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Koraku-en is a garden nationally designated as a special place of scenic beauty symbolic of the strolling gardens of the early Edo period. It is also considered one of the top three gardens in Japan. After 14 years of construction, the garden was nearly finished in 1700. The garden covers an area of 133,000m2 centered around the Enyo-tei House and also has a large traditional stage for Noh performances and lake, plum grove, tea fields, and even large grass lawns rare to Japanese gardens. Koraku-en has even earned ratings in the French Michelin Green Guide. Utilizing the surrounding views of Okayama Castle and Mt. Misao, Koraku-en is a beautiful park that shows us vastly different scenes with the changing of the seasons.
- 1-5 Korakuen, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama
- Contact No.
- From JR Okayama station, take a bus bound for Fujiwara-danchi for 12 min. Get off at Korakuen-mae bus stop.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- 7:30-18:00(Oct 1-March 19: 8:00-17:00)
Open all year round
- Official Website
- Time Required
- Admission fee
- 400 yen for adults, 140 yen for middle & elementary school students
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Share a View with Feudal Lords of Old: Enyo-Tei
The Enyo-tei house is considered the center of the garden. It once served as the residence of the feudal lord, from which one can get wondrous views of the entire park. Why not take a look at the same artistic features of the park like Sawa-no-Ike Pond and Yuishinzan Hill just as the sequential feudal lords of old did from this very house. Today, these specific views are preserved as the most important features of the garden.
Renchi-Ken Rest House
Of the many small rest houses within the park, it was this particular one that the feudal lord who looked over the landscape design adored the most. From inside the rest house one can enjoy remarkable views of the ponds.
Stream Passing Straight through the Ryuten Rest House
This small house that was used as a resting spot for the feudal lord on walks through the garden has a very rare design featuring a stream that runs through the center. Within this stream are six differently colored and shaped stones adding a strong individualistic character. Inside the elegant and simple garden of Koraku-en, this is one feature with its own special presence. Luckily, this building escaped damage in WWII and remains a precious treasure of the past.
Refined Taste of the Tea Houses
Inside of the park are “chaya” tea houses that serve as resting spots. In the tea house towards Okayama Castle, “Sazanami Chaya”, one can enjoy light meals and Okayama’s local beer. The long standing “Fukuda Chaya” located next to the pond and tea field benefits from its elegant surroundings. We recommend trying the local treats of Okayama, “kibi-dango” sweet dumplings which can be found in either tea house.
In August, large-scale illuminations take place enveloping Koraku-en and Okayama Castle in warm soft light. One ought to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic scenes on a night stroll. (Illumination period: Aug 1-31, Illumination times: 18:00 – 21:30)
Okayama Castle was built over the course of eight years during the rule of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the Sengoku period. It’s located right next to Koraku-en, so we recommend dropping by on your trip to the garden. The views of the castle from across the park are unforgettable.