Kōraku-en Gardens & Okayama Castle

Published on 8 August 2023 at 22:41

We were so excited to board the Hello Kitty bullet train to Okayama! We are big fans, and her train had cute decor, photo opps, and a gift shop. Courtney and Caroline purchased water and snacks for the trip in Hello Kitty bottles and tins, as well as fans to keep us cool, because it's still scorching outside!

Photo Gallery (tap and swipe)

When we reached our stop in Okayama, it was so hot! We were fortunate to happen upon the Yumeji Art Museum and enjoy a beverage in the café. Yumeji Takehisa was a poet and artist who was born in Okayama and worked in Japan and the USA in the early 1900s.

Taking photos was not allowed in most of the gallery, but we were allowed to take photos outside and in the cafe, where many pieces of his work were dedicated to black cats, which we loved! 

Next, we walked a short way to the Kōraku-en Gardens, filled with beautiful greenery, plum groves, rice fields, ponds with Koi, and a crane aviary. We walked through the gardens and bought fish food to feed the Koi. Then we crossed the River and explored the Okayama Castle. 

The Okayama Castle Tower was completed in 1597, destroyed in the last year of WW2, and rebuilt in the 1960's. The six-story castle has absolutely beautiful views from the top floor, and after taking photos we walked down through the other floors to see samurai historic exhibits. It turns out Caroline is the exact height of the samurai - 155 cm (5'1")!

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