A learning center and sanctuary

Okayama Prefectural Nature Preserve Center

wake town, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photo source | Okayama Prefecture Nature Center Facebook Page

 

The Okayama Prefectural Nature Reserve Center offers a glimpse of Okayama’s ecosystem in miniature. It is home to birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals native to the area. Japanese cranes are perhaps the favorites at the center as there is a festival that celebrates them every October.

The center is divided into seven areas.The first is the entrance which is filled with various species of evergreen trees. The second is the pine covered mountain field area. The third section of the center is the exhibition complex, where information on the preserve is available. The fourth part is the Japanese crane care facility where the iconic birds are bred and raised.

Section five is the marshland, which is home to all manner of living creatures. Next, is the pine forest which also includes some oak trees. The last component of the center is the paddy field section.

Events are held at the center regularly throughout the year, allowing visitors to experience nature firsthand in a safe environment. There are also craft-making workshops, concerts as well as a variety of exercise classes held outdoors from time to time, including yoga.

For more fun in Wake Town visit Yoshii River Park, where you can picnic or barbecue along one of the prefectures three great rivers. It is also a choice spot for cherry blossom viewing in the spring.

Wake Town’s Wisteria Park is famous nationwide for its spectacular number and variety of trees. There is an annual Wisteria Festival that coincides with the cherry blossom season at the end of April and the beginning of May.

Another popular event in Wake is the yearly Bon Festival which takes place in August. The Chinese character for “harmony/peace” is lit in a fiery display of the side of a mountain.

ABOUT THE AREA

Wake Town is the starting and ending point for the Katatetsu Cycling Road. Wake is a mid-sized town located in southeastern Okayama Prefecture. This rural town has a well-cared for environment and a full calendar of events that focuses on nature.

In spring, cherry blossoms can be viewed at Houran-en garden which has over 400 trees. In late April to mid-May, the Wisteria Park takes front stage when the largest wisteria park in Japan goes into full bloom. The park features 100 varieties of wisteria including purple, lavender, pink, and white flowering vines.

In summer, the “wamojiyaki event is held on August 16th of every year. At this event, the Chinese character “wa” representing the “wa” in “Wake” is burned into the mountainside; the character also means ‘peace’. Late August also brings the Apple Festival which is held in Apple Park. The park boasts 1050 trees of 14 varieties of apples; apple picking at the park starts at the end of August and goes on through the end of October.

The Crane festival is the hallmark of October and is held at the Okayama Prefecture Nature Preservation Center. The Center is also home to many other natural beauties, including kingfishers, wild ducks, pygmy woodpeckers, Eurasian jays, and a variety of fish, insects, forest and water plants.

In autumn, November welcomes the momiji or “maple leaf festival” when over 900 trees along the ‘Poet’s Walk’, located on the mountain near the Wisteria Park, show their fall colors.

For year-round enjoyment, Ukaidani Onsen hot spring features a natural hot spring, an indoor heated pool, tennis courts, and lodging.

Access: Take the Sanyo Line from Okayama Station to Kumayama Station. It is about a 30 minute taxi ride from Kumayama Station to the reserve.

 

 

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee