Kurashiki is a historic city located in western Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea.
It was under direct control of the shogunate government, and trade by boat helped the town to prosper during the Edo Period for 350 years.
In the 17th century, distinctive white-walled, black-tiled warehouses were built along the main canal, to store goods. This district is preserved as the “Bikan Chiku” historical area: the beautiful streetscape of storehouses and merchant homes south of JR Kurashiki Station is designated an Important Traditional Structures Conservation Area.
The Canal Area with its canal lined by willows and old storehouses (kura)
Ohara Museum, the oldest Western Art museum in Japan
Ohashi House, a former merchant house open to the public
Ivy Square, site of the first modern cotton mill in Japan