Okayama Prefecture is known as the "Land of Sunshine", because it has more sunny days and fewer rainy days than most other prefectures in Japan, making it a very liveable area, but also quite nice for travelers. The prefecture is famous for its fruits, particularly its peaches and grapes. Over half of the peaches sold in Japan come from Okayama. It is also famous for its textile industry, with over half of the school uniforms in Japan produced here, particularly in Ibara and Kurashiki.
The most famous hot springs in the prefecture are Yubara Hot Springs, Yunogo Hot Springs, and Okutsu Hot Spring, all located in the northern part of the prefecture. Each of these make great getaway destinations to relax and rejuvinate.
If these are too far out of the way, you can also try Niimi Chiya Hot Springs in Niimi or Asagiri Onsen in Takahashi. The Seto Ohashi Spa Resort in Kurashiki is not a real onsen however, it offers a variety of ways to relax, including a variety of baths.
Okayama International Villas. Those looking for cheap accommodations outside of the hustle and bustle of the cities should look into Okayama's international villas. While 3 have closed, 2 remain open for guests, each offering quite different and unique experiences. Shiraishi is an island villa, offering beaches, Buddhist temples, and excellent hiking trails. Hattoji Villa is located in a quaint farming village in Bizen. The surrounding homes have traditional Japanese thatched roofs, offering visitors a glimpse of traditional Japanese life. The International Villas are located in more remote areas so that visitors can enjoy the local culture, so those hoping to use the villas as a base for exploring nearby cities should consider staying in Okayama or Kurashiki, as travel to and from these cities is more practical and convenient for day trips to other cities. When making reservations at the villas, it is recommended to stay only as long as you wish to explore the areas surrounding the villas themselves. You can make reservations on the website, by mail, or by inquiring at the International Center in Okayama City on the 6th floor.
Hyogo Prefecture located to the east, is home to Himeji, a city most famous for its well-preserved white castle. Further travel will take you to Kobe, a harbor city.
Tottori Prefecture to the north is most famous for its natural sites, including the Tottori Sand Dunes, the only dunes in Japan, located in Tottori City. In the eastern region lies Daisen, home to Mount Daisen, a popular place for climbing, hiking, and skiing (in the winter). Daisen-ji Temple is also located on this mountain. The Mitokusan Nageiredo is a mysterious temple built on a cliff in Misasa in which to this day nobody knows how it was built.
Hiroshima Prefecture lies to the west of Okayama Prefecture. The nearest city is Fukuyama, featuring a variety of art and historical museums, as well as Fukuyama Castle. The most famous sites in this prefecture are Genbaku Dome in Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum in the city of Hiroshima and Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Onomichi is another interesting destination with its own 88 Temples of Innoshima, inspired by the famous 88 Temple Pilgrimage of Shikoku. It also has many places to view flowers and the Innoshima Suigun Castle.