The most many travellers see of Okayama is the blur of colour as they fly through on the shinkansen to Hiroshima. But it's worth stepping off the train, if only to spend a few hours strolling around Kōraku-en, one of Japan's top three gardens, which is overlooked by the city's crow-black castle. If you have a few days up your sleeve, make Okayama your base for day trips to other attractions in the region.
The city is proud of its connection to Momotarō, the demon-quelling boy hero of one of Japan's best-known folk tales. You'll spot his face beaming out at you all over town.