Avatar
Official Artist
Raffi
MC / Show Host
3,661,361 views| 3,111  Posts

Himeji-Okayama 3: Crow Castle

Our next stop was the small city of Okayama. Until now all I knew about this city was the fact that it was where the train to Shikoku (the /other/ of the main 4 islands of Japan) connected with the Shinkansen. But while researching the trip to Himeji's , I found that Okayama had the antipode: .

It took a few minutes on the street car and then a brief walk along the Asahi River:

Ah, there it is in the distance. On the opposite side of the river is the Korakuen (ŒãŠy‰€ -back happy garden!), which is apparently one of the top 3 most famous gardens in japan...

But first the Castle! A bit of a let down compared to Himeji Castle of course, this one was taken out in WWII, only one of the small corner tower buildings was left standing (i should note that most of the rest of the castle was destroyed during the Meiji restoration, so you can't blame it all on the US Air Force).

One nice thing about being rebuilt is the fact that they put an elevator in, as well as AC. (the only other castle i've seen with an elevator is Osaka castle). In this case you go up in the elevator and walk down level by level for the requisite museum of old stuff (suits of armor, samurai sword blades, paintings of old lords, etc).

The view is quite nice from the top level though, including the park and this not so elegant foot bridge to reach it.

Like Himeji, Okayama was doing a big festival this weekend. For some reason these workers were setting up hundreds of small candles in glasses on the grass in front of the castle. Also the castle was open til 10pm, whereas the normal hours usually are only til 5 (which is good, cause we got there at 4:50!)

Here's another example of those tiger fish dolphin things... this one being new and painted gold...

And since I did one in Hiroshima Castle the week before, it was Y0-chan's turn to take a gimmick picture here.

Speaking of gimmicks... how about this thing:

Is that not the fattest cat you've ever seen? It was just sitting in front of the 'Okayama' road marker... bearing its fangs at any who tried to mess with it.

We headed over to the Korakuen park:

Which was also setting up lights (in this case some electric and some torch things) for a night time show of some sort. It was a nice park but I think the one I visited in Takamatsu was more fancy and more (to borrow the horrible term from Utada Hikaru) 'Japanesy' (perhaps a better term is more Japanese garden-y?).

There was a stage set up with this gospel choir rehearsing for a show on it. They were led by this black guy who had extremely disproportionate legs...

We stopped to rest our achin' feet in this nice stream foot soaker thing. It was out of the sun and the water was nice and cold. Meanwhile we got to listen to the not-so-perfect choir practice... with the leader guy yelling at them in english every time they messed up.

Here's a brief:

Video Clip(500kb - DIVX)

And continuing from the Himeji entry's bug photos:

This thing was pretty tiny for a mantis... only about 1 or 2 inches total. really freaky. Somehow it had managed to get on one of the rocks in the middle of that stream. I hope it can either fly or swim...

One final shot as we head out:

The sun was setting as we headed back to the train station... we got onto this old school Bullet train (from back when they looked like Bullets), i believe its a 100 series train, I'm surprised they're still using these things...

More pictures of the castle on wikicommons.

almost 18 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

About

I work at alivenotdead.com. Please check out my blogs and leave a comment!

Learn More

Languages Spoken
English,Armenian,Japanese,Mandarin
Location (City, Country)
Hong Kong
Gender
Male
Member Since
April 13, 2007