JR West Okayama Station is a large and vital hub for transportation in the Chugoku region and provides a great base to start your travels. The station has everything you can ask for including large lockers, a dining area, a comprehensive shopping mall and a reasonable amount of seating. The station covers every transport option under the sun, including buses, taxis, trams, bullet trains along the JR Tokaido/Sanyo lines and local trains to as far as Shikoku. If you are trying to get anywhere in Japan then this is a great place to start.
If you're traveling to Shikoku then this is one of the easiest places to start from on the main island, Honshu. The views from the Marine Liner of the islands of the Seto Inland Sea make for a great train journey. The station is a major stop on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, part of the bullet train line that follows the east coast. This means it's fast and easy to get to Okayama from most major cities in Japan. If you get the chance to spend some time in the Okayama prefecture, I recommend taking one of the smaller trains out to the coast and embracing the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle.
Tram lines start from the station's east side and travel through Okayama's town center. From the East Exit you can also catch a number of buses that take you through the town and out to the more rural areas of Okayama prefecture. Just outside the station are a few major shopping areas, including Bic Camera and the Sky Mall 21 shopping street, as well as the larger commercial CBD area. Inside the station you'll find Ichibangai, a shopping mall downstairs that covers fashion boutiques and food including McDonald's and higher-class restaurants. The western side of the station provides a taxi rank, car parking and the Okayama City Museum.
The station is a convenient starting point for any trip, providing all the retail convenience and amenities you may need before starting a trip. It's a complete portal to local, regional and national attractions and offers all the comforts you need from a transit centre. It's a comfortable if utilitarian environment with useful and friendly staff that helped me in a few difficult situations whilst I was in the town. If you find yourself passing through I recommend making the most of the station and checking out the local region.