The Okayama prefecture is a place often visited by tourists visiting the West of Japan due to its position close to Kansai and north of Shikoku. With the gorgeous Naoshima nearby, it’s worth a weekend trip and certainly worth exploring by vehicle if you have the opportunity to do so.
Okayama city surrounds the main train station nicely, so most of the hotels and car rental companies are strategically placed around the station. On both sides of the track you can find a selection of accommodation and vehicle rental spots; Times Car Rental is highly recommended in Okayama for its excellent customer service, as a non-Japanese speaker they will even help setup your GPS unit in your preferred language.
From the Okayama City centre, it’s well worth heading straight to Okayama Castle and the world famous Korakuen; a stunning garden located to the East of the main city centre.
From Okayama City it’s a nice journey to the highly recommended Kurashiki; a stunning village with traditional Japanese architecture and beautiful local shops to explore. There is a canal on which you can rent a boat and float leisurely along the water.
From Kurashiki, you can make a journey to the beautiful, artistic island of Naoshima. A ferry can taken across in approximately 20 minutes to Naoshima and you car can of course come along, this will cost you just over 300 yen per person and the car should set you back a further 2000 yen.
When on Naoshima, most will travel by foot or bicycle, but by car is the absolute winner. There are very few places to keep your car in Naoshima but if you are staying at the world famous Benesse House, as a guest you will be able to leave your vehicle right next to the hotel. The car can also be used to travel around the different museums and buildings in Benesse House.