Okayama Castle is a Japanese castle located in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. It is also known as U-jo, the “Black Crow” because of its walls made of black wooden boards. This is in contrast to the nearby Himeji Castle which is called the “White Heron”. It is considered as one of the most beautiful and best preserved castles in the country and a popular tourist site in the region.
Okayama Castle was built in 1597 by the feudal lord Ukita Hideie, who also built the nearby Bicchū-Matsuyama Castle. The construction of Okayama Castle was completed in 1601, and it served as the residence of the Ukita family until it was replaced by the Ikeda family in 1632.
The castle was bombed during World War II and retains few original remains. It was rebuilt with reinforced concrete in 1966 and the main tower of the castle, which is 20 meters high, houses a museum with exhibits on the history and culture of Okayama region as well as the history of the castle itself. The museum also offers panoramic views of Okayama City and the surrounding mountains from the top of the tower.
Okayama Castle Gardens, also known as “Korakuen”, were built at the same time as the castle itself. The gardens are considered one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, along with the Kenroku-en Gardens in Kanazawa and the Kairaku-en Gardens in Mito. Korakuen Gardens covers 13 hectares and includes a pond, bridges, pavilions, walkways and beautiful trees.
Okayama Castle is a popular tourist site throughout the year, with thousands of visitors coming to see the elegant architecture of the castle and the beautiful gardens that surround it. Visitors can also attend traditional Japanese cultural events in the castle, such as dance and music performances, as well as local festivals.
Access and timetable and prices Okayama Castle
Okayama Castle, also known as “Raven Castle”, is located in Okayama City, Japan. Here is the information I could find concerning the access, the schedule and the prices :
- Access: Okayama Castle is about a 15-minute walk from Okayama Station. It is also accessible by bus from the station.
- Hours: Okayama Castle is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entrance at 4:30 pm). It is closed from December 29 to January 1.
- Price: The entrance fee for Okayama Castle is 320 yen for adults and 120 yen for children. There are also group rates available for groups of more than 30 people.
Note that this information is subject to change, so it is best to check the current times and prices on site.