I planned to spend three nights in Okayama, and the first day I had set aside for a visit to Kurashiki, a city about 15 minutes away by train.  It’s noted for a group of historic buildings around an old canal, many of which are now in use as shops, museums, restaurants, and ryokans.

On my way to the canal area, I stopped off at the restored Ōhashi House, which dates back to 1793.  Built by a well-to-do merchant, it’s very well preserved and well worth the visit if you’re in town.

The area is very touristy in feel – somewhat like the Distillery District in Toronto might be on an afternoon.  Aside from the buildings themselves, the canal made for some great photos as well.

Wandering the back streets nearby, I found some interesting buildings to photograph.  The clash of old and new in these historic areas makes for some great finds.

Circling back, the cancel came with a couple of interesting habitants that I chased around for the better part of an hour – Swans and a Heron (Crane?).  Surprisingly, they let you get pretty close, but then I suppose they’re used to tourists.

This is also where I purchased my first piece of pottery – bizen-yaki.  I’ll be heading to Imbe tomorrow, where most of the Bizen-yaki (Bizen pottery) is made, so resisted the temptation to pick up too much just yet.

Back to Okayama, a quick dinner, and a few photos as night closed in.  Next up – laundry.