October 6, 2013 by Terumi
I had big plans for Okayama. I really wanted to visit the Kurashiki area, and see little boats floating downstream, but when we finally arrived in Okayama, I realized we were pretty exhausted and decided I’d save those for another time. (Okayama is the 2nd stop in our Japan itinerary. It’s a perfect stop in between Tokyo and Kochi if you’re heading that way-and you should; Kochi is an amazingly family-friendly place.) We were also in the middle of typhoon weather in Japan and it would have be pretty stormy if we even tried to head out that way after all.
We had picked the Hotel Granvia because it’s pretty much in the train station and it turned out we had a lovely room with a gorgeous window.
The boys really liked that they provided little child-sized slippers for them too.
There was a small grocery store nearby in the train station where we picked up some snacks and oranges at night (I was surprised that it was cash only though many places in Japan are. It’s a little difficult to find machines. With our banks the hubby found we could take out cash at Post Offices and 711s.) We found a really yummy udon restaurant in the station for dinner and called it a night.
In the morning we ate a cafe in the train station. My breakfast was about 5 dollars USD and had salmon, rice and miso soup. The boys breakfasts’ were under 5 dollars and were pancakes and ICE CREAM. They were thrilled.
I was thrilled because my coffee came in a beautiful tea cup. I think we need to use our nice tea sets more.
Okayama seems like it’s famous for fruit because there were fruit stands all around the train station with very pricey produce and though I was tempted to buy a bunch of $50 usd grapes to see what the hype was about, we found a stand with a grape jelly made from the same grapes for about 4 dollars and there were 4 grapes on top. We each tried the dollar grapes and they were delicious.
We also noticed that from our hotel window there was a rooftop playground on the nearby Takashimaya store. We love the rooftop playgrounds we found on our last trip to Asia, and we were definitely hoping to find more this time!
Another place you need to know about is the building in the top right-hand corner with the red lettering. It’s BIC CAMERA. This is an amazing store that sells all sorts of things, especially electronics, and we found that they had the best prices on kids toys. For example, my guys love TOMICA cars and they were about 3 dollars USD here vs. 5 dollars everywhere else. BIC CAMERA also has this camera that I want that I didn’t get a chance to pick up because the guys were getting too crazy. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is not available until 2014 in the USA and I totally wish I’d purchased it when I had the chance!
So Okayama seems like a little town I’d love to explore more. We saw so many people biking around outside at night and bustling through the streets around the station. I think the hotel we picked was a pretty good location for traveling around the area too.
Category FAMILY TRAVELS, japan | Tags: bic camera okayama, cheapest place to buy Tomica cars in japan, family friendly hotels in japan, JR pass, places to visit with kids in japan, rooftop playgrounds in japan, train travel in japan with kids