at Shin-Osaka Station, so if you want to sit with a friend, I recommend departing from Osaka Station). The Kyoto bus is a different bus, so it will not stop in Osaka.
The fares from Osaka are 2670 yen to Tsuyama.
From Kyoto, it costs 3000 yen to get to Tsuyama.
If you are a university student, show your Student I.D. when you purchase the ticket and you can travel for about 300 yen less!
(Prices are always subject to change, so check when you go)
By using the bus, you can easily save yourself 5000 yen, so if you are in Osaka or Kyoto without a car, the highway bus is well worth it! It takes about 3 hours to get to Tsuyama using the highway buses and they stop at one rest stop along the way for a 7 minute bathroom or snack break.