Kurashiki is one of Japan's great old merchant towns, with around half a million citizens today. Sitting along a scenic canal at the foot of Mt. Tsurugata, Kurashiki's white-walled storehouses are beautifully preserved and open for exploration.
During the Edo period, Kurashiki did heavy trade with the capital in rice, sugar, and other goods. Later, during the Meiji Restoration, the city became known for textiles.
Kurashiki is still a rare piece of old Japan, one that gives a sense of where people lived and worked, not merely the temples at which they worshipped.