Lose Yourself in the Seasonal Wonderland of Okayama Prefecture

Source: Gaijin Pot

Famous for its abundant sunshine, gorgeous gardens, and its association with the legend of Momotaro, Okayama Prefecture is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend immersed in nature. If you can head down during the autumn, all the better: Okayama is home to some of the most beautiful foliage viewing spots in Japan.

Just 45 minutes by bullet train from Shin-Osaka Station, Okayama is convenient, close and unquestionably one of Honshu’s best kept secrets. It’s never too early to start planning so here is a short list of things to add to your Okayama bucket list!

Explore the home of Momotaro’s Kibi Dango

Only 25-minutes by train from Okayama Station, Kibitsu Shrine may well be the location most associated with the legend of Momotaro. If your timing is right, it’s also the perfect spot to start your autumn leaf-viewing journey.

Kibitsu Shrine is a registered national treasure.

Everyone in Japan is said to have heard the tale of Momotaro in which an elderly couple stumble upon a giant peach which opens and births a baby boy. The boy, Momotaro, grows up to become an oni (ogre) hunter and sets off to slay the ogres of Oni Island. With him, he brings a dog, a monkey and a pheasant and gives them each a kibi dango (mochi dumpling) in exchange for joining him. Together, they slay the ogres and rid Oni Island of evil.

Many believe that kibi dango was first served in Kibitsu Shrine and, therefore, closely associate it with the legend.

Kibidango is a popular omiyage from Okayama.

In addition to its enthralling history, the shrine itself is also an architectural marvel. Built in 1425, Kibitsu Shrine is a registered national treasure due to its age and the unique design of …continue reading