As it bathes in sunlight, the black lacquered exterior of Okayama Castle is almost the jet black of a crow, which is why it’s also called “U-jo” (Crow Castle).
Seen from Tsukimi Bridge, which connects it to Korakuen garden, the castle keep and its surroundings are postcard perfect.
Let’s get a little closer – The splendid black lacquered keep glistens beautifully in the evening sun…
Ukita Hideie who was welcomed warmly as daimyo of the domain by Toyotomi Hideyoshi completed Okayama Castle in 1597 after 8 years of work. Though unfortunately destroyed by fire following an air raid in 1945, the keep was reconstructed in 1966.
The castle from directly below!
Gilded fish-shaped gargoyles accent the exterior, but originally the roof-tiles were also gilded, which led to it being known as ‘golden crow castle’ at the time. It’s interesting trying to imagine how it must’ve looked!
Measured from its stone walls, the castle keep is 20.45m high, and from the 6th floor it offers an exceptional 360 degree panoramic view! Admiring Korakuen garden stretching out along the other side of Asahi River, you can imagine how the feudal lord must’ve felt…
You can see roof tiles from very close up! They’re so close that I want to touch them, but unfortunately they’re on the other side of a glass wall.
From the 5th floor, you can see the gilded fish-shaped gargoyles right before your eyes.
We recommend taking pictures of Korakuen garden with Asahi River in the foreground.
The castle is known not only for holding history related exhibitions and showing daimyo related artifacts, but also for other interactive experiences.
In the lord’s quarters on the 2nd floor you can experience how it feels to wear the kimono worn by lords and princesses. And believe it or not, it’s free! If you visit Okayama castle with your significant other, do try on the outfits and take a commemorative photograph together.
Okayama is known worldwide for bizenyaki, traditional Japanese ceramics, and there is even a bizenyaki workshop in the castle where anyone can easily enjoy working with clay.
It’s fun creating your own unique bizenyaki piece to commemorate your trip to Okayama!
On the 1st floor there’s a souvenir shop where you can buy limited edition goods, and there’s even a teahouse where you can enjoy the famous “Castle parfait”!
Whether or not you’re interested in history, a visit to Okayama Castle is sure to be entertaining.
Address: 2-3-1 Marunouchi, Kita ward, Okayama city, Okayama prefecture
Open: 9.00-17.30 (Entry until 17.00)
Closed: December 29th – 31st
Admission: Adults JPY300, Children (Elementary & Middle school students JPY120)
Access: 10-minutes walk from Okayama Electric Tramway Higashiyama Line Shiroshita station
The Setouchi Finder Editors
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