Korakuen is perhaps Okayama city’s best known attraction. It is a beautiful Japanese landscape garden and is designated as one of the three great gardens of Japan along with Mito’s Kairakuen and Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen. The local feudal lord, Ikeda Tsunamasa, ordered the construction of Korakuen in 1687 as a retreat for himself and his family. It was subsequently completed in 1700.
It suffered damage due to floods and World War II but has been restored to its former glory in the Edo style, due to numerous Edo period paintings, records and documents which are left behind from that period, meaning that it maintains its original appearance after painstaking reconstruction.
Korakuen has many of the hallmark features of a landscape garden in Japan and enthusiasts will probably spot them immediately, with a large pond, streams, walking paths and hills which make for excellent viewpoints and are usually a great location from which to take photos. There are also several groves of trees which look beautiful in bloom. The garden is located right next to Okayama castle, which therefore serves as a backdrop to the garden, making for a beautiful view.
This is a great place for a leisurely afternoon stroll, with plenty of spots to relax and beautiful vistas around every corner. On the line between Kyoto and Hiroshima, Okayama is an easy place to stop off at and spend a morning or afternoon, with the garden only a 25-minute walk from Okayama station.