Okayama

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Okayama | Original Castle Town with Significant Regional Power

Okayama | Original Castle Town with Significant Regional Power

Okayama is the capital of Okayama Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chugoku Region after Hiroshima. It is the center of administration and business for the prefecture and a crossroads for traffic between the San-in region and Shikoku. The city is an important transportation hub, being the location where the Sanyo Shinkansen meets with the only rail connection to Shikoku. The city originally developed as a castle town during the Edo Period (1603-1867) and became a significant regional power. Okayama Castle, the Koraku-en Garden (one of the three major gardens in Japan), and a number of art museums and science museums are found here. Okayama Castle, also known as "crow castle" due to its black exterior, was built in the 16th century. The castle tower has been rebuilt due to destruction from World War II, but the Tsukimi-yagura turret ("moon viewing turret") and other structures are original. The Koraku-en Garden, which took 14 years to complete in the 17th century, was the first lawn garden in Japan. It was built under the order of the local feudal lord and served as a place for entertainment for the ruling family and a location for welcoming important guests. Since the end of the feudal era, the garden became the property of Okayama Prefecture and was opened to the public. The spacious garden that incorporates the typical features of a Japanese landscape garden including a large pond, streams, walking paths and a hill that serves as a lookout point. Rather unique for a Japanese garden, however, are Korakuen's spacious lawns. Also found in the garden are groves of plum, cherry and maple trees, tea and rice fields, an archery range and a crane aviary.


Okayama | Related Pages

Kurashiki

Kurashiki

Bikan Chiku - Town of Storehouses

Korakuen Garden

Korakuen Garden

One of three best landscape gardens in Japan

Okayama Fuji Park Festival

Okayama Fuji Park Festival

Festival in Okayama featuring beautifully bloomed wisteria flowers

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Nicknamed Crow Castle for its black exterior

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