View of Okayama Castle from the across the Asahi River.
Enlarge Image

The Castle Tower with its unique black lacquered boards.
Enlarge Image

The Tsukimi-yagura Tower is one of the buildings has existed in its original state since the completion of the Castle.
Enlarge Image

TopicsOkayama Travelogue

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle was completed in 1597 after eight years of construction under the supervision of Hideie Ukita--a daimyo of the Sengoku period in Japan. In an incredible undertaking for its time, Hideie Ukita initiated a huge effort to reroute the nearby Asahigawa River to flow along the eastern side of the castle to protect the castle from enemies attacking from the rear of the castle.

Visitors will notice the black exterior of the castle. This is the result of black lacquer boards used on the walls of the tower of the castle that are examples of the architectural features of this time. In later years this black exterior led to the castle being known as the Crow (Ujo).

In addition to being a fortress, Hideie Ukita also used the Castle for meeting local merchants and craftsmen to plan the development of the castle town of Okayama.

Later, towards the end of the 17th century, the Ikeda Family took control of the castle and built the huge Okayama Korakuen Garden across the Asahigawa River to the north.

Now, in the 21st century, Okayama Castle is still a majestic presence in the modern city of Okayama.

Further information

Website: http://okayama-kanko.net/ujo/index.html