Okayama was the city we chose for the next destination. For a few reasons. The first one is as a place to stay while we go to Naoshima for a day trip. The second one is to visit Korakuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.
The last reason was simply that we never set our feet on this city before and thought why not? We love exploring the different cities in Japan and this will be another new adventure for us.
There’s no doubt one of our favorite activities to do while in Japan is walk around the gardens and parks. We don’t have that kind of privilege here in Jakarta so any greenery scenes that we can actually breathe in, definitely steal our hearts. It’s usually very quiet and serene. We can hear the soft wind blowing and the birds chirping. Or as simple as the sound of the shoes stepping on the path.
When we arrived at Okayama, there were some seriously strong winds on the region. A heavy snowstorm had hit Sapporo again and we were very thankful that we had left the city. Otherwise, I think our entire trip would’ve been in shambles. As we make our way to Korakuen, I swear it was really tough! I had a hard time keeping my eyes open and breathing. The wind was so powerful that I thought it’s going to blow us away! We literally had to stop a few times just to keep ourselves balanced.
Alas, after hard work, we arrived at our destination!
Taken from here:
Koraku-en is located in Okayama in Okayama prefecture. Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo (feudal lord) of Okayama, built the garden in 1700 as a place for entertaining important guests and also as a retreat for feudal lords. The garden is known for its vibrant colors
year round; plum and cherry blossoms in the spring, irises andlotuses in the summer, maple trees whose leaves turn a fiery red in the fall, and a blanket of white in winter. Popular attractions include a traditional tea plantation, dock used by the daimyo when visiting the garden, and an aviary filled with Japanese cranes.
Admission for an adult is ¥ 400. Once we got in, we were greeted by this wide, panoramic view. It was so vast I couldn’t even see where it ends with my eyes. It was quite overwhelming. We took our time and walk down the path leisurely, enjoying every second of it – despite the wind was still blowing on us.
Oh, it’s so worth it. Pictures didn’t do this place justice. I only took a few just to remind myself that I was there. I was in this historical, magical place. So, if you’re looking for a tour of photos, I’m sorry I couldn’t give that to you. I was too immersed in the moment and I refused my camera to get in between too often. Besides, that’s the whole point of traveling – to be in the moment.
When we got here, we didn’t expect to see much of a bloom. But we did see some ume or plum blossoms! The trees were planted inside fenced areas so we’re not allowed to step into them, let alone touching. I also saw a few employees tending to the blossoming trees. They were taking notes and such.
I got plenty of photos in this area, I love taking pictures of botanical! I love how each bud and petals are different, the twigs and branches dance to different directions and how they all jumbled together. The best nature can offer. It’s incredibly fascinating!
I suppose that’s enough floral photography for this post 😀
Korakuen Garden is also filled with historical structures that we can see around. We’re given a map so we just need to follow through and make sure we didn’t leave anything unvisited. There’s also Okayama Castle nearby. To go there, we crossed a bridge where Asahi River flows underneath it. If I remember correctly, the admission also covered the entrance to the castle.
In the end, we spent about 3 hours or so in this place. There was so much to see. So much to observe. Fields and fields. Pathways. Textures. Shapes. Colors. There were so many little details, meticulously placed that go unnoticed at hindsight. I appreciate Japanese for this; their attention to details is unparalleled.
We came here early March 2018. It’s late winter, nearing spring. I didn’t retouch any of the photos here as I want to show you the real colors and the overall atmosphere of the weather. During our visit, the light changed from time to time. Sometimes the sun peeked through, but for the most part, it’s still quite gloomy.
If you’ve ever made your way down to Okayama, Korakuen Garden is a definite must-visit! Especially if you have an appreciation for Japanese gardens, you don’t want to miss this out. Okayama itself is quite a charming city. We didn’t explore it that much only to know that it said to be the origin of Momotaro! We kept seeing Momotaro paraphernalia including the manhole cover on the streets! We’d definitely love to go back to this place again in the future – also hoping to find that lovely eatery joint that cooked
As for now, another one in the bucket list crossed off!