Okayama Castle

Morning breakfast in Okayama
Good morning everyone!!
Good morning!
Merry Christmas and greetings from Okayama whilst we have our breakfast!
No snow in this part of Japan yet and Fall Season has officially begun and we love it!
Okayama comes to life during Autumn
What’s not to love, I can’t seem to find a reason with all the beautiful autumn colors of red, orange, yellow, browns & greens, PLUS no more summer heat, no??
Okayama castle park
Alright now, we’re heading for Okayama Castle today but first, a brief introduction to the city of Okayama.
Reach out and touch those colors!

A special thanks to Expedia for making these possible!
 
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Okayama
岡山
“Duckies, are you feeling cold” ??
Okayama is a city in the Chugoku region of Japan.
Okayama is the capital of Okayama Prefecture, and the second largest city in the Chugoku Region. With Hiroshima, being the largest.
Spectacular colors brighten up the park, naturally
The city of Okayama is an important transportation hub, being the location where the Sanyo Shinkansen meets with the only rail connection to Shikoku. 
The city was developed as a castle town during the Edo Period (1603-1867) and became a significant regional power.
Okayama’s most famous attraction is Korakuen Garden, which we will be visiting later and covering in another post, is ranked as one of the three best landscape gardens in Japan.
Okayama, second largest city in the Chugoku region
The top three landscape gardens in Japan includes Okayama’s Korakuen Garden, along with Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen and Mito’s Kairakuen. 
Okayama Castle is located just across from the garden. Okayama also serves as the locale for the popular fairy tale of the Peach Boy – more popularly known as: Momotaro.
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The Peach Boy
桃太郎
Momotaro
Momotaro, birthplace of the popular fairy tale
Due to the legendary fairy tale made popular, visitors will notice many references to the legendary hero.
Finally, Okayama castle!
One key unlocks the city’s unique charm: Momotaro, the Peach Boy.
According to the Japanese fairytale, an old, childless couple found a peach floating down the river, and inside they found a baby boy. They duly adopted him and named him Momotaro.
As he grew, he began to feel greatly indebted to the couple that raised him, and when he was finally grown, he announced that he would be going on a journey to Onigashima – The Demon Island: to fight the demons that had been causing trouble in the nearby villages.
Okayama castle, close up
The old woman prepared Kibi-dango for him to take on his journey and bade him farewell.
On his way to the island, he befriended a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant by giving them each a piece of the Kibi-dango.
With their help, he defeated the demons; Momotaro took the demons’ treasures back home and gave them to the old couple to thank them for all the things they’d done for him throughout the years.
The couple rejoiced that he was back safely, and they all lived happily ever after.
Okay, story-time’s over and back to topic: Okayama & the Crow Castle!
Alright, so here we are!
The gates to Okayama Castle.
A bridge leads you across the castle moat
Okayama Castle, like most Japanese castles is surrounded by a huge castle moat and otherwise inaccessible without the help of bridges, built around all it’s entry points.
After crossing the stone bridge, beautiful gardens surround Okayama Castle.
Okayama Castle Park is not to be confused with Korakuen Garden – Okayama’s most popular attraction site and the best landscape garden in Japan.
There were families having fun & playing around, old folks doing morning exercises and couples walking their dogs lovingly – all around the Okayama Castle Park’s compounds.
“Can you see me” ?
“Peek-a-boo, Hide & seek!”
 
And these set of stairs, will lead you straight up to Okayama Castle!
Sunlight glimmering through the Autumn foliage
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Okayama Castle
岡山城
Okayamajo
Crow castle
Okayama Castle is a Japanese castle in the city of Okayama in Okayama Prefecture in Japan. 
In stark contrast to the white “Egret Castle” of neighboring Himeji, Okayama Castle has a black exterior, earning it the nickname “Crow Castle” – pronounced as “U-jo” in Japanese.
The black castle of Matsumoto in Nagano is also known as “Crows Castle”, but it is “Karasu-jo” in Japanese speech.
Okayama castle is also known as “Black castle”.
Okayama Castle, known as the “Crow castle” due to its black exterior, was built in 1597, influenced in the style of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period.
The original castle of Okayama was destroyed in the last year of World War 2, but a reconstruction was made in 1966.
Two of the watch towers of Okayama Castle survived the bombing of 1945 and are now listed by the national Agency for Cultural Affairs as Important Cultural Properties.
The castle is dressed elegantly, in black
One of them, the Tsukimi Yagura which translates as “Moon viewing turret”, dates all the way back to 1620.
Asahi river
The castle is located on the Asahi River, which was, and is still used as a moat. 
Korakuen Garden, which is Okayama’s main attraction – is located just across the river, accessed via a bridge.
Today, only a few parts of Okayama Castle, including the fish-shaped gargoyles on the roof, are gilded in gold, but prior to the Battle of Sekigahara the main keep also featured gilded roof tiles, thus earning it it’s nickname then: Kin U-jo.
Kin U-jo means Golden Crow Castle, in Japanese.
The main building of Okayama Castle is the six story castle keep.
The keep’s interior is modern and displays exhibits on the history and development of the Castle.
Okayama’s castle park showcases the true beauty of Autumn colors
There are also reconstructions and unearthed foundations of former buildings, which help illustrate the former extent of the castle’s complex of buildings.
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Moon Viewing Bridge
月見橋
Tsukimi-bashi
Tsukimibashi, the Moon-viewing bridge
As mentioned earlier. there are two entrances to Okayama Castle: The Stone Bridge on the Shiroshita side which we entered, and across the other end of the Castle, which is the location of the Moon Viewing Bridge.
This is where we exited the Castle grounds and entered Korakuen.
It is a great spot to take a few snaps of the castle and a great day out as both sights are relatively close to each other.
From the bridge, you’ll get spectacular views of Okayama castle
This is Okayama Castle, picture taken from the Moon viewing Bridge.
Stay tuned for our next post coming up – our next destination: Korakuen!
Thanks to EXPEDIA FLIGHTS and
also, EXPEDIA HOTELS for making these possible!
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P.S. Please feel free to follow me via GFC.
Google+, Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter…all are welcomed too!! 🙂
“Can you spot the hidden kitty” ?
Thanks for reading!
And i would be lookin’ forward to also reading your blogs soon!!
Have a great Christmas!
hidekiuriel

About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

13 thoughts on “Okayama Castle

  1. おぉ・・・
    キレイ!!www
    I feel the urge to go there, colors are pretty beautiful at this time!

  2. Love your blog!!
    Started following your blog via GFC and Bloglovin, would you like to follow me?

    xx Merry Christmas xx
    http://magicalsergiofashion.blogspot.com/

  3. Merry Christmas ; D

  4. Just stumbled onto your blog (:
    岡山城はキレイそうですね~
    私にも行って見たいです~^^

    • ロキシーちゃん, メリークリスマス!
      Yes, thank you for following me.
      When you do come one day, make sure to visit Okayama castle and also, Korakuen.
      Both are amazing spots for awesome colors in Spring & Autumn! 🙂
      Followed you too!

      http://www.ColorfulExistence.com

  5. […] the links below to view where we were, previously! http://joshuahideki.com/okayama-castle/ […]

  6. […] is located in Okayama Prefecture, just beside the prefectural capital of Okayama City. Similar to Kawagoe (and the Altstadt(s)/Old Towns of Europe), the city of Kurashiki has a […]

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