Overview and History

One of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, Okayama Korakuen is a cultural heritage site for the world to treasure

One of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, Okayama Korakuen is a cultural heritage site for the world to treasure

In 1687, Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo (feudal lord) ordered his vassal Tsuda Nagatada to begin construction of Okayama Korakuen. It was completed in 1700, and it has retained its original appearance from the Edo Period down to the present day, except for a few changes by various daimyo. Korakuen is one of the few Daimyo gardens in the provinces where historical change can be observed, thanks to the many Edo Period paintings and Ikeda Family records and documents left behind.

The garden was used as a place for entertaining important guests and also as a retreat for daimyo, although regular folk could also visit on certain days. In 1884, ownership was transferred to Okayama Prefecture and the garden was opened to the public. The garden suffered severe damage during the floods of 1934 and during World War II bombing in 1945, but has been restored based on Edo Period paintings and diagrams. In 1952, Korakuen Garden was designated as a Special Scenic Location under the Cultural Properties Protection Law, and is managed as a historical cultural asset to be passed to future generations.

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