After spending the past couple of days outside of Okayama on day trips, I decided to spend this last day seeing what the city had to offer;  and that of course meant the Koraku-en, one of the top gardens in all of Japan.  The garden is next to the hotel, so I headed there first to have a look.

It’s mainly a reconstruction inside, and after a quick glance inside I decided not to enter.  There was a special exhibit on anyways that wasn’t holding my interest.  Across the water lay the garden, so I headed over the bridge and in.

The garden is unique in Japan for having a fairly open concept layout – lots of grass and big open spaces.  It feels more like a park than a garden, which in some ways is how the locals seem to treat it.  There were even a number of people out enjoying the day under the cherry blossoms, having some eats and drinks.  The garden even has a crane aviary, which apparently was decimated during WWII.

A few hours later I was on the Shinkansen, heading towards Kobe, where I would spend the better part of the next week seeing the sites, and relaxing after almost a month of travel.