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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Japan : Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden, Okayama

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Hotspot #15 and #16 : Crow Castle and Back Garden

After a good sleep, we packed our things and checked out. Anyhow, we left our bagpacks at the reception, since we will be coming back to the hotel area.
From my experience, exploring Okayama via tram and bus was easy and straightforward. They are two tram lines, Higashiyama and Sekibashi, with 100yen flat rate per ride in central area. Anyway, almost all Okayama’s attractions can be reached by foot. And looking at those daring old folks walking in the speed of “amputated cockroach” (lipas kudung) without knowing where they were heading, we felt humiliated.
“If they can walk, we can too.”

“Walking?” I looked at the tram, as if I wanted to hug it and said please take me from this crazy monster. “But we are they going?”

“To the castle, for sure! See, other directions are clear. Trust me, they are wearing hats and with group flag, sure to castle oneeeee…” Hubby fortune-telling.

With a quick glimpse on the road map, we tried to catch up with the group but being left far behind, was a totaled big slap on our face.
“Cannot laaaaa…Japanese walk so fast!” We surrendered and laughed.

We were lucky enough to know that we finally heading to the right direction. The first thing that caught my eyes was…naked statue? Okayyyy. And the one and only sakura tree, right before the canal, with blue canvas down below the tree.
“Let’s play hanami!” I giggled and forced hubby to sit on the mat, while I set the tripod and camera.

“Eh, can sit ka?” He looked around, confirming that the canvas had no owner.

“Cannnnn…they purposely lay the mat for public. Sit! Sit!” And I clicked.
Right before us, there was one BIG garden that nothing we could see, except canal and bridge. Such a breathtaking moment, the minute we saw those tiny fresh flowers, that really looked like a fake one.
We walked further up, to ensure that we didn’t miss any exciting scene. Without a doubt, we didn’t. There was some sort of company’s outdoor activity being held, that was kayaking around the Korakuen Garden. While everyone was cheering from the bridge, we joined them and captured the event, with Okayama Castle as the backdrop.
Unlike other castles around the world that were surrounded by canal for protection, Okayama Castle was built without one. It was due to its location, which quite near to Asahi River that used as a moat. This castle was built during Azuchi-Momoyama period and famously known as “crow castle” due to its black exterior. Anyhow, it was reconstructed, for the original castle was actually destroyed during WWII.
“Japan castle are all look the same, huh?” We stared at the 6 story castle keep.
After a few self-snapped pictures, we walked back towards the bridge, entering the Korakuen  Garden. This garden was actually know as the “back” garden that was constructed as a place of entertainment for the ruling family, as well as a location for receiving important guests.

Occasionally, the public was permitted to enter the garden, till date. Yet, it is now ranked as one of the top three best landscape gardens in Japan.

“Pay 400yen, then it is good to explore.”

The moment I stepped my foot into the garden, I had my jaw dropped! It was beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, striking, whatever adjectives you want to describe. With lines of pinkish sakura trees on the left, huge brownish grass at the front, small man-made calm ponds on the right, with Japanese house and zen-shaped lamps and semi-eyeglass wooden bridge, ahhh…SUGOIIII!
No wonder it is chosen as pre/post-wedding outdoor set!
Well, funny though…we really chased and followed those bride and groom, and copied which angle the wedding photog took! Hahaha! They were sport enough to let the visitors took their pictures and not even once, they shoved us (tourist) away.
“I want to wear kimono…” I looked at hubby with kitty cat face.
And he turned around and captured the birds, koi(s), and local souvenirs. Well, nice to meet you, Mr. Don’t Really Care.
We made one big round where we ended up seeing locals enjoying hanami. BEST GILE! Either they were on leave on that day, or their company was good enough to give them the time to enjoy sakura. Dang…why we don’t have sakura here in Malaysia???
“I don’t care, I want to do like what I did in Nami Island.” I hinted hubby.
I knew that he was timid, so he asked me to walk further and he snapped from a distance. Pfft! Now I played Mrs. Don’t Really Care. Hahaha!
I posed, and posed, and posed, continuously.

“Ok. I’m done. It’s a wrap!” Sendiri belakon, sendiri direct, sendiri publish.
We went back to the hotel and picked up our bagpacks. From there, we took a tram ride to Okayama Station.

“Hiroshima, here we comeeeeeeeeeee!” 

Read HERE for Travelista version.  


just.HY said...

am i first? kbai..later nk bwt keje dulu

Ren said...

Omai Lawanya gambar! Ada anjing? tu ke anjing yang tunggu tuan dia balik dari train but tuan dia mati tu?? bukan kan?

Sakura lawa yakmats!
Pengantin cantik giler baju diorang!
Omai gilerrrr!

Biqque said...

hish merepek la ko janggel, cite anjing tu kan aku dah blog masa kat shibuya. tak baca le tew! hahaha!

nanti ko kawin, sila pakai camtu ok? sumpah cun!

aku rasa cam nak try tanam sakura hahaha! tapi kena curi la pokok tu dari sana. kompem tak lepas!

Ren said...

Kekeke sebab aku baca le aku tau cite tu ehehhee (kaverlline)
Tapi bukanke anjing tu ada banyak tempat? Hehehee

Biqque said...

hahaha! kat okayama ni popular "peach boy", so banyak gile statue budak laki, pompuan bogel, anjing tonggek kat area sini. hahaha!

Anash said...

(jabb..hambek oksigen...sambung balikk..)
lawa aaa taman sana...

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh..... said...

@biqque - salam. subhanallah. cntiknye taman tu....

MasZuber said...

Cantik betul sakura tue biqque... Giler cantik! Tetibe aku brsungguh nk berangan je sana plak!!!

Ely Hasrul said...

alaaaaa napa xmain2 amik gambo kawen gakkkkk!!!!! alaaaa aku byk kechiwa dgn japan drama nih.. producer tak layan!! lein kali tambah budget! sewa kimono!! alaaaa frust nyeeeee (spt frust xdpt gaya harajuku)

Unknown said...

betui la..castle kat sana semua lebih kurang je.. kalau tgk dlm poskad diorg, kt castle tu MESTI ada sakura..tapi hakikatnya!!! eeeee..

Ha a..taman tu cANTIK..statue anging tu memang 'doggy' la sangat hahahahhaha

Shah said...

want cycad in my garden can aaa? amputated cockroach?????kahkahkah.......

Biqque said...

anash, katop mulut, beli tiket, sila pegi! hahahaha!

abbaz, mmg menakjubkan kuasa Allah :)

maszuber, sumpah cantik aku tak tipu! pegi laaaaa...

skin, hahahahahaha! kechiwa ye? aku malas nak salin baju plak hahaha!

na, haah, cam samaaaaaaa je sume, tapi history lain2 la kan. kadang mcm eh, sama lagi, eh sama lagi hahaha!

now we know where comes the "doggy" position. kahkahkah! buat betul-betulllll hahahaha!

taman tu mmg cantik! sgt2 cantik! cuma gambar i jer tak brapa cantik. hakikatnyer mmg cantik!

shah, u want a cycad? show me the moneyyyyy! said...

@biqque - cmne eh u estimate tarikh sakura2 nih? dgr kata seasonnya dah shift skit. lg2 window period dier dlm seminggu dua je ade sakura ni..kang g g sume dah luruh. mmg tensyen. hahaha

hcvvorld of Travels, Lifestyle and Photography said...

wow..that castle view with sakura is really breathtaking!! thanx a lot for've covered Japan a lot!

Biqque said...

abbaz, kitorang masuk japan eguide, kat situ ada history sakura timing. so agak2 je la...nak lari pun skit before or skit after. mcm kitorang, mmg baru nak bloom, so masa susun itinerary, memang sume tempat baru nak bloom, tu yg tajuk trip ni chasing sakura hahaha! actually, first day sampai tu putik tak bukak lagi, banyak jatuh due to ribut. tapi 2 hari pastu, mmg full bloom! best gile :D

hcvvorld, tx! thats the main point here, for me to explore, for me to post, for you guys to feel, for you guys to make as tips :D happy to know that i can literally help others :) ya, castles are nice over there. well kept!

Ako Retna said...

ok ok x moh ckp bebanyak..
terkedu melopong tgk gambar-gambar kat sini..


Biqque said...

ako, katop molot, beli tiket, sila pegi :D

rayyan haries said...

As usual , all amazing photos! Biqqueeeeeeee..... Japan is so expensive, how sengkek backpacker like me can survive??? Hehehe

Biqque said...

rayyan, tx :)

eh U CAN! i travel cheap u know... said...

@biqque - ha..bgs2..tq2! fu.nk merancang plan tarikh2 nih. hehe..maybe i pg jepun nih ms 2015 kot. tunggu taman harry potter siap! hahaha

Biqque said...

wah2 bestnyer! by the time u nk pi, tatau la info i ni masih valid ke tak hahaha! said...

@biqque - atleast blh lah jd rujukan. tp tula. bile u beli JR Pass tu for 1 week, mmg mcm rushing skit kan? nk fully utilize bnda tu.
sape xnk gune full2 kan? dah lah mahal gile. haha.. makan generaly sng dpt eh? kang xpasal2 asyik mkn drayaki, jd doremon plak aku nnti. hahahahaha

Biqque said...

abbaz, aah, kitorang mmg tekad nak gunakan abis2an pun. sbb tu plan turun dari tokyo sampai hiroshima patu naik balik ke tokyo. kalo ada masa tu, kompem naik hayabusa. hahaha!

makan bg aku tak susah mana, ko masuk je mana2 convenient store, cari pack meal (aku suka gile pack meal) yg seafood. tapi kena tgk betul2 ar, takut ada gak skit ketulan ayam. mcm aku, onigiri je la senang..sah2 nasik ngan ikan salmon/telur ikan kat dlm tu.

dorayaki ada, tapi aku amik pancake yg honey butter dalam dia. gebu jer :D

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