Korakuen Garden

The tranquil and picturesque Korakuen garden in Okayama is widely regarded as one of Japan’s three best landscape gardens along with Mito’s Kairakuen and Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen. Located just beside Okayama Castle, which can be viewed from the garden grounds as “borrowed scenery”, the garden is the perfect spot to escape the white noise of the city and recharge your zen batteries with some quiet contemplation time.

Korakuen Garden

Korakuen garden provides a unique and thrilling viewing experience as it is designed in such a way that provides the guest with a new view at every turn of the path running through the various ponds, lawns, hills, streams, and tea houses of the garden. This design style is known as Kaiyu, or “scenic promenade”.

Korakuen Garden

Originally constructed in 1687 as a place of relaxation and for entertaining important guests for the ruling family by the local feudal lord of the time, Ikeda Tsunamasa, the garden was planned to epitomize the Japanese garden aesthetic of combining strategic, yet natural flowing design devoid of artificial ornamentation, with symbolism of philosophical ideas such as the fragility of existence.

Korakuen Garden

In its infancy, the garden was mostly used privately at the whim of the ruling feudal family,although the public were permitted to enter the garden on occasion. A few years after the feudal era, in 1884, the garden became official property of Okayama Prefecture and was subsequently opened to the public, who largely enjoyed the gardens without incident until it was damaged by floods in 1934, followed by further damage from bombing during World War II. Despite this, Korakuen has stood resolute, and has always been restored throughout
its history after taking even the slightest of damage, thanks to accurate records kept by the garden’s original designers.

Korakuen Garden

As with most Japanese gardens, Korakuen features a large pond as the centerpiece, with streams branching out throughout which interweave with scenic walking paths and a hill that serves as a lookout point, all complimented by the expansive and extremely inviting green lawns that run throughout. Korakuen also boasts an archery range and a crane aviary, as well as tea and rice fields, and groves of plum, cherry, and maple trees.

Korakuen Garden

Korakuen is open every day from 7:30am to 6pm (March 20 to September) and 8am to 5pm (October to March 19), with admission ending 15 minutes before closing time. Admission to Korakuen costs 400 yen, although a special combination ticket allowing access to both Korakuen and Okayama castle can be purchased for 560 yen, though keep in mind that this combo ticket is not available while special exhibitions are being held at the castle.

The impressive garden is approximately 1.5 kilometers, or a 25 to 30 minute leisurely walk east of Okayama station, note that there are two ways to access Korakuen - the main gate which is located next to the Prefectural Museum, and a south gate close to the bridge that connects to Okayama Castle. If walking is not your thing then you can take the convenient bus that runs between Okayama station and the Korakuen-mae bus stop, which is located just beside the garden main gate, for 140 yen. The bus takes around 20 minutes to get from the station the the garden and runs every 15 to 25 minutes.

Facility Name
Kenrokuen Garden
Address
Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Kenrokumachi 1
Phone
0762343800
Hours
[3/1-10/15] 7:00-18:00 (withdrawal Hours)
[10/1 June-Feb. end] 8:00-17:00 (withdrawal Hours)
Closed
Open everyday (except for the rainy day)
Fees
Admission fee Adults (18 years old and over) 310 yen, Children (6 years old to under 18 years old) 100 yen
Parking Lot
Available
Introduction
Kenrokuen is a traditional Japanese-style garden in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The garden is said to have been first constructed in the mid-17th century in the outer bailey of Kanazawa Castle as a private garden for the lords of the Kaga Domain; it has been designated as a National Special Place of Scenic Beauty, and it ranks alongside the Kairakuen garden in Mito and the Korakuen garden in Okayama as one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan.” Kenrokuen is renowned for its beautiful vistas, which make effective use of how nature changes with the seasons. For example, a special feature of the garden during the winter months is the Yuki-tsuri (ropes attached in a conical array to protect tree branches in a garden during the winter); another seasonal feature is the red and white plum blossom in the plum grove. In 2009 the Kenrokuen garden was awarded three stars (the maximum possible) in the Michelin Green Guide. During the peak tourist season, there is free admission at certain times, and the garden also hosts various special events, such as having the garden illuminated at night, etc.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Okayama Castle (Crow Castle)
Address
Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Marunouchi 2-3-1
Phone
0862252096
Hours
9:00-17:30 (Admission is until 17:00)
Closed
12/29-31
Fees
[Permanent exhibition period] Adults300 yen, small Junior High School Students120 yen
Parking Lot
Available
Introduction
Okayama Castle was constructed over a period of eight years by Ukita Hideie, one member of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Council of Five Elders, and was completed in 1597. It is also called “Crow Castle” for its external appearance, as the castle tower walls have black lacquered siding which was a characteristic of this era. The three-tiered, six-storied watchtower-style castle tower is a pentagon of unequal sides and is said to imitate the castle tower of Oda Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. The castle tower, which was a National Treasure, was lost due to wartime fires but was rebuilt in 1966.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Okayama Korakuen
Address
Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Kourakuen 1-5
Phone
0862721148
Hours
[3/20-9/30] 7:30-18:00 (Admission until 17:45)
[10/1-3/19] 8:00-17:00 (Admission until 16:45)
Opening/closing Hours changes due to events held
Closed
open everyday
Fees
[Admission fee] Adults 400 yen, senior (Over 65) 140 yen, High School Students or less Free admission etc.
Parking Lot
Available
Credit Card
Yes (entrance fee only)
Introduction
It is a stroll garden with a pond in Okayama City, counted as one of Japan’s three most famous gardens. The garden was constructed in the beginning of 1687, on the orders of Ikeda Tsunamasa, an Okayama lord, and completed in 1700. Since then, it has been popular as a place of comfort for lords, and as a place to interact with vassals and citizens. In the garden of 144,000 square meters, you can enjoy buildings with historical remnants and flowers in every season. The nearest station is Joka Station on the city train line.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Okayama-eki-mae
Address
Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Ekimaechou 1-chome
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Okayama Prefecture Museum Of Art

    Art museum
    Okayama Okayama-shi Kita-ku Tenjincho 8-48
  • dummy image

    Okayama-eki-mae

    Station
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Ekimaechou 1-chome
  • Okayama Korakuen image

    Okayama Korakuen

    Botanical garden
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Kourakuen 1-5
  • Okayama Castle (Crow Castle) image

    Okayama Castle (Crow Castle)

    Castle/The remain of antique castle
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Marunouchi 2-3-1
  • Kenrokuen Garden image

    Kenrokuen Garden

    Botanical garden
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Kenrokumachi 1
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