Kurashiki Canal – Okayama | Travel Information

Kurashiki is a large city located in Okayama Prefecture. It has a population of just under half a million people, making it the second largest city in the prefecture. It is known for it’s historic buildings which are centuries old and the ‘Bikan’ district of the city.

Parts of Kurashiki, in particular the Bikan district,  date back to the early days of the Edo Period (17th Century). Kurashiki was the center of one of Japan’s most essential trade & distribution routes for Rice. Kurashiki used to have many storehouses for rice, which at the time was a precious commodity. 


The trade route was so important to the nation, the Shogunate was put in charge of it to ensure the safety of each trade.  To help with the distribution and trade of rice, canals were built so that the rice can be sent via boat which meant for much easier and efficient travel.

Today, the canals stand despite various natural distaster and both World Wars. They stand as part of Historic Kurashiki and Japan representing economic growth and sustainability for the nation. The buildings around the canal share in the historic design, and many companies and workplaces are in the original buildings to this day despite being centuries old. Walking in Kurashiki is the next best thing to time travelling


If you would like a taste of what it was like to travel the canals like they used to, don’t worry, you can purchase a 20 minute boat ride up the canal in an old-fashioned boat, enabling you to see the beautiful sights of Kurashiki all from the comfort of a boat. Tickets for the boat cruise are 500yen for Adults, 250yen for children and can be purchased from the Kurashikikan Tourist Information Office.

There are numerous museums and other attractions in the area, all done in the historic style. Some of the more notable museums along the  Kurashiki Canal are the Ohara Museum, Museum of Folkcraft, and the Toy Museum. 

Nearby Accommodation