Posted by: Darrell | October 13, 2008

Okayama

Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima

Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima

Following such an epic two days, Monday was dedicated to walking through a couple of serene parks. We started off the morning by checking out at the latest possible time and walking north of the hotel to a small garden in Hiroshima that we were unable to get to on the Saturday that we spent in Metropolitan Hiroshima.

Although Shukkeien Garden isn’t quite as beautiful as the more famous Korakuen Garden, it makes a great place to walk around after a sombre exit from Peace Memorial Museum. Upon entering, you will find that it is quite big by any standards and nice. However, don’t go AFTER Korakuen, as you will be utterly disappointed.

Korakuen with Okayama Castle in the background

Korakuen with Okayama Castle in the background

The main event for the day was planned in Okayama at Korakuen Garden. Being a major stop for all passengers heading to Shikoku Island, every single Shinkansen will stop at Okayama. A point of note is that isn’t more expensive to take the train from Hiroshima to Okayama then from Okayama to Shin Osaka rather than straight from Hiroshima to Shin Osaka. So don’t be afraid to stop along the Shinkansen line and explore some of the nice stops. The town is fairly typical of your average mid size town, however, it is quite special since it is the gateway to Shikoku. It also has one of the top three gardens in all of Japan: Korakuen.

A landscape view of Korakuen Garden

A landscape view of Korakuen Garden

The Garden is massive and is divided into three sections and features bamboo, pine, plum, cherry trees and also a garden of tea bushes. As with any garden, Korakuen make full use of water, centering the garden around a large lake with various rivers providing elegant leading lines throughout. In the backdrop, Okayama Castle can also be seen and adds to the scenery. Other than that, the beauty of the garden is best enjoyed through pictures.

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