Celebrated for its rolling hills, pasture land and green meadows – Maniwa City is located in northern Okayama Prefecture. For those looking to explore one of Japan’s most unique areas, away from the usual tourist hotspots (Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka), we recommend you visit this wondrous ‘city of flowers.’
To make your visit more enjoyable, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to see and things to do while in Maniwa City.
Rated as one of the top 10 things to see and do in Maniwa on TripAdvisor, Daigo Zakura is a giant sakura tree that is said to be over 1000 years old and is the biggest tree in Okayama. It stands on a hill between Katsuyama and Ochiai. The tree got its name after Emperor Go-Daigo visited 700 years ago. It has subsequently been selected as one of the best 100 trees in Japan and is a recognised monument of Okayama prefecture.
Hiruzen Herb Garden “Her Bill”
If you like the outdoors and moments that allow you to appreciate exotic flora and fauna, then you will enjoy a visit to the Hiruzen herb garden. With over 200 varieties of herbs and seasonal flowers you can enjoy lavender blooms and hydrangea from late June to July, sakura in April and cosmos from late August to September.
There is also a lookout and rest area where you can have a panoramic view of your surroundings – no doubt the perfect backdrop for your holiday snaps.
Historical Katsuyama Town Conservation Area
During the Edo period (1603 – 1868), Katsuyama was a very prosperous lodging town. Most of the traditional infrastructure is still in place even to this day. It was designated as the first historical preservation district in Okayama prefecture in 1985. Enjoy the rich and intriguing history of traditional Japanese wares, samurai residences, galleries and transport yourself to a simpler time.
Onsen are Japanese hot springs and the inns and facilities situated around them. They are typically viewed as public bathing houses. Relax and allow your body to be soothed by the hot water and serene environment. Also take a chance at taking a hot yuzu bath at Yubara onsen. The fruit is believed to ward away any colds and flu as well as being celebrated for its soothing and calming nature.
Located between the cities of Maniwa and Niimi, the Hokubo dam is the most iconic dam in Okayama prefecture. It was completed only 37 years ago (in 1980) but has become one of the most visited places in Okayama.
If you visit in October, you will be able to experience both the Katsuyama and Kuse festivals. Celebrating the history and culture of Katsuyama – this festival takes place from 19 – 20 October. The Kuse festival is held annually from 25 – 26 October. On March 31, 2005, Kuse, along with the towns of Hokubo, Katsuyama, Ochiai and Yubara, and the villages of Chuka, Kawakami, Mikamo and Yatsuka (all from Maniwa District) were merged to create the city of Maniwa. To ensure that the each individual town’s history is not lost – festivals are held.
Japan Centre Maniwa City Food Fair March 2017
Japan Centre is always thrilled to showcase the finest regional produce of Japan and offer you the opportunity to try these rare local specialities in store and online. Our Maniwa Food Fair hosts a wide range of unique products from the city of Maniwa. Discover the quality and excellence of these exclusive local products including artisan teas and sake, gourmet miso, sophisticated seasoning and so much more.
Enjoy daily samplings from 2-5pm at Japan Centre Piccadilly from 1 – 21 March and experience refreshing yuzu flavoured sake, earthy oi-koji miso and the traditional Setouchi lemon salad dressing from the alluring Okayama Prefecture. Browse our refined selection of goods both in store and online for a limited time only at Japan Centre.