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Kurashiki - Japan

Kurashiki is located west of Okayama Prefecture's southern plains. During the Edo Period some 350 years ago, the area along the Kurashiki-gawa River was under direct control of the shogunate government and trade by boat helped the town to prosper. The beautiful streetscape of storehouses and merchant homes south of JR Kurashiki Station was selected as an Important Traditional Structures Conservation Area by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it is still protected as such today as the "Bikan Chiku" historical area. The Ohara Museum of Art is also located here and, with its world famous collections including pieces by El Greco, Gauguin and Monet, is the first museum of western art in Japan, attracting a constant stream of visitors from both home and abroad.

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