Okayama is a city in western Japan renowned for its sunny climate, its historical buildings, its wealth of artistic and culinary culture, and its long association with the legend of Momotaro. Among many sites of interest in and around Okayama are the 16th century Okayama Castle, the picturesque Korakuen Garden, the preserved traditional streets and houses in scenic Kurashiki, and the fantastic art collection at the Ohara Museum.
Traveling from Osaka the three best ways to get to this great getaway destination are by shinkansen, by regular JR train services, and by express bus. Let’s take a look at these options.
By Shinkansen Bullet Train
Traveling from Shin-Osaka Station on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, you can reach Okayama in 50-70 minutes depending on the model of train you catch. The fare is 5,500 yen including the Limited Express surcharge, but this can be more economical if you have a Japan Rail Pass. Remember though, that the Japan Rail Pass does not cover the faster shinkansen models like the Nozomi or the Mizuho.
By Regular JR Trains
Traveling from Osaka Station you can get to Okayama in 2 hours and 30 minutes for 3,020 yen. You will probably have to change trains twice though at Himeiji Station and Aioi Station. Use the JR West Timetable and Fare Finder to find the best train times and plan your route.
By Express Bus
There are regular bus services between Osaka and Okayama. Buses depart from Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) in Minatomachi near Namba, and the JR Bus terminal at Osaka Station. The buses stop at Okayama Station’s West Gate and some buses continue on to Kurashiki Station. The travel time to Okayama Station from OCAT is 3 hours and 37 minutes and the travel time from Osaka Station is 3 hours and 7 minutes. A one way ticket from either OCAT or Osaka Station is 3,150 yen and a round-trip ticket is 5,800 yen. You can find up to date bus times and fares and make bookings online at Kousokubus.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.