Kid looking at the Canal in Kurashiki Okayama

Kurashiki in Okayama with Kids

If you’re looking to visit a little town in Japan with kids that seems like it was frozen in time, I recommend going to Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture.

I’ve been to Kurashiki many times thanks to living in Yamaguchi Prefecture a few years back, and I always loved how laid back the town is yet how much there is to see and do.

In this article, I’ll share my experience taking my four-year-old daughter there on a day trip so that those of you who are interested in visiting with kids know what to expect.

An Overview of Kurashiki in Okayama

Side streets in Kurashiki Okayama

Kurashiki is a town that’s located about an hour east of Hiroshima Prefecture by train, making it perfect for a day trip. My family decided to visit during the winter this year since it’s close to my in-laws’ home in Hiroshima. Kurashiki is also near Okayama city, which is known for Momotaro, a Japanese folktale about a boy born from a peach who fought an ogre, Okayama Castle, and Okayama Korakuen Garden.

Kurashiki is most famous for the Bikan Historical Quarter, which has preserved traditional white-walled buildings. The atmosphere makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time and walking through the town is fascinating.  

The town is also the home of Japanese denim and is the largest producer of denim in the country, which is why you’ll see lots of denim shops and denim souvenirs. Due to its significance as a textile town, having started with a cotton plant in the past, it has been given a Japan Heritage designation. 

Where to Stay in Kurashiki

If you’re interested in staying in Kurashiki overnight, I suggest considering the following kid-friendly accommodations.

Kurashiki Ivy Square

This hotel is in a perfect location close to the Bikan Historical Quarter. It’s also not just a hotel but a popular tourist spot as well since it used to be a spinning factory constructed in 1889 before being turned into a hotel in 1974.

The Family Rooms are spacious and cribs are available upon request.

Families with kids rated this hotel 8.9 on Booking.com.

🏨Check availability

Royal Park Hotel Kurashiki

This hotel is not only in an excellent location, but it also offers a public bath and free tea and coffee from 15:00-24:00.

Families gave this hotel an 8.8 rating on Booking.com.

🏨Check availability

ANA Crowne Plaza Okayama

This is a 20-minute train ride from Kurashiki Station and is an option if you want to stay a 4-minute walk from Okayama Station.

Cribs are available upon request and families rated it 8.9 on Booking.com.

🏨Check availability

What to See and Do in Kurashiki with Kids 

Here are some things I did with my daughter in Kurashiki, although walking around town on its own and looking at all the shops is enjoyable enough! 

See Kurashiki Canal 

Boats at Kurashiki Canal

Kurashiki Canal in the Bikan Historical Quarter is lined with willow trees and traditional boats, a beautiful place to visit any season. It’s also a great place to take photos or even go on a boat ride. We unfortunately were unable to go on a boat because we visited during the New Year holidays and they were closed but it’s something that looks fun to do.

Go to the Kurashiki Local History Museum

History Museum in Kurashiki Okayama

At the Kurashiki Local History Museum you can learn about Kurashiki’s past and kids can engage in interactive activities like creating bara-zushi using plastic models.

A child making okayama barazushi

There is also a small Japanese garden, which my daughter liked, and in the summer they display beautiful lanterns.

Visit the Momotaro Karakuri Museum

Momotaro Museum in Kurashiki Okayama

My daughter was excited to go to the Momotaro Karakuri Museum since she knew about Momotaro from preschool. Even if your child isn’t familiar with the tale, they might enjoy the museum. The museum has trick art, displays of Momotaro memorabilia, and a little haunted house that my daughter was (understandably) too scared to go inside. I think it should be fine for kids in elementary school, though. 

There are also plenty of English signs and guides so you won’t feel lost. 

Kurashiki Museum of Natural History

The Kurashiki Museum of Natural History is a place where kids can learn about the natural history of Kurashiki, such as fossils, minerals, animals, and insects from the area. 

Check Out the Sumikkogurashi and Rilakkuma Denim House

Sumikko and Rilakkuma Denim House in Kurashiki Okayama

If you want some unique and kid-friendly souvenirs from Kurashiki, consider visiting the Sumikkogurashi and Rilakkuma Denim House. They have lots of denim-themed plushies, keychains, and other souvenirs as well as jeans for kids.  

Go Shopping at the Outlet Mall

Mitsui Outlet Park is within walking distance of Kurashiki Station. It’s on the smaller side but there are still some interesting shops and a store with lots of capsule toy machines. There is a small outdoor playground as well for kids to play in.

What to Eat in Kurashiki 

There are plenty of restaurants in Kurashiki serving local food but I’ll share one that we went to with our daughter. 

TORAIYA is very famous and has been featured in numerous Japanese magazines. They are especially famous for kibi soba, a regional dish. My husband and I each got one of their set meals with kuroge wagyu bowls and shared it with our daughter. The staff kindly gave us some cutlery and a bowl for kids. 

kibisoba in Kurashiki Okayama

The food here was amazing so I can see why it’s popular, and I definitely recommend trying the local sake as well if you can. Make sure to get the kibi dango for dessert, too, which is a Japanese mochi sweet that’s famous in Okayama.

If you want a quick snack, stop by Tono no Bacon, which has delicious skewers of bacon and local chicken. 

This isn’t necessarily for kids but if you visit the Tully’s Coffee Shop, you can get a latte with Kurashiki-themed art.

latte art at Tully's in Kurashiki Okayama Japan

Wrap-Up: Visiting Kurashiki in Okayama with Kids

Kurashiki is a wonderful place to visit on a day trip or even an overnight stay to get a taste of historical Japanese culture. There’s plenty to see and do and kids are bound to enjoy their time there. 

If you have time and a car, I also recommend visiting Saijo Inari, a huge temple in Okayama and considered one of the most famous in Japan that has a 1200-year history. There are lots of fun stalls (yatai) on the way up to the temple selling food and souvenirs so kids are bound to be enthralled.

I’ve also included a map with all the locations in this article to help you on your trip!

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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