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Koraku-en Garden by day, Fantasy Garden by night

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The Koraku-en Garden is known to be one of the three great gardens of Japan. I must admit I have visited this place several times in the past in different seasons and spring by far for me is the best season to visit and enjoy strolls in this beautifully landscaped garden with the sakura in full bloom. And my least favorite would be during summer not because the garden turns ugly or something like that its because its just too HOT to stroll around the garden you tend to tire more quickly. But the garden is really beautiful in any season. Just recently I have learned that during the whole month of August, the garden grounds are open to the public for night strolls which for me was a great idea to visit the place since I have not seen it at night and the added bonus of not having to be under the heat of the sun. I don’t know if the weather spirit knew about how much I hate summer heat because on the day that we were going to the garden it rained so hard that I wondered if it would ever stop for me and my friend to enjoy our visit but luckily it stopped just in time for us to ride our bikes and head our way to the garden.

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Sawa-no-ike Pond or the Marsh Pond, I am no English expert but really Marsh Pond?!

We entered the garden grounds just before dusk with just ample light to enjoy the garden. Well the weather that day was really cloudy so it was a bit dark but none the less the garden was really beautiful with the vibrant green colors of the grass, trees and the many plant life that filled the garden. With so much to see and re-visit, we strolled the garden grounds taking a great number of pictures along the way – this garden is really photogenic. Walking through the winding garden path ways, you cant help but notice the ever changing views this garden has.

Not enough words could describe the garden so I will let this pictures speak for them selves.

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A panorama view taken on top of Yuishinzan Hill

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Enyo-tei House – is a tea house and the center piece of the garden.

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Taken across the Yuishinzan Hill with the Okayama Castle in view

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Sawa-no-ike Pond on the right side showing the Naka-no-shima Island and the Mino-shima Island. On the right side is the Seiden Field and the Tea Plantation

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Stream leading to the Renchi-ken Rest House

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View from the South Gate

Once night fall came, and slowly one by one tiny little sparks of light filled the garden’s pathways and structures -it was like an old scenic village coming to life. It was far from what I had expected it to be – now I understand why they call this event Fantasy Garden. It really looked so different during day – it is like visiting a whole new garden.

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Fantasy Garden

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These tiny little lights where one of the first that where lit up

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Enyo-tei House with two girls wearing a yukata. This picture really takes you back in time.

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It’s like a tiny little ancient village from a story book , don’t you think? – taken from Yuishinzan Hill

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Sawa-no-ike Pond with school of Koi fish swiming

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Sawa-no-ike Pond showing Jari-jima Island

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It’s amazing to see this dramatic light effects produced by a combination of traditional and electric lights. Apart of the garden lighting visitors are also entertained with a show and a number of food stalls.

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Okayama Castle reflection shown on the pond

The Okayama Castle grounds and museum is also open for you to visit. Tickets for both the Okayama Castle and Koraku-en will cost you 560 yen.

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Okayama Castle

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Castle grounds

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Stars where no where in sight but the lights that filled the garden was more than enough for you not to miss them. And after visiting the garden that night I now think that the best time to see and experience Koraku-en is in summer under the Moon and the stars and with this thousands of tiny little lights that flicker through out the garden.

Related post:
Okayama Castle: A unique blend of the old and the new

 

■Access information■
Admission hours:
・March 20 – September 30 7:30 to 18:00 (You have to enter until 17:45)
・October 1 – March 19 8:30 to 17:00 (You have to enter until 16:45)
(Opening hours will be extended during special events.)
1-5 Korakuen, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama
Tel:086-272-1148
http://www.okayama-korakuen.jp/english/index.html(Eng)

 

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