(7/18)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Okayama Koraku-en  (Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)

Okayama Koraku-en : One of Japan’s Three Great Gardens.

Along with being one of the country’s very best, the garden is probably the area’s most famous tourist spot. It has also been awarded Michelin Green Guide Japan’s highest honor – 3 stars!

Autumn Colors @ Okayama Koraku-en

Koraku-en has been introduced on Setouchi Finder before, but in this article I’ d like to take a closer look at the late-autumn charm and beauty of this wonderful garden.

One thing everyone should do is go and see its stunning autumn colors.

As soon as you enter the garden through the main entrance, a large majestic maple tree greets you with its magnificent crown of vibrant, colorful leaves and an air of ancient wisdom.

Throughout the garden, the strong extended branches of the maple trees form stunning natural tunnels.

While there are plenty of spots in the garden that offer fantastic views, Chioshi-no-mori, the garden’s greatest masterpiece, lies at the very back.


While ‘chioshi’ means ‘soaking in dye numerous times’, ’mori’ means woods. One of the most stunning sights of the garden is this area where the contrast of deep scarlet foliage and rich green grass vividly meet. Sadly, the photo above was taken before the autumn colors were at their most impressive. The garden as a whole shows its best autumnal side from mid-November to the beginning of December, but Chioshi-no-mori shows is most impressive at the end of November.

The Majestic Okayama Castle

Koraku-en has an abundance of charms such as seasonal plants and flowers, old traditional buildings and much more. However, its greatest appeal might be the amazing view it offers of the majestic Okayama Castle.

Due to its jet black walls, the castle also goes by the name of U-jo, or Crow Castle in English. It lies just 5-minutes walk from Koraku-en, across the Asahigawa river. What do you think of the view of the castle between the trees of Koraku-en? Pretty cool, right?

There is one more reason you should visit in the autumn. From November 18th – 27th, Okayama Castle, Koraku-en and the surrounding area is beautifully illuminated at night. The garden is also open in the evenings.

Below is a photo of the event.

Night Scenery Taken One Step Further


Just look at the amazing scene!

This modern, artistic setting is a fantastic play between the light of the bamboo-lanterns and the light filtering through Japanese umbrellas created by local artists in the foreground, and the dark silhouette of the castle in the background.

Other breathtaking scenes like the one above come a plenty on a walk in this autumnal wonderland. You can only experience this once a year, so do not miss the chance!

Okayama Koraku-en
Address: 1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Open: Throughout the year.
March 20th – September 30th 7:30 – 18:00 (last entrance 17:45)
October 1st – March 19th 8:00 – 17:00 (last entrance 16:45)
※ Opening times change according to events, so please check the homepage for detailed information.
Admission fees: Adults (15 to under 65s) 400 yen. Seniors (65 and above) 140 yen. High school students & younger free-of-charge (free until March 31st, 2017).
Tel: 086-272-1148
http://okayama-korakuen.jp/

(7/13)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Experience Harvest Season in the Fruit Kingdom, Okayama!

Blessed with a mild climate, Okayama is home to a variety of sweet, fragrant, and delicious high-quality fruits, earning it the nickname of “Fruit Kingdom.”


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Best times for eating
White peaches:late June – late August
Pione grapes:late April – late November
Muscat grapes:late May – mid-November Strawberries:December – May
Fruit Picking
White peaches:early July – late August
Pione grapes:late August – mid-September
Muscat grapes:early September – mid-October
Strawberries:December – May


feature_fruit_en

Best times for eating
White peaches:late June – late August
Pione grapes:late April – late November
Muscat grapes:late May – mid-November Strawberries:December – May
Fruit Picking
White peaches:early July – late August
Pione grapes:late August – mid-September
Muscat grapes:early September – mid-October
Strawberries:December – May

大見出し_白桃 White Peaches

Known as the “best flavor in Japan,” Okayama’s white peaches are fragrant and boast an elegant sweetness.

Peach Picking
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  • Seasonal
Peach Picking

Carefully grown with time and effort, Okayama’s white peaches feature beautiful white flesh with a rich and mellow scent for a truly unique taste. Every summer, the various fruit farms in Okayama open their doors for visitors to pick their own peaches and eat them on the spot. Don’t miss this wonderful experience!

More information

Tomomien Fruit Farm
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  • Vehicle recommended
Tomomien Fruit Farm

The timed all-you-can-eat plans and plans for bringing picked peaches home as souvenirs are popular.

More information

Nishiyama Farm
  • 4.西山ファーム
  • Vehicle recommended
Nishiyama Farm

With a focus on white peach varieties, Nishiyama Farm offers several kinds of peaches available in an all-you-can-eat chilled peach plan or a plan for picking as souvenirs. (Time limits apply.)

More information

大見出し_マスカットピオーネ Muscat and Pione Grapes

Come and try the various kinds for yourself!

Grape Picking
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  • Seasonal
Grape Picking

Okayama is home to a rich variety of grapes, from Japan’s largest production volume of Muscat of Alexandria to Shine Muscat (which can be eaten skin and all) and Pione. The autumn harvests of each fruit farm are popular with both children and adults.

More information

Mimasaka Farm
  • 7.美作農園
  • Vehicle recommended
Mimasaka Farm

Conveniently located about 10 km from Yunogo Onsen, Mimasaka Farms offers both grape cluster-picking plans and all-you-can-eat plans.

More information (English)

Kubo Fruit Farm
  • 8.くぼ観光農園
  • Vehicle recommended
Kubo Fruit Farm

Enjoy all the Muscat and Pione you can eat in this fruit farm’s quiet, countryside location.

More information (Japanese)

大見出し_いちご Strawberries

Feel the freshness of Okayama’s bright red strawberries.

Strawberry Picking
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  • Seasonal
Strawberry Picking

Visitors can pick fresh strawberries ripe on the vine and compare the tastes of several varieties right on the spot! Enjoy an all-you-can-eat timed experience (reservation required) or buy souvenirs to take back home.

Mitsubachi Farm, Yamada Bee Farm
  • 11.山田養蜂場 みつばち農園
  • Vehicle recommended
Mitsubachi Farm, Yamada Bee Farm

This fruit farm is a part of the Yamada Bee Farm. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a variety of strawberries.

More information

Noumaru Engei Kibiji Noen Farm
  • 12.農マル園芸 吉備路農園
  • Vehicle recommended
Noumaru Engei Kibiji Noen Farm

Considered one of the best gardens for picking strawberries, the Noumaru Engei Kibiji Noen Farm not only offers visitors the chance to compare varieties but also offers a unique soft-serve ice cream made from freshly picked strawberries.

More information (Japanese)

Sample Seasonal Fruits All over the Town!

How does a uniquely lush parfait topped with seasonal fruits sound?

Fruit Parfait
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  • 3_4パフェ
  • 1_2パフェ
  • 3_4パフェ
  • Available year-round
Fruit Parfait

Home to numerous hotels, cafes, and restaurants offering creative fruit parfaits made with generous helpings of peaches, grapes, melon, and other seasonal fruits, Okayama is often hailed as the “City of Fruit Parfaits.” Just look for the flags and posters set up as markers!

More information (Japanese)

Take Home the Delicious Taste of Fruits

Okayama’s processed goods such as jellies and liqueurs allow visitors to enjoy the delicious taste of fruits all year long.

Fruit Jelly
  • 14.フルーツゼリー
  • Available year-round
Fruit Jelly

Enjoy eye-catching chilled sweets that encapsulate the lush flavor of the fruits within, some with white peaches, Okayama’s specialty.

High-Quality Canned Fruit
  • 15.高級フルーツ缶詰
  • Available year-round
High-Quality Canned Fruit

Just like raw fruit! Enjoy choice canned fruits carefully prepared from hand-picked Okayama specialty fruits.

Fruit Liqueur
  • 16.フルーツリキュール
  • Available year-round
Fruit Liqueur

Made from white peaches, Pione grapes, and other fruits, these liqueurs are sweet and gentle on the tongue.

(5/03)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Have a stroll and have photos taken while wearing a “hakama,” Japanese traditional clothing! (Okayama City)

You can experience wearing a “hakama” free of charge, have your picture taken while strolling about.

Dates: April 1, 2017 – June 25, 2017 (open only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)
Fee: Free of charge
Time: 50 minutes (up to 5 people in a group)
Reservation: By phone. If there is vacancy on the day, you can experience this service without a reservation.
Inquiries: Izushi Tourist Information Office (studio)
Tel.086-206-5124 *Japanese only
mail : momotaro@okayama-kanko.net *We can handle English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. Please be advised that our response may require a little time.

Image may contain: 3 people

The bond between the United States and Japan!

2017 Cherry Blossom Preview

2017 Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast

Cherry Blossom viewing (Hanami) season has arrived to many areas in southern part of Japan. It means sooner or later, most of the top hanami spots that are located around Japan would welcome sakura flowers. The map shown below indicates how the cherry blossom viewing season (Hanami) of Japan for 2017 goes upward (Hokkaido) from the lower elevations (Okinawa). Every year, Japan’s first cherry blossoms appear in Okinawa (southern Japan) then move northwards to Hokkaido by early May.

cherry_blossom_yoyogi_park_tokyo_japan
Sakura at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

The average time for appearing cherry blossom may vary depending on the weather conditions. You better keep an eye on this year cherry blossom forecast for 2017 in order to catch all the action of sakura in different regions of Japan. If somehow you miss hanami in Tokyo or Kyoto, we suggest you to head to the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions. Hopefully, you won’t miss any of the hanami spots you desire to visit in 2017.

Get a Free Japan Rail Pass Guide!

Latest news: 2017 Japan cherry blossom first forecast has finally been published by Weathermap! According to Weathermap, Somei Yoshino (Yoshino cherry), the most popular sakura variety, will start blooming on March 21 in Tokyo, March 30 in Kyoto, March 25 in Fukuoka, and March 29 in Osaka.

cherry_blossom_forecast_japan
Cherry Blossom Forecast Map for 2016. Photo Credit: Kyuhoshi.com

Please note that, early and peak blooming dates may slightly vary from the last year sakura forecast. Knowing it as a reference you can estimate yourself when would Japan cherry blossom bloom in 2017. Each and every year, blooming period in particular places across Japan vary slightly from the previous years.

Now take a look at the Cherry Blooming Forecast for 2017 given below. The dates of the first bloom and full bloom are subject to change due to the temperatures, wind, and rain. We strongly suggest you to check out the sakura forecast often so that you get the latest information regarding this matter.

Are you planning to visit Japan in future? Do you want to learn how to survive while traveling across Japan? Then read this recommended travel guide that tells you abut the rules of Japanese etiquette.

Please visit: http://sakura.weathermap.jp/ to get the latest and breaking news on 2017 cherry blossom forecast of Japan. Thank you.

 

(3/19)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Thank you for visiting the blog.

The Land Of Sunshine OKAYAMA ”The Charm of History” 

The Land of Sunshine Okayama in Western Japan.
This is an introduction to the charms of Okayama’s history.

~A foreign language site for discovering “Cool Okayama!”~

An Okayama Prefecture website that features information on local tourism, cuisine, and events has been opened.
We look forward to your visiting the site, and, of course, Okayama.