Check Out These 9 Museums in Kurashiki, Okayama Perfect for a Cultural Day Trip

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  • Capturing Insta-worthy photos for your travel experiences might be the goal, but traveling to learn is just as important. People travel to witness new sceneries while learning how foreign cultures differ from their own. And when it comes to rich culture, Japan is a destination that has so much to tell. This is evident in the presence of many museums found across the country.

    Today, we’ll take a trip to Kurashiki City (倉敷市) located in the western Okayama Prefecture (岡山県) and check out its must-visit museums. If culture, tradition, and antiques are your thing, then these nine places must have a spot on your trip itinerary!

    1. KAKE Museum of ART (加計美術館)

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    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last entry at 4:30 PM)
    Closed: Mondays (except national holidays), New Year holidays, and exhibition change period
    Admission fee: 300 yen

    This museum was opened in the year 2002 and is popular for its unique displays that feature restoration techniques and art preservation. Students, antique collectors, and art enthusiasts find this place a worthy visit in boosting their knowledge on how to take care of their collectibles better. Local universities are said to be involved in providing the displays, making it even more relevant and updated to the needs of guests who wish to learn the nitty-gritty of art preservation.

    KAKE Museum of ART Website *Japanese only
    Access

    2. Kurashiki Archaeological Museum (倉敷考古館)

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    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (shortens to 4:30 PM from December to February)
    Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays (except national holidays)
    Admission fee: 500 yen

    From the name of the museum itself, the place houses authentic artifacts from all over Japan, primarily those uncovered in the Kurashiki area. There is an estimate of 700 types of pottery found in the museum along with other antiquities that represent Japan’s ancient civilization. For those who wish to get a vivid look at what tools dominated the country prior to present-day innovation, then this museum should be one of your destinations.

    Kurashiki Archaeological Museum Website
    Access

    3. Japanese Toy and Doll Museum (日本郷土玩具館)

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    Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    Closed: January 1
    Admission fee: 400 yen

    Just like most of the local toys created in different countries, there are certain elements that make them a representation of the culture and area where they are made. This museum features four main display rooms that present old toys created across Japan’s 47 prefectures. There is also one room dedicated for Daruma dolls.

    If you want refreshments while touring around the place, you can always try out the treats from their shops and cafe.

    Japanese Toy and Doll Museum Website
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    4. Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft (倉敷民藝館)

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    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (shortens to 4:15 PM from December to February)
    Closed: Mondays (except national holidays), December 29 to January 1
    Admission fee: 700 yen

    This place was originally a storehouse before it was converted into a museum in 1948. Featured in this museum are day-to-day items from ancient Japan such as textiles, ceramics, potteries, lacquerware, and more.

    Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft Website
    Access

    5. Ohara Museum of Art (大原美術館)

    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last entry at 4:30 PM)
    Closed: Mondays (except national holidays), December 28 to 31
    Admission fee: 1,300 yen – inclusive of entrance fee to Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall (児島虎次郎記念館)

    With most of Kurashiki’s museums converted from storehouses, this one stands out, particularly because it was built to house Western art in Japan. In fact, it’s the very first museum in the country created for such purpose.

    Popular masterpieces by El Greco, Modigliani, Picasso, Gauguin, and more are displayed in this place. It’s a perfect destination to complete your cultural immersion and compare the works of Japanese artists with that of prominent Western art geniuses.

    Ohara Museum of Art Website
    Access

    6. Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall

    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last entry at 4:30 PM)
    Closed: Mondays (except national holidays), December 28 to 31
    Admission fee: 1,300 yen – inclusive of entrance fee to Ohara Museum of Art

    This place is a must-visit for those who are familiar or a fan of Kojima Torajiro (児島虎次郎; 1881 to 1929). He was a Japanese artist popular for painting in a Western style rather than his own country’s mainstream art style during his era. His works are displayed in the museum as well as items he had collected and purchased, which includes Egyptian and Islamic items.

    Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall Website
    Access

    7. Piggy Banks Museum (貯金箱博物館)

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    Operating hours: 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
    Closed: Thursdays
    Admission fee: 200 yen

    It’s literally a museum for piggy banks! It displays a whole array of creatively designed piggy banks created from different regions of Japan. The displays vary from those created for the notable 1970 Osaka Expo (大阪万博) up to the personalized ones which feature manga or anime characters. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find the place as it stands out with its identical dog statues on the museum’s roof.

    Access

    8. Momotaro Karakuri Museum (桃太郎のからくり博物館)

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    Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (extended hours during the summer season)
    Closed: none
    Admission fee: 600 yen

    Momotaro (桃太郎; Clam Peach Boy) is a prominent hero of Japanese folklore and has been the theme of pop culture entertainment in Japan, such as in films and children story books. The tale of Momotaro’s adventure is said to have originated in Okayama Prefecture, thus the character’s popularity among the locals.

    This museum displays different types of devices that are associated with the character based on the folktale. Animal figures beside Momotaro’s statue is a good representation of his adventures with his animal friends who all made contributions in his quest to defeat the demons who plagued the land. If you or your kids are a fan of Momotaro’s story, then might as well drop by this local attraction.

    Momotaro Karakuri Museum Website
    Access

    9. Kurabo Memorial Hall (倉紡記念館)

    Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last entry at 4:45 PM)
    Closed: none
    Admission fee: 250 yen

    This museum is dedicated to the prominent Kurashiki spinning mill company that was founded in 1888. There is a total of five sections or rooms in the museum, each displaying artifacts from different periods. It’s a good place to learn more about one of Kurashiki’s most important industries.

    Kurabo Memorial Hall Website
    Access

    These museums are all located in the same vicinity so transport shouldn’t be an issue. Just be reminded that not all of them have English translations on their exhibit labels or displays. Unless you can read and understand Japanese, it might help to ask the aid of a friend or a guide who can assist you in understanding.

    Museums are perfect locations to relive and learn more about a place’s culture and tradition. Don’t miss the chance to explore Kurashiki’s rich heritage by dropping by these nine museums!

    Would you like to stay in Kurashiki? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

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