Kurashiki is a charming city in the Okayama Prefecture facing the Seto Inland Sea, and embracing the banks of Takahashi river. With a bustling modern center and an old heritage quarter, the city beautifully blends the best of the old and the new. Kurashiki’s charmingly preserved Bikan historical area boasts tastefully restored merchant quarters and warehouses of the Edo and Meiji periods. With a canal running through it, punctuated occasionally by punts, the picturesque neighborhood offers a wonderfully calm and relaxed vibe. Quaint inns, boutiques, cafes, and interesting museums that house Monet’s and Picasso’s works among others, populate the characteristic white-walled buildings. Owing to its agricultural history, Kurashiki also has a booming textile industry, especially known for production of denim, which can be witnessed at Kojima Jeans Street. A short hike up Mount Washu offers spectacular panoramas of the surrounding seascape with Seto Ohashi Bridge as its centerpiece.