Yakage Town Introduction
Yakage Town is an independent town in southwest Okayama Prefecture with a population of around 15,000. It is a microcosm of Japan in so many ways, from the flowing rivers to the rolling hills and mountains. The town possesses so many of the Japanese cultural elements loved by admirers around the world.
The center of Yakage is accentuated with Edo era buildings which reveal its past importance as a resting place for travelers of varying levels of society, including feudal lords who moved along the Sanyo route. In fact, in November the Daimyo festival takes place, marking this historical period. Townspeople adorn themselves in the costumes of the era and parade through the streets. Another interesting and unusual festival is the Nagashibina festival in late March in which beautiful women in brocade kimonos are carried through town in jinrikusha vehicles; later, paper dolls are set afloat in little boats on the river. This festival is a traditional celebration of Girls Day.
Today Yakage is a modern township with plenty to offer residents and visitors. The Cultural Center is a futuristic looking structure which holds performances and workshops. It also has a resource center appointed with books and multimedia. There is also a comfortable town library if you are in the mood for a quiet read.
A choice spot is the Yakage Town General Sports Park. Surrounded by a tree-lined residential community, it is a great place to stretch your legs and move around a bit. There is an extra-safe jungle gym for kids and a sprinkler for water play in the summer.
Although a small town, Yakage holds its own when it comes to local delicacies. Locally produced udon noodles are quite popular and come in several varieties. One unusual type of noodles is “black udon”, which is made from black rice so the noodles appear dark, as opposed to the typical white color.
Yakage is known for its sweets as well, in particular “Yubeshi”, a cake made with yuzu citrus fruit. It goes really well with green tea.
Come to Yakage and experience one of Okayama’s best towns!