A prefecture is similar to a province or a state and Okayama is one of Japan’s 47. Known as “Hare no Kuni” or sun country, it actually does rain in Okayama, which accounts for the abundance of green. The sun country moniker was earned from the fact that Okayama has an excellent balance between sun and rain. To picture where Okayama actually is, just take a look at a map and focus on the lines of latitude. Okayama is actually on the same latitude as North Africa or South Carolina in the United States. By this classification it is essentially subtropical.
Another way to describe the climate is Mediterranean, which is done a lot by locals and visitors alike, even referring to the Seto Inland Sea as the Aegean Sea of Japan. While it is not an unfair comparison, you will soon discover that Okayama is truly unique in Japan, Asia and throughout the world.
Okayama Prefecture has fifteen cities and supports a population of around two million. The largest city shares the same name and has a population of over 700,000. While in Okayama, go “city hopping” as there is ample public transport to get you to your next destination.
What are you into? For pottery try Bizen City, and for Japanese swords go to Setouchi City. For the beach, visit Tamano City or Ushimado Town. Temple and shrine lovers develop a soft spot for Okayama because there are so many! Time your trip with temple and shrine festivals to get a true taste of the local culture.
One thing that is without question is that Okayama Prefecture is growing, constantly welcoming new residents and new opportunities. The prefecture is a pioneer in the arts and sciences, with an ever growing number of museums and renewable energy projects. Okayama Prefecture will feel like home in no time.