Saturday, June 21, 2014

Korakuen Garden in Okayama  こらくえん

Okayama is famous for its castle (peeking over the shoulder of the tree on the right in the image below), sweet Peaches (and the story of Momotaro - the Peach Boy), Bizen ware, Citrus fruit and this amazing garden -Korakuen -  Ranked as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. 
 I'm just going to let you take a little wander around because it is just stunning (if a little ultra-groomed in places)
Like water off a duck's back. How calm this fella floats over the top of the Koi fighting each other for food.
Everyone wants a part of the action. 
If you guessed peach you were correct - Peach sweets and Peach soft serve. Now I'm regretting not having stopped for one...
Tea bushes.
See the rock in the middle of the moat - I found this tiny flower growing out of it. That's one determined species of flora.
Can't take my eyes off those incredible azalea bushes.
Moss under Maple.
White and purple Wisteria - April blooms. 
Fruit orchard... I'm guessing peach??
Iris's just starting to pop their faces out. 
If I should ever own a garden of size I want one of these charming zigzag bridges. 
According to Zen philosophy the purpose of the bridge's design is for the person crossing to be mindful of the now, be in the moment and all that - lest you fall in.
Stepping stones perhaps are a more natural way of making your way across a shallow waterway.

I love the beauty of the fallen Camellia.

Kissing Fish and...  just-good-friends-tortoise.
Tiny isn't it?

I walked back to our Okayama hotel via the downtown shotengai (shopping arcade) and as I neared the station (adjacent to the hotel) I stumbled across a vibey area with loads of casual restaurants and bars. 
Yet we opted for an in room picnic! With a little peach wine. Before collapsing into bed.

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