I took a drive down to Hiroshima a little while ago, and on the way home stopped by the wonderful town of Kurashiki. Below is text from Japan-Guide.com, where you can find more information and beautiful pictures of the town.
Kurashiki (倉敷) is located in Okayama Prefecture, not far from the prefectural capital of Okayama City. Kurashiki has a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the city served as an important rice distribution center. In fact, the name “Kurashiki” can be roughly translated as “town of storehouses”, which refers to the storehouses in which the rice was kept.
There were many unique and interesting shops, museums, and places to eat. The canal was beautiful, and full of some swans and some huge koi, the latter of which you are welcome to feed.