I arrived in Okayama last night, and after some scrambling to fix my reservation, I stayed at a hotel near the station. Then I got up this morning and was off to see Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden.
Okayama castle looked really cool from the outside. This castle was cool because, unlike other castles in Japan, the outside was black. The top floor was an observatory, but I feel like I could have gotten better landscape pictures if the observatory had been just a few floors higher. The inside was small in comparison to Osaka castle, but they had a lot of cool scroll paintings and samurai armor displays.
Next to the castle was Korakuen Garden, which is considered one of the three great gardens in Japan. It also seemed to be a popular place for photos for weddings and other events, because I saw a few couples in really fancy kimonos, even nicer than the one I wore around Kyoto. The park itself was really nice. It was bigger than a lot of the other parks I’ve been to so far. Some parts had the typical Japanese feel to it with a pond, a bridge, and some other Japanese style plants. However, other paths took me back through the trees, and I felt like I was back home in America hiking through one of the nearby parks.
Okayama was fun, and I enjoyed the places I went to. However, I’m not sure if I would ever make a trip just to Okayama. If you’re on your way somewhere and happen to be passing through Okayama, then I definitely recommend stopping, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to visit it. I felt like a day was plenty of time to see the places I wanted to go.