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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

Korakuen Garden 岡山後楽園

A three-star Michelin traditional garden where nobles loved to stroll

The garden at Korakuen, long considered one of the top three gardens in Japan, has been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan and is a designated Historical and Cultural Heritage site. The park truly lives up to its revered reputation as a beautiful place to spend time all year-round. A visit here will bring you a little closer to the era in which noble lords strolled through sculptured gardens with traditional teahouses and past ponds filled with Japanese carp.

Don't Miss

  • Okayama Castle, which is next to the garden
  • Relaxing in one of the teahouses located in Korakuen
  • Seeing the garden lit by bamboo lanterns or under a full moon

How to Get There

It's a 25-minute walk from JR Okayama Station to Korakuen Garden.

If you prefer to travel by tram, depart from JR Okayama Station and ride for eight minutes to the Shiroshita Stop. From the tram stop, the garden is a 10-minute walk away.

An introspective escape

The spacious garden grounds offer a great many areas to explore and discover. It covers about 14 hectares and includes a tea plantation, aviary, several ponds, and original tea houses and resting buildings where the daimyo—the Japanese feudal lord—would sit, contemplating the pressures of his role as leader of the area.

You will also find small pockets of space that offer an explosion of color and fragrance. Between March and mid-April, the plum grove of one hundred trees welcomes spring with soft shades of white and pink.

During the summer, you will see the Japanese iris garden that comes into full bloom in early June, with colors of white and purple. This blanket of color is broken with an artfully inserted wooden planked bridge that zigzags over a stream.

Four seasons of colors and scents

Summer also brings the opportunity to visit the park during the early evening hours. The garden is lit with beautifully carved bamboo lanterns that sprout out of the ground. The lanterns guide you throughout the garden, where you can to see the trees, flowers, and creatures of the garden in a very different light.

You can visit Korakuen during full moons from August to October. The fall season brings a rich palette of reds, oranges, browns, and yellows that are acutely realized in the Chishio-no-mori Grove. Here, you will see the maple trees as they change their colors, then fly away in the crisp fall breeze.

One of the key spots around the garden is the lookout point on Yuishinzan Hill, which has a picturesque view over the Sawa-no-Ike, the largest pond, and also faces Okayama Castle just across Asahi River. This location is a perfect place for photos.

Another outstanding area is the Crane Aviary where you see these majestic birds. On New Year's Day, they are released in celebration into the garden. Korakuen Garden has been rearing cranes since 1956 and Okayama is the prefectural champion in Japan for breeding these beautiful birds.

Not just a pretty garden

Korakuen has many events throughout the year. In May, you can see ladies dressed in traditional kimono harvesting tea from the on-site plantation. This is followed in June by a ceremony to plant rice.

For those interested in Noh theater, you can see a performance on the first Saturday in October or on November 3, which is a national holiday in Japan called Culture Day.

Korakuen garden is truly a magical place filled with the beauty and culture of a bygone era.

The best way to visit

Instead of merely visiting the garden, it is better to purchase the Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden Pass. With the pass, you can also visit the castle, which is visible from spots in the garden and a short walk away. There is a bridge that will take you from just outside the garden to the palace grounds.

Okayama Castle, called the Crow Castle for its black exterior, has a six-story main keep. The size of the castle and its majestic location next to the river make it a grand place to visit.

While you can walk around the Korakuen Garden in a couple of hours, it is worthy of a more lengthy, leisurely stay, with time to take in the scents, sounds, and silence.

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