Top things to do

Top Choice Gardens in Okayama


Kōraku-en draws the crowds with its reputation as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. It has expansive lawns broken up by ponds, teahouses and other Edo-period buildings, including a nō theatre stage; …
Top Choice Tofu in Okayama


Squeeze in at the counter at this small, simple lunch joint and watch the team of women preparing delicious tofu meals as you wait. There are only three things on the (picture) menu; try the okabe teishoku for a set…
Castle in Okayama


Nicknamed U-jō (烏城; Crow Castle) because of its colour, the striking black Okayama Castle has an imposing exterior with gilded-fish gargoyles flipping their tails in the air. You can appreciate its impressive appear…
Japanese in Okayama


An extremely popular fusion restaurant for Japanese classics such as tako-yaki (grilled octopus dumplings). The best bet is the set six-course meal, which includes French-leaning flavours in pumpkin soup, grilled pr…
Bar in Okayama

Saudade na Yoru

This 2nd-floor lounge bar overlooking the Symphony Hall building makes all the right retro-chic moves, with mismatched furniture, ornate-glass lighting and eclectic background (and sometimes live jazz) music. It has…
Shopping Centre in Okayama

Aeon Mall Okayama

Okayama's ultra-modern mall has seven floors to keep shoppers happy, with local fashion brands and international chain favourites such as Zara and H&M. There are also numerous places to eat.
Theatre in Okayama

Okayama Symphony Hall

Okayama's concert hall, in an impressive circular building, hosts a range of international and local music and dance performances.
Cultural in Okayama

Saidai-ji Eyō

Also known as the Hadaka Matsuri ('Naked Festival'), this event takes place at the Kannon-in temple in Saidai-ji, where a chaotic crowd of around 10,000 men in loincloths fight over two sacred shingi (wooden batons)…
Izakaya in Okayama

Izayoi no Tsuki

A convivial atmosphere (though it's fine to sit at the counter solo), walls decorated with sake labels, and an enormous drinks menu – just what you want from a local izakaya. There are numerous sakes from Okayama Pr…
Noodles in Okayama

Tori-soba Ōta

The name of this little counter-top restaurant is also its trademark dish: tori-soba (steaming bowls of noodles packed with chicken and served in a tasty broth). Other options are variations on the chicken, noodle a…