A Castle in the Sky
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is Japan’s highest castle. It is over 400 meters or 1,400 feet above sea level.
It is sometimes covered with mist early in the morning so it looks like it is floating in the air.
This guest house was established to help visitors experience organic life.
The guest house offers a chance to try wood cutting and cooking in an old fashioned Japanese stove.
Lunch is Obanzai Kyoto cuisine – a kind of comfort food that uses the freshest in-season vegetables.
Fukiya Furusato Village
The word furusato in Japanese evokes images of one’s hometown, a historic village or an old fashioned village. Fukiya is truly a place where you feel like you have gone back in time. It also has a friendly atmosphere. Maybe it will feel like home when you visit its red buildings and quaint streets.
The village is about 500 meters or 1,800 feet above sea level.
Visitors will probably notice right away that the rows of buildings are painted red. The village boomed because of the nearby copper mines and as a center of the production of bengara pigment. The evidence of its former glory can be seen in the stylish buildings which line the street.
Shimomachi Furatto – The Fukiya Visitors Center
This friendly visitor center is great to take a little look around in. Visitors can get a hands on idea of how the Bengara pigment was produced. A water wheel completes the picture and transports guests back to the feel of the Meiji Era of the 19th Century.
A mini craft experience to see the power of the Bengara pigment is included in this trip. Guests can try their hand at dyeing a handkerchief using the iconic vermilion pigment themselves!
Moto-Nakada Mansion Kurayashiki
This stately building was built in the late 19th Century and may remind guests of a sake brewery. It is a perfect place to relax after a day of exploring.
Guests can relax around the traditional irori style hearth and try some of the fine local cuisine on offer.
Makido Stalactite Cave
This cave was visited by the literary figures Tekkan and Akiko Yosano. Ever since it has been called Makido – a cave filled with magic.
Okayama Prefecture designated this site a Natural Monument in the 1950s. It is a limestone cave formed by the rushing water of the Takahashi River. It is a popular spot because of its many stalagmites and stalactites.
Time to take a look around the streets of Noren Kaido. This quiet area is notable for its many noren curtains on shop fronts. The tradition of hanging noren curtains over store fronts is centuries old but the designs found here are unique to each store and very stylish.