- February 10 2016
Two Hour Sightseeing Around Okayama Station With A Rental BIke In Okayama Prefecture
Hi guys! I am introducing how Okayama looks like today. Okayama Prefecture is located just right next to Hiroshima Prefecture and Okayama City is the capital of Okayama Prefecture, and the city (and the prefecture) is not yet known to tourists from abroad, but it has beautiful scenery and sites.
I visited to the prefecture for business purpose, so unfortunately I didn’t have much time for myself to enjoy sightseeing. However, I decided to at least look around the capital city in Okayama Prefecture while I am waiting for the train going back home. I rented a bike at the station, went to see Okayama Castle, and had their popular local food Okayama Ramen in about 2 hours!
1) Okayama Station
In front of the station, there’s a statue of Momotaro. Momotaro is the main character in the Japanese famous folklore (his name is also used as the name of the story). The brave Momotaro and his friends (a dog, monkey, and pheasant) fought a battle with demons and beat them. This nation wide famous folklore story is originated in Okayama Prefecture.
This unique shaped fountain is an another thing in front of the station.
Oh by the way, Okayama Prefecture is here on this map below.
Rent A Bike!
There’s rental bike service called Momochari available in the area.
To rent a bike, put your information and register yourself as a user and ID and password comes through SMS. Put these numbers in the machine and make payment with Suica, Icoca or some other electronic money card. it costs 100 yen for an hour in total which means if you ride the bike 30 minutes and return the cycle station, you still have another 30 minutes. There are some other plans available such as a day (24 hours) for 200 yen etc.
Note- If you don’t have these electronic money cards, Momochari can make the card only for the service at the office. The address of the office is as follows: 2-26 Iwata-cho Kita-ku Okayama-shi, Okayama Prefecture
Alright...this is going to be my buddy for next 2 hours!
These cycle stations are available in the area!
The first things to see were the spacious park called Kourakuen and Okayama Castle which is close by. It took me less than 10 minutes bike ride from the station.
This river near the castle is called Asahikawa. I am from the city called Asahikawa in Hokkaido, so I saw this river with a sence of affinity...hahaha
This board tells you the history of Okayama Castle.
Even though some buildings in the premise doesn’t exist anymore, they draw their floor plans which the historians found in the old documents on the ground...interesting!
TA-DA! This is the main building of Okayama Castle! Looking cool, huh?
The castle is not too showy, but looks very noble and stable.
Now, this is how Kourakuen looks like. Very refreshing to see green and the stream under the sun!
Seeing around the city with the bike is much better than taking a cab!
Okayama Ramen For Lunch
One my colleagues is from Okayama Prefecture, so I asked him what I should eat for lunch, then he asked his friend who is the editor of Okayama’s local magazine. The guy picked couple of places and I chose the Ramen restaurant he recommended. The restaurant is called Chika Soba Yamafuji.
There are many kinds of Ramen in Japan, depending on the regions and local people’s preference of its taste, etc… Okayama Ramen uses basic soy sauce based soup, but some use chicken stock, and others use pork stock.
This is the restaurant.
I ordered Negi Chuka (Ramen with chopped green). The noodles are thin and straight, and the soup has just right amount of salt and soy sauce...Mmm delicious! I recommend you to have Yamafuji’s Ramen for sure!
It was very short stay in Okayama City, but it was so much fun! If you have a car to drive around, you may be able to visit Shikoku region or Hiroshima Prefecture from there…but oh well, it was wonderful to spend my time until I get on to the train back home.
See you guys later!
*This article is written in May. 18, 2015. Please check the latest information at the official site for each.