Not knowing what a spectacular evening we had ahead of us, we thought we’d pay Okayama Castle a quick visit after we returned from our cycling tour in the Kibi Plain. As it was approaching 5 p.m. – the usual closing time of museums and castles in Japan – we didn’t even expected being able getting into the castle, and took our time taking photos from the bridge connecting Okayama Castle to Korakuen Gardens.
As we walked closer to the castle, we were surprised that the gates were still open and a few people were still going into the castle. We followed them and found out that it was a special night with summer illuminations at Okayama Castle and the neighbouring Korakuen Gardens!
Once we were done marveling at the view from Okayama Castle, we took photos of the infamous dark grey castle facade with colourful illuminated Japanese paper umbrellas decorating its front while the sun was setting in the background.
We felt so fortunate – it doesn’t happen often that you unexpectedly arrive at the right time of a special event! Our next stop were the extensive Korakuen Gardens on the opposite side of the castle.
It was a truly special experience to see one of Japan‘s three best landscape gardens in this way for the first time.
We felt relaxed after our walk around the garden and relished a freshly baked pizza and Okayama craft beer in a small outdoor cafe by the river afterwards. It‘s safe to say that our short trip to Okayama will be a special memory!