A Castle Dressed in Black and Gold

Okayama Castle

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, okayama prefecture
Photographer | Takuma Kimura

Okayama Castle was originally built in the 16th century and although it is commonly associated with the Ikeda family, its origins can be traced further back to the earlier lords of the region.The castle came into the possession of the Ikeda clan as a reward from past spoils of war.

The adjoining Korakuen Garden was later added as a private retreat for the lord of Okayama Castle. It is best to think of the garden and the castle as a set in a sense a the lord would have spent quite a bit of time in both.

The main section of the castle was destroyed during WWII, with only one original tower left standing. Popular public sentiment grew steadily in support of reconstruction of this massive part of the city’s heritage.

Rebuilt in 1966, the castle is a local symbol of rebirth after the destruction associated with the second world war. With rebuilding came modern conveniences such as the elevator that carries visitors easily to the top floor.

The castle is also a museum that displays artifacts related to the history of the original structure and the lords who ruled it. Visitors can try on Japanese armor and kimono and have photos taken. Another photo opportunity is the sedan chair that would have been used to carry nobility.

The castle grounds are spacious and offer a unique view of central Okayama City. You will often see couples on slow strolls and business people out for a walk during lunchtime.

The area outside the castle is a park in its own right as the paths along the banks of the Asahi River provide another opportunity for exploration of this area in the heart of Okayama City’s Culture Zone.

Access: Take the tram from JR Okayama Station to the Shiroshita Tram Stop. From the tram stop you walk following signs for about 1km to the entrance of the castle.

 

ABOUT OKAYAMA CITY

Okayama City is best known for Kourakuen Garden, one of Japan’s top 3 traditional gardens, as well as Okayama Castle. This recently specially designated city is undergoing rapid change and growth which has created new attractions for visitors.

Momotaro Odori is the central boulevard that runs from the east side of JR Okayama Station toward the museum-rich Cultural Zone. The Prefectural Museum of Art, located a few blocks off the end of Momotaro Odori, showcases Japanese artists and regularly exhibits works on consignment from international museums and private collections.

Not to be confused with The Prefectural Museum of Art, The Prefectural Museum, situated opposite the entrance to Korakuen Garden, is the best place to get a feel for the history of Okayama from ancient times to the modern era.

Okayama Station is at the heart of the city. Besides being the transportation hub, it is a nexus for shopping and dining. Hop off a train or bus and into a fashionable shop or restaurant. Shopping opportunities abound near the station with AEON Mall Okayama and Bic Camera just minutes away on foot.

Okayama City is modern and increasingly metropolitan. Possessing brilliant amenities, the city is cradled by the mountains, hills and rivers that define its landscape.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee