We stayed 2 nights at Onsaka-no-ke, a retrofitted traditional Machiya house in the town of Kurashiki, Okayama. I LOVE staying in this house because it's nestled in the culturally preserved block of Kurashiki city and they did an amazing job in keeping the structure of the old machiya while updating all the essentials like bathroom and kitchen to be ready for modern travelers. Price was also reasonable considering we were able to eat-in our breakfasts and be comfortable staying in the house when we needed to take a break from walking the rainy city. Also, let's not forget it's across the street from the masking tape store:)
Kurashiki Bikan-chiku is incredibly charming with "old" Japan atmosphere. We could stroll through the streets and forget the year we were in. I think if you are only viewing the Bikan-chiku, you will probably only need 2 nights to stay here. If you are exploring outside of the area, it's totally worth spending few more nights. Since Eunice and I were on a tight schedule, we spent a day exploring inside of the Bikan-chiku. Visiting Classiky store (yes... their physical store was just as amazing as their artifacts), researching lifestyle brands and products that were present in the neighborhood and enjoying Japanese hospitality at a coffee and shops.
One thing I noticed about this area is that they are really promoting the maker-consumer connection. Many of the new retail stores that opened since last July had a 1/2 making space & 1/2 retail space arrangement so we could watch behind the scene while shopping for items. I appreciate that the city is in the process of curating an interesting perspective to tourism instead of simply selling more souvenirs.
This little town definitely opened up my imagination of what it might have been like to live in a small Japanese town back then...