Kōraku-en  (後楽園)

The Kōraku-en gardens are a large strolling garden with a meandering stream and belong to the Three Great Gardens in Japan. They have been built in 1700 (Edo period) by the lord of the Okayama area, Ikeda Tsunamasa. It took more than 13 years to finish the construction works. Although the park was used for the amusement of the daimyo family and their guests, regular people also were allowed to visit the gardens on special days.

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Directions

How to get there
From Okayama station, take the tram towards Higashiyama (東山). After 3 stops, get off at Shiroshita (城下). From there, walk straight ahead for 350m and cross the bridge.

You can also take a bus to the gardens: From Okayama station, go to bus terminal 4 and take the bus headed for Fujiwara Danchi.

Opening times
March 20 – September: 7:30am – 6pm.
October – March 19: 8am – 5pm

Admission
400 yen
An audio guide is available for 500 yen.

Address
〒703-8257, 岡山県岡山市北区後楽園1-5
Korakuen 1-5, Kita-ku, Okayama City 703-8257

Shūraku-en  (衆楽園)

Shūraku-en is a park in Tsuyama city in the prefecture Okayama.
The garden was built after the model of the Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace for the daimyo Mori Nagatsugu. The garden designer was a disciple of Kobori Enshu, the famous Japanese garden designer and tea master.

The garden is laid out as a pond strolling garden around the southern pond, with a small stream meandering through the garden. The Chukoku mountains are used as a background for the garden (shakkei – 借景).

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Directions

How to get there
From Okayama main station, take the JR Tsuyama line (1 hour 10 minutes) from platform number 9 towards Tsuyama (津山).
From Tsuyama station, either take a taxi (10 minutes) or walk around 30 minutes in nothern direction.

Admission
Free to enter

Address
628 Yamakita, Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture 708-0004, Japan
〒708-0004 岡山県津山市山北 628

Raikyū-ji  (頼久寺)

Raikyū-ji is an old temple of the Rinzai school of Buddhism. It is unclear when it was founded, but Ashikaga Takauji, the first shogun of the Muromachi period (1337 to 1573) has rebuilt the temple in 1339. The Zen garden was later laid out by Zen monk, garden designer and tea master Kobori Enshu (1579-1647). The garden is a dry landscape garden, with a Horai mountain, and a crane-turtle stone arrangement.

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Directions

How to get there
From Okayama main station, get on the JR Yakumo line 23 (platform 2). After roughly 30 minutes and two stops get off at Bitchutakahashi (備中高梁). From there you can walk to the garden (1 km, 15 minutes)

Opening times
9am-5pm

Admission
300 Yen

Address
716‐0016 岡山県高梁市頼久寺町18