|Anthem: Okayama-ken no uta|
|Subdivisions||Districts: 10, Municipalities: 27|
|• Governor||Ryūta Ibaragi|
|• Total||7,114.50 km2 (2,746.92 sq mi)|
(February 1, 2018)
|• Density||270/km2 (690/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-33|
|Symbols of Japan|
|Bird||Lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)|
|Flower||Peach blossom (Prunus persica var. vulgaris)|
|Tree||Red pine (Pinus densiflora)|
Okayama Prefecture (岡山県, Okayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu. Okayama Prefecture has a population of 1,906,464 (1 February 2018) and has a geographic area of 7,114 km2 (2,746 sq mi). Okayama Prefecture borders Tottori Prefecture to the north, Hyōgo Prefecture to the east, and Hiroshima Prefecture to the west.
Okayama is the capital and largest city of Okayama Prefecture, with other major cities including Kurashiki, Tsuyama, and Sōja. Okayama Prefecture's south is located on the Seto Inland Sea coast across from Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, which are connected by the Great Seto Bridge, while the north is characterized by the Chūgoku Mountains.
See also: Historic Sites of Okayama Prefecture
Prior to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the area of present-day Okayama Prefecture was divided between Bitchū, Bizen and Mimasaka Provinces. Okayama Prefecture was formed and named in 1871 as part of the large-scale administrative reforms of the early Meiji period (1868–1912), and the borders of the prefecture were set in 1876.
Okayama Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture, and Hiroshima Prefecture. It faces Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku across the Seto Inland Sea and includes 90 islands in the sea.
Okayama Prefecture is home to the historic town of Kurashiki. Most of the population is concentrated around Kurashiki and Okayama. The small villages in the northern mountain region are aging and declining in population - more than half of the prefecture's municipalities are officially designated as depopulated.
As of 1 April 2014, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Daisen-Oki and Setonaikai National Parks; the Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and seven Prefectural Natural Parks.
Fifteen cities are located in Okayama Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
Main article: List of mergers in Okayama Prefecture
Per Japanese census data, and, Okayama prefecture has had continual negative population growth since 2005
Okayama Prefecture is closely associated with the folklore hero, Momotarō. This tale is said to have roots in the legendary story of Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto and Ura which explains that the Prince Ura of Kudara used to live in Kinojo (castle of the devil) and was a cause of trouble for the people living in the village. The emperor's government sent Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto (Momotarō) to defeat Ura. The city of Okayama holds an annual Momotarō-matsuri, or Momotarō Festival.
The sports teams listed below are based in Okayama.
Some tourist attractions are: