Kasaoka (笠岡) is a city in Okayama Prefecture, about 40 minutes away from Okayama City by train. The most frequent reason for visiting are its islands, especially Shiraishi Island, which you can visit by ferry.
Kasaoka Station is the only station within city limits, located along the JR Sanyo Line just 15 minutes from Fukuyama and less than 45 minutes from Okayama. For drivers, Route 2 travels through Kasaoka. There are also buses that come and go from Fukuyama Station, Ibara, and Yakage.
On foot, visitors can easily go to the ramen shops, Kasaoka Port, and the art museums. Most of the cities other attractions are further away and are best reached by bus or taxi. Of course the islands must be reached by boat from Kasaoka Port.
- 1 Kabutogani Museum (カブトガニ博物館). 9am-4:30pm. Arguably the most well-known attraction in the city, the Kabutogani Museum features exhibits about horseshoe crabs (kabutogani) the so-called “living fossils”. The surrounding Dinosaur Park features life-size dinosaurs, such as a T-Rex, which once shared the earth with horseshoe crabs. ¥520.
- 1 Ono Chikkyo Art Museum (笠岡市立竹喬美術館). Ono Chikkyo was a modern nihonga artist born here in Kasaoka. His artwork focuses on ordinary scenes of nature, many of which depict indistinguishable places in northern Okayama. ¥500.
- 1 Ikasa Railway Memorial Museum (井笠鉄道記念館). A museum with artifacts, images, and information about the former Ikasa Railway, which served Kasaoka, Yakage, Ibara, and northern Fukuyama.
- 1 Shiraishi Island (Accessible by ferry). Shiraishi Island is a quiet island of roughly six hundred inhabitants mostly visited for its summer activities: swimming, sea kayaking, windsurfing, and lounging on the beach. The island’s Bon dance, commemorating a bloody battle centuries ago, is well-known and attracts a large crowd each August. The island also has its own miniature version of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. (updated Sep 2017)