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" in reference to the rice storehouses. Many of Kurashiki's former storehouses have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. The Ohara Museum is the most impressive of Kurashiki's museums, exhibiting a large collection of works by famous Western artists. The canal area is a ten minute walk from Kurashiki Station.