Monday, May 1, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Kurashiki JR Station 倉敷駅

Kurashiki JR Station, on Sanyo main line served by both local and limited express trains. From Okayama, it takes about 18 mins to travel by local train to Kurashiki, which is most well known for its Bikan Historical Quarter (倉敷美観地区).

Top right: South Exit; Bottom right: North Exit.
Do take note that Shin Kurashiki and Kurashiki are two different train stations. Shin Kurashiki JR Station, which was formerly called Tamashima, is served by both Sanyo Shinkansen and Sanyo main line, and is two stops away from Kurashiki JR Station on Sanyo main line. Alight at Shin Kurashiki JR Station for places of interest in Tamashima area such as Entsuji Temple (円通寺) and Nakagai-cho (仲買町). Visitors making their way to Bikan Historical Quarter should alight at Kurashiki JR Station.


What's nearby?

(1) Ario Shopping Mall and Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki, about 1 - 3 mins walk from the North Exit of train station. 
Decided to see what the West Exit has to offer after returning to the train station since it was still early. There are two shopping malls; Ario is connected to Kurashiki Station by an overhead pedestrian bridge and houses a good variety of tenants such as ABC Mart, Beams, LOFT, Tower Records, etc. 
I was once a fan of factory outlet  because of the occasional attractive bargains for off-season items. On my maiden trip to Japan in 2011, I went to both Gotemba Premium Outlets and Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari and I was extremely exhausted by my ambitious shopping itinerary (and I made a mental note not to do it again). Dropped by Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki since it was just in the vicinity. Similar concept like other conventional outlet parks where familiar names such as Gap, Beams, Nike, Adidas. Puma, etc are found here. However, Kurashiki's version lacks luxury brands tenants (like Coach, Agnes b, Burberry, Kate Spade, etc) which I have come across and may make here a less attractive place for shoppers to visit.
- Ario Kurashiki アリオ倉敷:
- Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki 三井アウトレットパーク 倉敷:

(2) Kurashiki Ekimae Tourist Information Office 倉敷駅前観光案内所
The tourist information office is located on the second floor of Kurashiki City Plaza West Building (倉敷市役所), which come into sight on the right upon exit from the South Exit.

(3) Sun Station Terrace Kurashiki さんすて倉敷, a small scale shopping mall housed within the train station.

Entrance to Bikan Historical Quarter.
(4) Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter 倉敷美観地区, about 10 mins walk from the South Exit of train station.

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