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PHOTO: wavehouse 3440'4.09" 13356'2.30"

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Okayama Castle  is a castle in the city of Okayama in Okayama Prefecture in Japan. It is popularly known as Crow Castle (Matsumoto Castle is the same nickname too), so named because it has been painted a striking black, with only a few protruding bits and the occasional lucky fish-gargoyle  gilded. Okayama Castle was built in 1597. It was destroyed in World War II and reconstructed in the 1960s.Today the donjon is a modern concrete building with air-conditioning and elevators. In the donjon is a museum documenting the castle's history, English explanations are few and far between but at least you can practice your court Japanese with a soap opera on video. Entry into the main donjon ¥300, open 9 AM to 5 PM daily. The castle is on the opposite side of the Asahi River from Kōraku-en Garden. Combination tickets for both attractions are available. In 1687, the daimyo Ikeda Tsunamasa ordered Tsuda Nagatada to begin construction of the Korakuen. It was completed in 1700, and has retained its original appearance down to the present day, except for a few changes by various daimyo. The Korakuen is one of the few daimyo gardens in the provinces where historical change can be observed, thanks to the many Edo Period paintings and Ikeda family records and documents left behind. The garden was used as a place for entertaining important guests and also as a spa of sorts for daimyo, although regular folk could also visit on certain days. In 1884, ownership was transferred to Okayama Prefecture and the garden was opened to the public. The garden suffered severe damage during the floods of 1934 and during World War 2 bombing in 1945, but has been restored based on Edo Period paintings and diagrams. In 1952, the Korakuen garden was designated as a Special Scenic Location under the Cultural Properties Protection Law, and is managed as a historical cultural asset to be passed to future generations.


 

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