Noilly Prattle: the KKK

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the KKK

Black Crow Castle and Asahi River
          No, not the Ku Klux Klan but the Three Great Gardens of Japan (日本三名園 Nihon Sanmeien) including Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, Kairaku-en in Mito and our own Koraku-en in Okayama—or, as I call them, the three Ks. I consider us very fortunate to have this remarkable garden in our own town and can visit it in any season at all.

          Usually, road buddy and I go to the pool on Wednesday afternoons, but the pool was closed for cleaning this week so we decided to kill two birds with one stone by substituting walking for swimming and strolling among the autumn splendor of Koraku-en and the adjacent Black Crow Castle of Okayama. Koraku-en was once a private garden built during the Edo period in 1700 by Ikeda Tsunamasa, lord of Okayama. It is built on an island in the Asahi River across from the castle.

tea house in secluded glen
          The landscape garden is especially beautiful in the Spring with its cherry blossoms and in the fall with its red and yellow falling leaves of various species of trees. It is crisscrossed with walking paths and man-made streams, includes man made hills and ponds, stone sculpture, trimmed and shaped trees and shrubs and is dotted with secluded tea houses and other traditional structures including a Noh theater.

          Here are a few photos I took during our walk in the park and surrounding area.

boats on the Asahi River

red maples beneath the castle ramparts

Black Crow Castle across the river
from Korakuen garden
sculpted pine and maple trees

zigzag bridge of wooden planks
ripe persimmon tree
autumn splendor

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