The Japanese absolutely love their traditional gardens, and so much of Japanese culture is based around their cultivation and admiration. There are only three gardens in the whole country which have been anointed as the very best representatives of the horticultural craft, and one of them is Korakuen Garden in Okayama.
It’s conveniently located right next to Okayama Castle, as it was commissioned in1687 by the ruling daimyo as a place for his family to impress their guests. Thankfully, you no longer need to be a high-ranking samurai to get a peek at these lovely grounds, all it takes is 580 yen for the ticket.
Inside, you’ll find a microcosm of botanical beauty, arranged according to traditional Japanese landscape gardening principles. This means plenty of interesting features like streams and ponds, with paths weaving throughout the flowers and fruit groves.
If you need a break from all of the military and religious history at the castle and Okayama Prefectural Museum, just head across here to enjoy a peaceful stroll through these spacious grounds. There’s really no better way to clear your mind.