Attraction > Area
Kurashiki (in Japanese; 倉敷) is a city in Okayama Prefecture Japan. It has a preserved, and popular with tourists, "Canal Area" (Bikan Historical Quarter) that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867) when the city served as an important rice distribution center and white-walled, black-tiled warehouses were built to store goods. The word in Japanese "Kurashiki" roughly translates as "town of storehouses", which refers to the storehouses in which the rice was kept. During the Edo period large quantities of rice from the surrounding area were brought into Kurashiki and intermediately stored there in storehouses before being shipped to the major cities in Japan. Canals were built to allow boats and barges to navigate between the city's storehouses and the nearby port. Weeping willow trees that line the canal and the stone bridges that cross over the water make for a picturesque scene. During the Meiji Restoration factories were built, including the Ohara Spinning Mill, which still stands as the nostalgic tourist attraction Ivy Square.