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Revision as of 15:19, 31 March 2009
Tsuyama (津山市)  is a city in Okayama Prefecture, Chugoku, Japan.
From Okayama Station, take the JR Tsuyama Line to Tsuyama Station. It takes about an hour and costs ¥1110.
From Tottori Station, take the JR Inbi Line and get off at Tsuyama station. It takes about three hours and costs ¥1450.
From Niimi Station, Tsuyama can be accessed via the JR Kishin Line ¥1280
The Chugoku Expressway (中国自動車道) passes through Tsuyama.
Route 53 Connects both Okayama and Tottori to Tsuyama.
The JR Highway Bus and JR Shinki Bus have buses in Kyoto and Osaka bound for Tsuyama departing daily.
The bus from Kyoto boards at Kyoto Station and costs ¥3000.
There are two different boarding points in Osaka. The first stop is at Osaka Station (¥2670) from the Sakurabashi Exit. The other option is at Shin-Osaka Station. Buses departing from Osaka are much more frequent than those departing from Kyoto, so it is often easier to reserve seats or buy bus tickets upon arrival in Osaka.
The Tsuyama City bus is the Gongo Bus, named after the city's mascot.
Upon exiting the station, there are car rentals available.
Although some of the sites are too far to reach on foot, most of the most famous locations are within walking distance from the station. For a map of the area, visit the information center just to the right of Tsuyama Station. Kakuzan Park will take approximately 20 minutes to reach from the station on foot. Most of the other sites are not far from Kakuzan Park.
Although there is a dialect specific to Okayama Prefecture, it's not as strong or noticeable as some of the other dialects, but you will find it spoken in Tsuyama. One word that is specific to Tsuyama that is not even used in Okayama is bucchi which means "very". In standard Japanese, this word is totemo. Rather than using bucchi, in Okayama City they use bokke.
- Kakuzan Park (鶴山公園 kakuzan koen), 135 Yamashita, ☎ 086-822-4572. 8:40 AM to 5:00 PM. This park contains the ruins of Tsuyama Castle, which was once considered to be even more spectacular than Himeji Castle. Today, the castle walls are all that remain however, they are well preserved. The park has gained fame as the best place in Okayama to view cherry blossoms in the spring. Entrance fee is ¥210.
- Shurakuen Garden (衆楽園 shurakuen), 628 Yamakita, ☎ 086-823-6507. 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Constructed in 1657 by Mori Nagatsugu, one of Tsuyama's feudal lords, Shurakuen was used as a place to entertain guests. The structures within the garden date back to the original garden, making it historical, as well as beautiful. Entrance is free.
- Joto Street (城東 joto). During the Edo period, Tsuyama was one of the stops for those making the pilgrimage to Izumo Shrine. Joto Street is where they passed by and stayed, and the houses along this street have been preserved so that visitors can get a feel for what the city was like back in its days as a castle town.
- Former Residence of Mitsukuri Genpo (箕作阮甫旧宅 mitsukuri genpo kyuutaku). 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The residence of Mitsukuri Genpo, an important figure in Japanese history during the time when Japan first encountered the West. He translated many Western texts into Japanese and helped create policies in dealing with the Western powers.
- Tsuyama Archives of Western Learning (津山洋学資料館 tsuyama yogaku shiryokan). A museum with information and artifacts relating the Japan's first contact with the West. It also gives information about the important role the city of Tsuyama played in interacting with the West.
- Tsuyama Museum of Science Education (つやま自然ふしぎ館 tsuyama shizen fushigikan). Also, known as Tsuyama Wonder Museum, it's great destination for those traveling with children. The science museum features a variety of exhibits, from body organs to wildlife displays.
- Sakura Shrine (作楽神社 sakura jinja). The shrine honors Emperor Daigo and Kojima Takanori. It is said that upon failing to capture Emperor Godaigo, Kojima Takanori carved a phrase expressing his shame on a cherry tree near the shrine.
- Green Hills Tsuyama, . Although it offers some gardens and areas for outdoor activities, most people come here for the Glass House, an indoor swimming area. It is divided into two sections: the Pool Zone for fun in the water, and the Fitness Zone for those interested in working out.
- Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival Tsuyama is known in Okayama prefecture as the best place to view cherry blossoms in the spring. The Cherry Blossom Festival, held from early to mid-April, features an impressive 5,000 cherry trees. Located in Kakuzan Park, visitors can enjoy the beautiful flowers among the ancient castle ruins. There is also a Daimyo Procession parade.
- Gongo Festival Celebrated on the first Saturday and Sunday in August in honor of Gongo (a kappa, one of Japan's mythical creatures), the Gongo Festival is a lively celebration with parades in the daytime and fireworks at night. The festival is held alongside the Yoshii River and on the opposite side are various vendors and foodstands. Lanterns are hung from above and the fireworks are shot over the river.
- Tsuyama Matsuri Held in mid-October at Tokumori Shrine, the highlight of this festival is the Daimyo Procession, in which they carry a portable shrine (mikoshi) from the shrine down through the Tamachi District.
- Izumo Street Festival Held on the first Sunday in November on Joto Street, this festival features a parade of individuals dressed in traditional Japanese clothing to remind everyone of the city's history as a part of the ancient pilgrimage to Izumo Shrine. Various other performances and events, such as tea ceremonies, are also held.
Tsuyama Neritenjin are clay figures of Neritenjin, the Shinto god of learning. In the past, they were made to worship. They are still made in Tsuyama today however, for most people, they are simply a unique souvenir.
Washi the traditional paper of Japan is still produced in Tsuyama in the traditional fashion.
Tsuyama Senbei is a delicious specialty of Tsuyama. Unlike many other types of senbei, Tsuyama senbei is a sweet snack. Tsuyama manju is another tasty treat made here!
- Bamiyan. A Chinese restaurant with quite a variety of dishes to choose from.
- Tsuyama Kokusai Hotel, 98-2 Yamashita, ☎ 086-823-1111. checkin: 2:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. Start from ¥6,000 (single).
- Tsuyama Kakuzan Hotel, 114-4 Higashi Shinmachi, ☎ 086-825-2121. checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. Start from ¥6,000 (single).
- Okayama With one of Japan's Three Best Gardens, the black castle, and Kibi Plains, Okayama is an easy and enjoyable day trip.
- Kurashiki Home to the beautiful Bikan Historic District, it's a great day trip back in time to the Edo Period.
- Niimi Known for its two limestone caves, Niimi is a great getaway for nature-lovers.
- Tottori With the only Sand Dunes in Japan, Tottori is popular for those looking for a non-traditional travel experience in Japan.
- Himeji Known worldwide for the magnificent Himeji Castle