Okayama Korakuen: one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan
The beautiful gardens of 'Okayama Korakuen' were completed in 1700 at the behest of Lord Ikeda Tsunamasa. Located within a short distance from Okayama Station, the gardens, paintings, and records from the Ikeda family offer a firsthand insight into the history of the Edo period.
The gardens cover an area of 133,000 sq. meters and include luscious green lawns, flowers and trees, a 640 m long stream, and unique buildings such as the Jigen-do Shrine.
Notable buildings include the Enyo-tei house, the most important building in the grarden used by the lord when he was visiting Korakuen; Noh stage and Eisho; and the Ryuten rest house.
The gardens are also famous for the wide selection of flowers and trees such as the Yoshino and Weeping cherry trees that bloom in the spring; Satsuki azalea; Japanese iris; and camellia japonica.
The famous Korakuen Cranes have been a feature since the Edo period and can be seen in specially constructed aviary in the gardens.
Visitors can hire an audio guide to the gardens for a understanding of the features of their history and details about the multitude of plants and buildings.