Okayama Castle 岡山城
Okayama Castle overlooks Okayama's prime attraction, the Korakuen Garden, which is located on a small island in the Asahi River.
The area containing the castle and garden is considered a cultural zone and makes for a nice walk. Both sites are must-sees on any visit to Okayama. Okayama Castle is used as borrowed scenery (shakkei) for the Koraku-en Garden.
Okayama Castle is known as U-jo (Crow Castle) and along with Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture is one of the few black castles in Japan.
History of Okayama Castle
Enter Okayama Castle from Tsukimi-bashi (Moon-viewing bridge) from the island. The original building was founded in 1573 by the feudal lord Ukita Naoie and completed by his son Hideie, in 1597.
An ally of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Hideie found himself on the losing side in the decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600. His lands and castle were eventually appropriated by the Ikeda clan, supporters of the victorious Tokugawa. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the moats were filled in and the castle walls were pulled down.
Okayama Castle was unfortunately almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II with only the tsukima-yagura (Moon-viewing turret) surviving.
Okayama Castle was rebuilt in 1966 but with a modern ferro-concrete shell and elevators.
Okayama Castle has exhibits on show from the Ikeda tenure of the castle.
Admission: 300 yen
Access - how to get to Okayama Castle
Okayama Castle is east of Okayama Station along Momotaro Odori.
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