Things to do in Okayama

These things can generally be accessed easily without requiring a car.

Cultural


Korakuen Garden / Okayama Castle
One of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, which is next to Okayama's famous black 'Crow Castle'.

Kibi cycling trail
You can rent a bike at either end of the trail and return it at the other end for a small fee. Along the trail are different historical spots you can stop at and see like temples and burial grounds.

Niimi Caves - External website
Between Takahashi and Niimi at Ikura Station are some of Japan's longest natural limestone caves.
There is also another cave (accessible by car) that has a beautiful red bridge inside.

Kurashiki's bikan historical quarter
The traditional area of Kurashiki. This area is filled with historical buildings and architecture of Japan, along with a number of stores, restaurants, museums and galleries.

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
IMG_0379.JPG
While not the biggest castle in Japan, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is the highest, as well as one of the original 12 castles still around. To get there, you can either walk or cab to the base of the castle and then either hike or shuttle your way up to the top. You can also see the grounds for the Lord's palace and the samurai houses at the bottom of the mountain.

Okayama City's museums
Okayama city has a number of museums and art galleries that contain objects of Japanese origin, or objects from around the world. Most of the displays only have Japanese information. Entry fees vary.

General

Cinemas in Okayama

You're not going to want to be doing cultural stuff all the time, and there will certainly be movies released that you'd no doubt want to see. There are a number of cinemas in and around Okayama which show movies in English.
Cinema names:
  • Movix
  • Merpa
  • Toho

Karaoke
Within Okayama city, and even the smaller cities in the prefecture, there are plenty of places to sing until your friends are deaf and you can no longer speak. Some offer different deals that may be worth remembering (such as cheaper plans at certain times, or all you can drink offers). For most of the bigger chains, you'll usually you will be required to have, or make, a membership card.

SEGA Joypolis
The largest (but not the only) videogame arcade in Okayama. Filled with a number of video games and skill testers (UFO catchers). Most games cost 100 yen to play, while UFO catchers can be 100-200 yen per try.

10 pin bowling
Above Joypolis is a 10pin bowling alley. Book some lanes, rent some shoes, and start throwing heavy balls at some standing sticks. If you're not in the mood to bowl, they have a couple of billiard tables to use, and Joypolis is just downstairs.

See a Game
Okayama has a number of local sports teams, and also stadiums for visiting games. You can watch baseball and soccer matches, or even go see the local volleyball team play. Tickets are usually purchased from convenience stores, and often, you are allowed to bring your own drinks and food into stadiums.

Go to the beach
Japan doesn't have the most spectacular beaches in the world, but there are a couple of nice spots. Specifically Ushimado and Shiraishi island beaches. To visit the Ushimado beach, the best method without a car is by getting to Oku station (尾久駅) by train, then take a connecting bus to Ushimado and finally walking the rest of the way to the beach.
To visit Shiraishi Island, you will need to get to Kasaoka and then take one of the different ferries to the island.

__**Round 1**__
Round 1 is the name of a entertainment facility chain. They are usually large buildings with several floors that house arcade games and UFO catchers, karaoke, bowling, sports facilities...
You can pay an entry fee to access specific floors for timed blocks (90mins - 1380yen , 3 hours - 1780yen or 'unlimited' hours - 1980yen), which allows you to enjoy a number of different activities with no additional cost (bowling being the only activity inaccessible).
Otherwise, you can freely enter the arcade game area, or book bowling lanes or karaoke rooms.
Round 1 in Okayama can be accessed by a free loop bus from Okayama station's west bus terminal.
Bus timetable and Map - First set of tables, and final map.

Hiking
Here's a website featuring hikes around the area. Sorry, Japanese 日本語 only.