Looking back at my pictures from my travels and daily life in Japan, it is almost hard to believe it ever happened. I was only there for three months, but at some point it seemed like home. I felt like I went through three stages while in Japan; At first, I was so excited by everything! Then, everything became normal and I settled into a normal routine and I felt an attachment to my life there. Then, homesickness set in right before leaving. Oddly enough, I found myself longing for Japan once again after I returned home, especially Okayama Castle!
One of the first things I did when I got to Japan was to visit the famous black castle of Okayama. This castle is famous for having a dark black color which is rare. Unfortunately, this castle was destroyed during the war and was later rebuilt in 1964. The original castle was built in 1573. I felt so sad that it was destroyed… imagine how much more beautiful it would have been! The castle is surrounded by a beautiful stream that was beautiful to take a rest by. 🙂
Being in Japan really made me notice nature more and realize how beautiful a simple thing can be. I see a lot of stone statues around castles, shrines and businesses and it feels so nice to be surrounded by natural materials.
The weather was beautiful and families were out in full force. In fact, there seemed to be a school or something doing some activities on the lawn inside the castle grounds. I was in full tourist mode at this point, since I had just arrived. Did I mention I rode my bike 20 minutes to get here solely using google maps? I was a rebel. 😉
Just the exterior and surrounding area around the castle were enough to explore for quite some time. You can only enter through one gate, but other small gates surround the castle that are closed. I wanted to sit on these steps and just soak in the beautiful weather. So peaceful.
A few people sat down by the stream. I was a woman on a mission that day, so I didn’t stop to sit. I loved visiting Okayama Castle and I went back so many times. I noticed a lot of couples took advantage of the stream and scenery to have a picnic lunch. I even saw one man on the other side of the stream painting the beautiful landscape with the castle.
Crowds Gather at Okayama Castle to Enjoy the Weather
After entering through the castle gate, you will enter through another huge door and go up some steps. The courtyard in front of the castle entrance is super crowded! So many families were having picnics.
The castle is absolutely stunning. It has golden fish shaped gargoyles along the roof that seriously gleam in the sunlight. Before the castle was destroyed, the entire roof was covered in gold. What a sight that must have been!
Unfortunately, going into Okayama Castle isn’t free. I believe I paid about $12 to get in, because there was a special exhibit. There is a small lobby inside that you may enter for free, but there isn’t much to see. I decided to go on in just for the heck of it… plus, I really wanted to see the view from the top of the castle. 😉
To be continued! I have so many pictures to share but I don’t want to overwhelm you. In my next post, I will share the interior of the castle and some of the activities you can do in the castle for fun (and free!) 🙂
What do you think of Okayama Castle? Have you ever visited a Japanese castle?
Check my other posts on Okayama Castle here: