Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Honshu, Japan

Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Honshu, Japan

Korakuen (Koraku-en) Garden is one of Japan’s official Three Great Gardens (along with Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen and Mito’s Kairakuen) and hence Okayama’s number one attraction. The name means “Garden of Pleasure After”, a reference to a famous Confucian quote stating that a wise ruler must attend to his subjects’ needs first and only then attend to his own. Korakuen was built in 1700 by Ikeda Tsunamasa, lord of Okayama. The garden’s form almost had turned into the modern form in 1863. It suffered severe damage during the floods of 1934 and during World War 2 bombing in 1945, but has been restored based on Edo period paintings and diagrams.

The garden was designed in the Kaiyu (“scenic promenade”) style which presents the visitor with a new view at every turn of the path which connects the lawns, ponds, hills, tea houses, and streams.

View from Yuishinzan Hill, Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Honshu, Japan

Naka-no-shima Island on Sawa-no-ike Pond, Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Honshu, Japan

Tea Plantation, Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Honshu, Japan

How to get there
Korakuen is about 1.5 kilometers or a 25-30 minute walk east of Okayama Station. Trams on the Higashiyama Line can be taken to Shiroshita stop (5 minutes, 100 yen, frequent departures) from where the garden’s south gate can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk. Alternatively, a bus can be taken from Okayama Station to Korakuen-mae bus stop (15 minutes, 140 yen, every 20 minutes), which is located just beside the garden’s main gate.
There are two entrances to Korakuen: a main gate beside the Prefectural Museum and a south gate near the bridge that crosses to Okayama Castle.

More information:
Korakuen Garden on Japan Guide
Korakuen Garden on Japanese Lifestyle
Korakuen Garden on Wikipedia
Korakuen Garden Pamphlet

More images: Gallery of Okayama Stock ImagesJapan Stock Photography.

Korakuen Teien (後楽園庭園), Okayama-shi (岡山市), Honshu (本州), Japan (日本国)

Ilya Genkin is a Sydney, Australia photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, Australian outback and deserts, rainforests, lakes and rivers, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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  • Carsten - November 26, 2009 - 8:43 pm

    Thanks for showing us this beautiful garden. The japanese aesthetics are well developed through their long history. I’m glad they restored the gardens.
    These days the green views are much welcome.

  • Mirko Herzner - November 27, 2009 - 6:51 am

    This is truly a beautiful place. I love those greens. Amazing series.

  • […] is located in the Okayama city on the Asahi River, which was used as a moat, and next to the famous Korankuen Garden. The original castle was destroyed on June 29, 1945 during World War 2 bombing. The Tsukimi Yagura […]

  • Ilya Genkin - November 27, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Thanks folks! This garden is really good and quite unique.

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