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Korakuen (ŒγŠy‰€, Kōrakuen) is a beautiful landscape garden and Okayama's main attraction. Along with Kanazawa's Kenrokuen and Mito's Kairakuen, Korakuen is ranked as one of Japan's three best landscape gardens. It is located just beside Okayama Castle, which can be seen from the garden as "borrowed scenery".

The local feudal lord ordered the construction of Korakuen in 1687 as a place of entertainment for the ruling family and a location for receiving important guests. Occasionally, the public was permitted to enter the garden.

In 1884, a few years after the end of the feudal era, Korakuen became the property of Okayama Prefecture and was opened to the public. The garden suffered damage from floods in 1934 and bombing during the war, but it has always been restored to its original state thanks to the accurate records kept by the garden's designers.

Korakuen is a spacious garden that incorporates the typical features of a Japanese landscape garden, including a large pond, streams, walking paths and a hill that serves as a lookout point. Rather unique for a Japanese garden, however, are Korakuen's spacious lawns. Also found in the garden are groves of plum, cherry and maple trees, tea and rice fields, an archery range and a crane aviary.

Getting there and around

Korakuen has two entrance gates: a main gate beside the Prefectural Museum and a south gate near the bridge that crosses to Okayama Castle.

Korakuen is about 1.5 kilometers or a 25-30 minute walk east of Okayama Station. Trams on the Higashiyama Line can be taken to Shiroshita stop (5 minutes, 120 yen one way, frequent departures) from where the garden's south gate can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk. Alternatively, the Korakuen Bus connects the station with the garden's main gate in a little over ten minutes (100 yen one way, 2 buses/hour).

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Hotels around Okayama

Top rated in Okayama
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    • 3 Wellness
      Mid-range
      Set in Okayama, within 3.4 km of Rian Bunko Art Museum and 3.7 km of Kuni Shrine, 3 Wellness offers accommodation with a shared lounge and as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star hotel offers luggage storage space. AEON Mall Okayama is 4.1 km from the hotel and Shimoishii Park is 4.1 km away. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At 3 Wellness the rooms are equipped with bed linen and towels. Sky Mall 21 Shopping Street is 4.3 km from the accommodation, while Okayama Baptist Church is 4.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 16 km from 3 Wellness.
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    • Hotel Granvia Okayama
      Luxury
      Directly connected to JR Okayama Station, Granvia Okayama is a 15-minute train ride from Kurashiki. It offers restaurants with 19th-floor views, an indoor pool with a sauna, as well as rooms with free WiFi and free wired internet. Each air-conditioned room at Hotel Granvia Okayama is equipped with bath and shower facilities, a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer. All rooms are also fitted with an electric kettle. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from Koraku-en Garden and Okayama Castle. An hourfs train ride takes guests to Shikoku Island. Kibitsu Shrine is a 20-minute drive away. French cuisine is served at Prix d'Or Restaurant, featuring panoramic views. Kibizen Restaurant offers seasonal Japanese foods. Chinese dishes and teppan-yaki are also available. Sky Lounge Applause offers beautiful views from floor-to-ceiling windows.
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    • Dormy Inn Okayama Natural Hot Spring
      Mid-range
      Attractively situated in the Kita Ward district of Okayama, Dormy Inn Okayama Natural Hot Spring is situated 200 metres from Nishigawa Canal Park, 200 metres from Okayama Baptist Church and 400 metres from AEON Mall Okayama. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. The accommodation features a sauna, spa centre, restaurant and free WiFi. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the hotel. Popular points of interest near Dormy Inn Okayama Natural Hot Spring include Kongo-ji Temple, Kochin-ji Temple and Okayama-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 16 km from the accommodation.
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    • Torii-Kuguru
      Budget-friendly
      Opened in July 2013, Torii-Kuguru offers free Wi-Fi, bicycle rentals and a launderette. This non-smoking property features a garden and a shared kitchen, a 10-minute walk from JR Okayama Station. Guests can relax in a shared lounge. The hotel has private rooms with Japanese futon bedding on a wooden floor. All rooms are air-conditioned and have heating facilities, while toilets and bathrooms are shared. From hotel Torii-Kuguru itfs only a 10-minute drive to Okayama Castle or Korakuen Park.
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    • Guest House MEETS Okayama ‘SŽΊŒΒŽΊ‚ΜƒzƒXƒeƒ‹
      Budget-friendly
      Situated within 200 metres of Tanukian Bunko Art Museum and 600 metres of Houkancho Shopping Street, ƒQƒXƒgƒnƒEƒX MEETS ‰ͺŽR offers rooms in Okayama. This property is located a short distance from attractions such as Kuni Shrine. The property is set less than 1 km from Momotaro Statue and a 10-minute walk from Rokkosei Memorial Statue. AEON Mall Okayama is less than 1 km from ƒQƒXƒgƒnƒEƒX MEETS ‰ͺŽR, while Sky Mall 21 Shopping Street is a 13-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 11 km from the accommodation.
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    • Okayama Koraku Hotel
      Mid-range
      Just a 5-minute walk from JR Okayama Train Station, Okayama Koraku Hotel offers modern rooms with free wired internet and a flat-screen TV. Guests can enjoy massages and free-use bicycles. This hotel was selected as one of the Top Romance Hotels in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2015. The air-conditioned rooms at Koraku Hotel include a private bathroom with bathtub and amenities. Slippers, a fridge and a seating area are provided. Each room has a humidifier. Nishigawa Ryokudo Koen Tram Station is just a 1-minute walk from the hotel. Okayama Castle is 1.5 km away, and Okayama Koraku-en Garden is about a 15-minute walk away. The 24-hour reception offers luggage storage. A free-use microwave and coin-operated launderette are provided. TOMOE Restaurant offers a buffet-style breakfast featuring Japanese and Western dishes from 06:30-10:00.
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    • Hotel Abest Grande Okayama
      Mid-range
      Set 300 metres from Nishigawa Canal Park, Hotel Abest Grande Okayama offers 3-star accommodation in Okayama and features a fitness centre, a shared lounge and a bar. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Kongo-ji Temple, Kochin-ji Temple, and Kotohira Shrine. The hotel has a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. A business centre and vending machines with drinks are available on site at the hotel. Popular points of interest near Hotel Abest Grande Okayama include Komori Shrine, Sky Mall 21 Shopping Street and Okayama-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 17 km from the accommodation.
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    • GRAND BASE Okayama Ekimae
      Mid-range
      Situated 300 metres from Nishigawa Canal Park in Okayama, GRAND BASE Okayama Ekimae features accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi. The accommodation comes with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, shower and slippers, while the kitchen has a microwave, a fridge and a stovetop. Kitchenware and kettle are also available. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Komori Shrine, Momotaro Statue and Rokkosei Memorial Statue. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 17 km from GRAND BASE Okayama Ekimae.
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    • Smile Hotel Okayama
      Mid-range
      Situated conveniently in the Kita Ward district of Okayama, Smile Hotel Okayama is set 300 metres from Yakushi-in Temple, 300 metres from Okayama-ji Temple and 200 metres from Kongo-ji Temple. The property is close to Nishigawa Canal Park, Okayama Kinshu Kaikan and Shimoishii Park. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. The private bathroom is equipped with a shower and slippers. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Kochin-ji Temple, Komori Shrine and Kotohira Shrine. The nearest airport is Okayama Airport, 17 km from Smile Hotel Okayama.
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    • ANA Crowne Plaza Okayama, an IHG Hotel
      Luxury
      Located in downtown Okayama, ANA Crowne Plaza Okayama offers comfortable and bright rooms with free WiFi, only 2-minute walk from JR Okayama Station West Exit. It features 3 dining options and a 24-hour reception, while concierge services and currency exchange are available. Okayama ANA Crowne Plaza is a few steps from the Okayama Convention Centre and the well-known Takashimaya department store. The Koraku-en is a 10-minute taxi ride, and Okayama Airport is a 30-minute drive. Rooms have an interior in relaxing beige tones, with contrasting dark wooden furnishings and curtains. They come with wide and extra-long beds, a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. A safe, nightwear and toiletries are provided. The Hotel ANA Crowne Plaza provides laundry services and luggage storage. The lobby offers free WiFi, and rental facilities are available for in-room use, such as a DVD player, an air humidifier or a trouser press. A car rental company and a minimart can be found next door. Japanese dishes can be enjoyed at the backdrop of the city skyline, at top-floor Japanese Restaurant Kuriya-sen. Sky Bar & Lounge is also located on the 20th floor. Casual dining URBANO serves Western dishes.
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