Club Archive

Club Archive

Seto Ohashi - 30 years.

Mar 6, 2018

Seto Ohashi

The Seto Ohashi Bridge is the worlds longest combined rail / road bridge. The bridge connects Shikoku with the mainland, linking Kurashiki with Sakaide. Of the three Honshu-Shikoku bridge routes, the Seto-Ohashi Bridges are the only link that accommodates both an expressway and a railway.

In April this year, citizens of Okayama and Kagawa will celebrate 30 years since the opening of the bridge and the linking of the two prefectures. In commemoration, a number of events will be held between April and October.

水島ふれあいまつり2017「第3回 いすー1GP 岡山大会」

May, 2017
水島商店街で開催されました水島ふれあいまつり2017「第3回 いすー1GP 岡山大会」の開会セレモニーに出席いたしました。

Amalgamation Anniversary

February, 2017

In February this year Kurashiki celebrates 50 years since it amalgamated with the cities of Mizushima and Tamashima.  The video below showcases the evolution of the city, some major milestones, and the contribution of individuals and groups of citizens to the cities ever-changing form. 


G7 Education Ministers' Meeting

May, 2016

Kurashiki City this month played host to the G7 Education Ministers' Meeting.

The ministers of education from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union came together to discuss the role of Education addressing issues which affect the worlds children such as poverty, terrorism, migration and refugees.  

The meeting concluded with the formation of the "Kurashiki Declaration" which aims to give the G7 countries a shared vision of the role of Education and the advancements in teaching, learning and international cooperation required. 

In addition to their official duties, the foreign ministers also got to experience some of the famous sights, tastes and experiences on offer for visitors to the beautiful city. 

Reelection for Mayor Ito

April, 2016

Kurashiki Mayor, Kaori Ito was elected this month to a third 4-year term as Mayor.  Mayor Ito reafirmed her committment to communication and a bottom-up approach to city management and acknowledged a deep sense of duty to the responsibility given her by the people of the city.

The first day of the mayor's third term included an official ceremony and a number of media engagements in which Mayor Ito reflected on the past 8 years and the challenges ahead. 


Kurashiki - New Zeland Olympic Host Town

February, 2016

Last month Kurashiki City became one of the first cities in Japan to be registered as an "Olympic Host Town" to the New Zealand Olympic team. The city will seek sports in which New Zealand will compete and for which there are existing facilites and active communites of athletes in Kurashiki ready to support the Kiwis' Olympic ambitions.

Update:  Kurashiki is supporting the New Zealand Olympic Weightlifting team.  In an agreement with Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand, the city has commited to hosting kiwi weightlifters for yearly training camps in their build-up to 2020. 


Kurashiki Ohashi Bridge Opening

January 24, 2016

Today, the Kurashiki Ohashi Bridge opened for traffic for the first time. The new bridge was constructed to span the Takahashi River, connecting Kurashiki with Funao, the region of Kurashiki known for its grapes, sweetpea flowers and wine. The 512m bridge carries one lane of traffic in each direction with a wide pedestrian strip along one side. The opening of the bridge spells the end of the city punt which has operated at the same spot for almost 90 years ferrying foot and bicycle traffic accross the river for a small fee. The punt will close for business at the end of March.

Kurashiki City PR YouTube Channel

August 1, 2011

Kurashiki City has its own youtube channel.  Add "KurashikiCityPR" to your favorites and stay up to date with the latest offerings in videos from Kurashiki.  Check out the following link:

Kurashiki International Triathalon

July 13, 2011

On Sunday, July 10th over 600 athletes swam, ran, and cycled a scenic 51.5km course through the coastal area of Kojima, Kurashiki.  This, the first Kurashiki International Triathalon is a redesign of the long running Kojima Triathalon.  Click the photos below for enlargements.

Kurashiki International Triathalon1 Kurashiki International Triathalon2 Kurashiki International Triathalon3

Firefly Season

June 13, 2011

Kurashiki City continues to monitor the firefly season with the help of sightings reported by Kurashiki citizens.  

School children throughout Japan have enjoyed the appearance of hotaru (fireflies) at this time of year for generations.  Unfortunately however, the glowing bugs are much harder to come by for today's generation compared with their grandparents time.

The hotaru require clean flowing water.  However, numbers have fallen drastically due to water pollution and concrete lining of water ways.

Tohoku Earthquake

March 23, 2011

Kurashiki City is doing all it can to aid Eastern Japan in the aftermath of a large earthquake and tsunami which struck on March 11th. In terms of manpower, the city has dispatched disaster rescue teams and water supply teams to the area. Doctors and health workers have also been sent and the city is sending supplies including many items collected from Kurashiki citizens. The City is donating 80 million yen (US$1 million) to the relief effort and also appealing to citizens for donations.  Presently an additional 55 million yen (US$680,000) has been raised .

Update: On April 18th an initial amount of 120 million yen was distributed among 7 prefectures in the stricken area.   
Update: On June 30th an additional amount of 40 million yen was distributed among 4 prefectures.

Sister City Support

March 3, 2011

Kurashiki City has mobilised to support sister city Christchurch, New Zealand after it was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Tuesday, February 22nd.   Kurashiki sent a three person team, including two rescue workers, to assess needs and support the relief effort in Christchurch.  The team took with them 2000 surgical masks which were donated to the student army.  Kurashiki city later sent an additional 50,000 surgical masks, 1,000 waterproof sheets and 2,000 drinking containers after the team assessed and reported the needs on the ground.  Fundraising efforts by the city continue and have been boosted by a number of volunteer groups and other organisations.  The city raised and remitted almost one million yen after an initial quake in September 2010. 

Update: On March 28th the city remitted a donation of 18mil yen (NZ$286,893) collected from Kurashiki citizens including a contribution from the city.   
Update: On June 22nd the city remitted a further 1,552,863 yen to Christchurch (NZ$23,388)

"This is where you come to unwind, to draw breath"

February 13, 2011

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but reporter Lee Langley gives Kurashiki both in a recent article for UK Newspaper The Telegraph.  Featured on The Telegraph's "Destinations" homepage, the article describes Kurashiki's Bikan area as "a picture-postcard world"

Redescovering Kurashiki after 20 years, Langley conveys with nostalgia and enthusiasm the essence and unforgettable charm of the city.  The article stands as a solid recommendation to include Kurashiki in your Japan itinerary. 

Coming of Age Ceremony

Coming of Age Ceremony
January 9, 2011

Kurashiki City held it's yearly coming of age ceremony for Kurashiki youth today.  Of the 4,700 young Kurashiki citizens who turn 20 this academic year, 2,743 attended the official ceremony at Muscat Stadium.   The participants gathered in their best kimono and suits in a spirt of gratitude to their parents, community, teachers and friends and with a feeling of new responsibility as they take this first step into adulthood. 

Nobel Prize for Professor Akira Suzuki

December 1, 2010  

Former professor at Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, Akira Suzuki, is to be awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.  80 year old Suzuki receives the prize jointly together with Richard F. Heck and Ei-ichi Negishi "for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis".  This technology is used in research worldwide, as well as in the commercial production of pharmaceuticals and molecules used in the electronics industry.

Update:  Akira Suzuki received his Nobel Prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2010.

Construction Underway

November 5, 2010
On the north side of Kurashiki station construction is underway at the site of Kurashiki's former Dutch theme park, Tivoli Park.  The site will become an outlet mall and shopping center with a one hectare sized city-owned park and walkway between.  The completed complex will be slightly more than half the size of Aeon Kurashiki Mall and shoppers are expected to come from as far as Shikoku and throughout the surrounding Chukoku region to shop there.  Mayor Ito hopes that many will stay to see and experience more of Kurashiki's offerings such as the Bikan area, Kojima jeans, Tamashima Tea, The Ohara Art Museum, and Fujito manju (sweet bean cakes).    Construction should be completed by Christmas 2011.

Meeting in Jeans

Mayor Ito in Chambers 

September 17, 2010
Today was day 4 of the fourth meeting of the city assembly for 2010.  City councilors have worn denim to chambers for every day of the fourth meeting of the city assembly to promote the Kojima jeans industry.

Kurashiki prospered as a textile town in the Edo period and the Kojima area which still now is Japan's largest JeansMarkproducer of school uniforms, and working wear, is also the birthplace of Japanese denim.  The expert techniques in use there produce quality denim for highly fashionable clothing.  The city assembly provides a perfect opportunity to promote Kurashiki denim.

Green Curtain

July 30, 2010
A "Green Curtain" is a way of reducing the use of air conditioning by planting vines such as goya and morning glory in front of windows to cut down on direct sunlight.   Kurashiki city encouraged citizens to grow green curtains this year by providing seed free of charge to all those who applied at the start of summer.  The city has also lead the way by growing goya as green curtains outside windows on the ground floor of city hall.

Street Parade

April 9, 2010
Kurashiki city provided an opportunity for citizens to congratulate golden boy Takahashi Daisuke this week with a street parade.    Takahashi was driven through the streets in an open-top car with Mayor Kaori Ito.  Takahashi won bronze at the Vancouver Olympics and gold at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in March becoming the first Japanese man to win a world figure skating championship. The parade ended at Kurashiki City Hall where Takahashi was presented with the Kurashiki City Award of Honor.

Bronze for Daisuke

February 22, 2010

Daisuke Takahashi
On February 18, 2010 Kurashiki-born skater Daisuke Takahashi won bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics with a score of 247.43 including a personal best in the short program of 90.25. 

The 23 year old university student, began skating at a local rink at the age of 8.  The olympic medal marks a remarkable recovery for Takahashi.  He underwent surgery to repair ligament damage due to a knee injury suffered in practice for the season of 2008-2009.  

Mayor Ito's message of congratulations to Mr. Takahashi is as follows:

"Daisuke Takahashi, congratulations on winning Japan's first ever olympic medal in men's singles figure skating!  We were all behind you.  It was a superb performance after your injury two years ago.  All the citizens of Kurashiki were cheering you on and continue to do so.  Congratulations again!". 

Kurashiki Jam

November 11, 2009
Up to 300 Jazz muscians are expected to descend on Kurashiki next month for "Kurashiki Jam."   On the weekend of December 19th the streets will be alive with the sound of Jazz for 2 days as performances are held in 14 separate locations in and around the historic bikan quarter including guest houses, a temple and the Kurashiki Art and Culture Hall.

Solar Panel Support

September 1, 2009
Solar Panel Support
Solar Panels on
Elementary School Roof

Kurashiki city is taking positive action to prevent global warming and protect the environment. As an example, they are promoting the use of solar energy to home owners, taking advantage of the high sunshine hours in the prefecture. Since 2004 the city has offered financial assistance to those installing home-use solar energy systems.


August 1, 2009
Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Kurashiki City have added a Mitsubishi i-MiEV to its fleet of city vehicles. The i-MiEV, manufactured at the Mitsubishi plant in Kurashiki's Kojima Industrial Area is an electric car producing no exhaust fumes and the purchase represents Kurashiki's commitment to becoming a "green" local authority whilst also supporting local industry.

Update: By June 2010 the city had added an additional two electric cars and was offering all three to citizens and tourists for free, one-day rental until November 2010.

Bikan Becoming Better

June 9, 2009
1696.Kurashiki Street
Kurashiki Street

Construction work continues this month in areas around Kurashiki's Bikan Historical Quarter. Workers are moving electrical wires underground as part of a five year plan that also includes the dismantlement of part of the shopping arcade, and addition of night lighting to the Bikan Area. The plan is due to be completed in April 2010.

Swine Flu scare puts paid to international programs

May 22, 2009

Concerns for student health and safety in the face of the current spread of swine flu have lead city officials to cancel international student exchange programs planned with sister cities in America, New Zealand, and Austria. The Hosting of student groups from Kansas and Christchurch cities were planned for July and October respectively with outgoing groups planned for the August summer vacation. In addition, a single student from Sankt Polten was due to visit a Kurashiki High school on a one month program - the first of its kind.

Update: All exchange programs resumed in 2010.

Monogatari Kan

April 30, 2009
Monogatari Kan

The Kurashiki Monogatari-Kan opened on April 24th. At the entrance to the Bikan Historical Quarter, the complex is designed as a venue for local citizens and visitors to interact. With it's roofed gate and storehouse, the complex, made in the edo period style and in keeping with the atmosphere of the Bikan Area, conveys the tastes of the Edo period to contemporary visitors and offers a sense of "Kurashikiness".


Inside you will find a display room, japanese style rooms, multi-purpose hall, meeting room, etc. many of which are available for hire.

Farewell Tivoli

December 31, 2008

Tivoli Park

Attendance at Tivoli Park's year-end countdown tonight is expected to be greater than usual as Kurashiki prepares to farewell the Park. The Dutch theme park closes it's doors tonight after 11 years of continuous operation.

Mayor Ito

June 19, 2008

Mayor Ito

Kurashiki Mayor, Kaori Ito, performed her first official duties today since being elected. A graduate of Tokyo University and Harvard Law School, Mayor Ito becomes one of only 18 female Mayors in Japan and, at 42 years of age, one of the youngest too.

Sister City Flowers in Bloom

May 21, 2008

A Horse Chestnut tree planted on September 30th, 2007 at the Kurashiki Cultural and Arts Hall in commemoration of 50 years of Sister City relations between Kurashiki and Sankt Polten bloomed for the first time this year. It is covered in beautiful pink flowers. One wonders whether the cherry blossom tree planted at the same time in Sankt Polten is also in bloom. Here's hoping that both trees will continue to grow just as the friendship between the two cities.

Spring in Kurashiki

April 4, 2008
1866.Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are in bloom now in Kurashiki. Families and couples are heading for their favorite viewing spots and enjoying picnics under the trees - a traditional past-time known as "Hanami". Favorite spots in Kurashiki include "Sakazu Park", "Tsurugatayama" and "Tanimatsuyama". Kurashiki citizens are hoping for continued good weather and a long bloom.

Naming Swans

Dec 30, 2007

Kurashiki City is accepting suggestions for names for the pair of swans (one male, one female) that inhabit the river flowing through the Bikan Historical Quarter. The swans were originally gifted to Kurashiki by the cities of Himeji and Ako. Suggestions for names will be accepted until the end of January. You can submit your entry by email to

Update: The swans were named Sora (male), and Yume (female), meaning "sky" and "dream" respectively.  The names were chosen from 1056 suggestions.

First Snow

Jan 21, 2008
Bikan Area
Bikan Area

Kurashiki had its first snow fall for 2008 last night. The morning commute was a bit slower than usual as workers drove with extra caution on the icy roads. Some parts of the prefecture had up to 45 cm. of snow. Here in Kurashiki we had about 5cm. The Bullet Train ran late on some routes and some highways were briefly closed.

Click photos for enlargements.

1920.View from City Hall
View from City Hall