Okayama 2 Day Itinerary: Tour the castle by car! Enjoy history and local gourmet food


Table of Contents

  • Summary
  • 行程
    • Day 1
      • 10:30am Koueido Chunagon Honten(廣榮堂 中納言本店)
      • 11:00am Okayama Castle(岡山城)
      • 1:30pm Katsudon Nomura(カツ丼 野村)
      • 5:30pm Tsuyama castle(津山城跡)
      • 4:30pm Nagi-cho Museum of Contemporary Art(奈義町現代美術館)
      • 6:30pm Hashino Shokudo(橋野食堂)
    • 2nd day
      • 9:00am Bitchu Matsuyama Castle(備中松山城)
      • 11:00am Butcher Cafe(肉屋カフェ)
      • 1:00pm Hori Wahei(旧堀和平邸)
      • 2:30pm Kino Castle(鬼ノ城)


Okayama Prefecture, nicknamed “sunny Okayama” by its residents, is characterized by its mild climate and low precipitation.
This time, we will take you on a one-day trip to four such castles in Okayama Prefecture, where you can also enjoy gourmet food.
The castle is recommended as a fun place to walk or hike to visit, especially in nice weather!

Please refer to this page.

*Please note that information and prices listed are subject to change.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

10:30am Koueido Chunagon Honten(廣榮堂 中納言本店)

Here is the start of your Okayama trip. It takes about 10 minutes by car from Okayama Station.
Let’s follow Momotaro’s example and get some kibidango first.


Lots of sweets from Okayama are lined up. There was also a cafe in the back!

millet dumplings (A type of mochi sweets and a famous souvenir from Okayama Prefecture)

There are more flavors than I imagined. So many that I want to conquer all of them.

I bought some kibidango.

Spot Outline

Located in Naka-ku, Okayama City, Koueido Chunagon Honten is a place where visitors can enjoy shopping and sweets. Perfect for the start of a trip to Okayama, the kibidango with an image of Momotaro (The main character of a typical Japanese folk tale) is very popular. The store offers a wide variety of Japanese sweets and souvenirs.

11:00am Okayama Castle(岡山城)

I was able to get some kibidango to accompany my castle-hopping trip, so I immediately started my castle-hopping tour.
The first castle tour is Okayama Castle, also known as Ujo.

guide map

The castle is surrounded by a park, perfect for a walk!

Golden Shachihoko

You can see the shiny, huge killer whale through the window.

Okayama City

The city of Okayama can be seen behind the orca.


You can see Okayama Korakuen Garden from the other side.

Spot Outline

Okayama Castle is located in Marunouchi, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. It is a fun spot for adults along with children and is located close to the station. Word of mouth has it that the exterior of the castle tower is magnificent and satisfying. Okayama Castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and is also called Ujo. Inside the castle, valuable materials are on display, and photography is allowed. It is also known for its beautiful illuminated appearance.

1:30pm Katsudon Nomura(カツ丼 野村)

For lunch, we decided to go here in search of Okayama’s local delicacies.


There was a long table that could seat a large group, as well as a single seat.


The main dish is also Okayama’s B-grade gourmet “Domi-glace Sauce Katsu-don (A type of katsudon, a local gourmet dish in Okayama)”!

Katsu-don with Domi-glace sauce, served on a bed of rice with pork loin ¥800

It looks like it has a lot of flavor, but when you eat it, it is not that heavy.
The cabbage between the rice and the cutlet also does a great job and keeps you crunching away.

Spot Outline

Katsudon Nomura, located in Kita-ku, Okayama City, is a restaurant where you can enjoy katsudon and katsuju. The restaurant’s signature dish is the popular demi katsudon, a local delicacy of Okayama.

4:30pm Nagi-cho Museum of Contemporary Art(奈義町現代美術館)

After lunch I drove from Okayama City and came to Nagi.

Appreciate the museum where you can enjoy the space where art and building are integrated.

It consisted of three exhibition rooms named “The earth,” “The moon,” and “Ryoan-ji in the sun.”

The earth

This exhibit was divided into two parts, inside and outside, and I was pensive that it was art.

The moon

This is a pure white space. Voices resonate very well.
If taken in style, it would be instagrammable.

Ryoan-ji in the sun

This is the sun exhibit located at the top of the dark, dark spiral staircase.
Light from outside came in from only one wall, and I was impressed in an amateur way that the sun was indeed represented.

Spot Outline

The Nagi-cho Museum of Contemporary Art is characterized by its three exhibition halls, each with a different look depending on the season and time of day. Inside the building, which is integrated with nature, many artworks are on display, including “The Sun” created by Shusaku Arakawa and madeleine and GINZU. A café is also attached to the building, where visitors can enjoy the scenery in an open space. Parking is available, even on rainy days. Workshops and special exhibitions are also held, so art lovers should check it out.

5:30pm Tsuyama castle(津山城跡)

To the second castle. It takes about 30 minutes by car from the Nagi-cho Museum of Contemporary Art mentioned earlier.

back gate

Without thinking, I entered through the back gate.


Tsuyama Castle looks like this! It looks bigger than Okayama Castle.
It is the site of a former castle surrounded by cherry trees, known for its cherry blossoms in the spring.


This tower is free to enter and anyone can go inside! Inside is a traditional tatami-mat structure, with a great view of the city of Tsuyama from the windows.

Heart stone

A heart-shaped stone on the stone wall! It is said that if a couple touches it, their love will be fulfilled.
I touched it alone, but what would happen if I was alone?

Spot Outline

Tsuyama Castle Ruins is a tourist attraction, park, castle, and historic site located in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture. It is one of Japan’s three great flat mountain castles and has a history of 400 years. Thousands of cherry trees are planted in the park, and it is considered one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in western Japan, and has been selected as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan. A cherry blossom festival is usually held for about two weeks from April 1, and the area is crowded with many stalls. It is about a 12-minute walk from Tsuyama Station, and there are several parking lots around the park. There is a fee of 300 yen for adults to enter the park, and the trip should take at least one hour. The best time to visit is from late March to mid-April, when the sea of clouds of cherry blossoms is beautiful and well-received by word of mouth.

6:30pm Hashino Shokudo(橋野食堂)

7 minutes drive from Tsuyama Castle. For dinner, we will eat local Tsuyama delicacies!


Grilled items are delivered to the table right off the griddle.
There are both table and tatami room seating, so you can come with your family and spend a relaxing time.


The teppanyaki menu is lined up. Just looking at the letters makes me hungry.

Hormone udon 1 ball ¥830

This is what I ordered, of course! This is Tsuyama’s specialty, Horumon Udon.
The textured hormone and vegetables are a perfect match. Udon noodles, which have more presence than yakisoba, are also good. I want to eat it again.

Spot Outline

Hashino Shokudo, located in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, is a restaurant that serves rice bowls, udon noodles, and horumon. “Tsuyama Horumon Udon” in the Tsuyama area is a B gourmet dish that originated from the culture of “yojo-gui (eat as medicine),” or beef-eating, before meat-eating was banned, and can be tasted at Hashino Shokudo. Why not visit for an evening meal of local food?

2nd day

9:00am Bitchu Matsuyama Castle(備中松山城)

Start of the second day. the third castle is here!

shuttle bus

The road from the parking lot to the castle is narrow, so take a bus.

Entrance to the promenade

From where the bus drops you off, it is a 20-minute walk to the mountain castle.

viewing platform

After walking for about 10 minutes, there is a kind of observatory where you can get a panoramic view of Takahashi City.
A pleasant breeze makes for a nice break.


Buy a ticket for ¥500 to go inside the castle.

inside a castle

The castle is clean and spacious.

Spot Outline

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, located in Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture, is a tourist attraction, a castle ruin, and a historic site. The castle tower is a national important cultural property and is the highest tower of the only existing mountain castle in Japan. The observatory also offers a beautiful view of the “castle in the sky,” as it is called. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is one of the 100 best castles in Japan and one of the three great mountain castles in Japan. It has high historical value and was used as a fortress by Motochika Mimura during the Warring States Period. It is a fun spot for both children and adults.

11:00am Butcher Cafe(肉屋カフェ)

It takes about 12 minutes by car from Bicchu Matsuyama Castle. We took a short break after exercise because we walked along the mountain path.


Outside the store are wings that make you an angel.


Inside, there is a table that seats about four people.
Next door is an unusual cafe that is usually a butcher shop.


All drinks are 500 yen.

Sea of clouds latte ¥500

This is cotton candy on top of a cup of ice cream or fruit.
It is said to be inspired by the sea of clouds scenery of Bicchu Matsuyama Castle. Drizzled with hot coffee, it is a delicious fusion of sweet and bitter.

Spot Outline

The Butcher Cafe is located in Minami-cho, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture. It is well-reputed by word of mouth as a perfect place to take a short break. It serves not only meat dishes, as the name “butcher” implies, but also a wide variety of sweets and drinks.

1:00pm Hori Wahei(旧堀和平邸)

Driving again, the next stop was Soja City.
This is a café whose stores change depending on the day of the week.


The birthplace of Hori Wahei, who painted Western-style paintings, this cozy restaurant retains the atmosphere of an old house.


The day of the week I went to the restaurant was a business day for “Umamiya”.

Hakka tea ¥350

Soja City is a city of Hakka.
Warm but with a fresh flavor spread that tastes strange but delicious✨.

Umamiya rice earthen pot gohan ¥1,200

All of the colorful lunches here are made with a fermentation theme!
It is a happy lunch where you can enjoy a variety of ingredients and flavors at once.

Spot Outline

The Hori Wahei in Soja City, Okayama Prefecture, is a spot where visitors can enjoy a cafe. The stores in the house change depending on the day of the week, and it is accessible by car. It is the birthplace of Hori Wahei, who painted Western-style paintings, and is said to be a cozy place with the atmosphere of an old house.

2:30pm Kino Castle(鬼ノ城)

A 20-minute drive from the Hori Wahei. The last castle of the trip is Kino Castle!
The restoration of the West Gate and the view behind it is breathtaking✨


In fact, everyone I met in Okayama told me to be careful on the road to Kino Castle.
It is really narrow and you have to yield to oncoming cars to pass each other. But all the drivers were so good that even I made it to the parking lot safely!

starting point for an ascent

Finally, we go to the last castle.

walking course

The area around Kino Castle is a walking course, and one of the pleasures is that you can change the course of your walk depending on your fitness and what you want to see.

west gate

(I always thought this was a castle…) This is a reconstruction of the west gate.
Is it just me, or does it seem like there might be demons in the area, as it is called Kino Castle?

Spot Outline

Kino Castle, located in Soja City, Okayama Prefecture, is a castle spot and one of the “100 Great Castles of Japan. Located at the top of Kino Castle Mountain, Kino Castle is surrounded by walking trails, so you can change your walking course depending on what you want to see. Kino Castle is not recorded in any history books, and its history remains a mystery. The panoramic view from the reconstructed west gate is well received as a wonderful sight.

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