Okayama Castle (岡山城, Okayamajo) is one of Japan’s top 100 castles. It is located at the city of Okayama, Okayama Prefecture. It was completed in 1597 after eight years of construction, under the direction of Hideie Ukita, a daimyo of the Sengoku Period. The architecture of the period is partly represented by the use of boards painted with black lacquer on the walls of the castle tower (Tenshukaku). As such, the exterior is black, and in the later periods, the castle came to be known as the Crow Castle (Ujo).
Okayama Castle was destroyed in WW II (1945) and replicated in concrete in 1966. Two of the watch towers survived the bombing of 1945 and are now listed by the national Agency for Cultural Affairs as Important Cultural Properties.
Opening hours：9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (The castle can be entered until 5 p.m.)
Closed days：December 29, 30, and 31
Access: 10 min by bus from JR Okayama Sta. to “Kenchomae,” and then 5 min on foot; 10 min on foot from “Shiroshita” via tram from JR Okayama Sta.
photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com