Okayama, Koraku-en

After many years in Japan I finally had the chance to visit Koraku-en in Okayama, which is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. Stopping by is a good idea to spend a couple of hours if you pass by Okayama with the bullet train while going to Hiroshima or coming back to Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto.

Japanese style gardens are designed trying to emulate real landscapes, they are like “scale models” of big landscapes. For example, there are usually mounds between five and the meters high that represent mountains. Rivers are designed using little water streams, and pounds are used to form lakes and seas.

I love to stroll around Japanese gardens. While walking through winding paths in between water streams surrounded by the greenest grass you could ever imagine I feel like if I had been transported to another dimension.

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

Koraku-en Okayama

How to get there: walking east 20 minutes from Okayama bullet train station. You also can get there taking the bus that goes from Okayama station to Korakuen-mae.

Recommended visit time: two hours.

1 Comment
  • jamesmallon

    November 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I much better liked the Ritsurin-koen in Takamatsu, Shikoku, which is just an hour further from Osaka: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ritsurin_Garden_M3573.jpg

    Ritsurin-Koen has the benefit of much better ‘shakkei’ (borrowed-scenery), as it is protected on one side by an untarnished hillside. The water features are also very nice, including a cascade off same hillside.

    While I went to both the Ritsurin-koen and Koraku-en on my honeymoon, I also went to Konpira-san (recommended), Marugame-jo (castle-buffs only, Uwajima (pass) and Matsuyama (highly recommended) in Shikoku. Kurashiki on the Honshu-side is a nice combination with a trip to Okayama.