Okayama Castle (岡山城) is another reconstructed castle (the original was destroyed in World War II by air raids). Nearby is Korakuen (後楽園) which is regarded as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.
Okayama Castle is nicknamed Crow Castle (烏城, U-jō) or “castle of the black bird” as the exterior of the castle is black (in contrast to Himeji Castle which is white). Originally, the fish headed gargoyles were gilded, so it was even called Golden Crow Castle (金烏城). After the Meiji Restoration, the castle became the property of the Ministry of War, and was completely destroyed by air bombing during World War II. The reconstructed castle (completed in 1966) features elevators and air conditioning and is now a museum.
Korakuen is designed in the Kaiyu (“scenic promenade”) style which presents the visitor with a new view at every turn of the path which connects the lawns, ponds, hills, tea houses, and streams. It is one of the few gardens that is well known due to paintings and historical documents. So when it was badly damaged in floods and severely bombed in World War II, it has been fully restored to its former glory.
It is designed to be a mini version of Japan, with a central hill (Yuishinzan), several ponds (the main one Sawa-no-ike has a number of small islands, some of which contain buildings), tea plantation, and rice fields. There are several rest houses, tea houses, shrines and even a Noh stage.
Shibuya is a major commercial and retail hub, but also famous for 3 things: Shibuya crossing (the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing), Hachiko the loyal dog, and Shibuya 109 (a fashion mecca for young girls).
Kamakura is a small town popular with tourists because of attractions such as the Hasedera temple located on a hill with great views of the town, the Great Buddha bronze statue and other temples and shrines.
We discovered the Sasuke Inari Shrine by accident while walking around in Kamakura. A set of bright red torii gates lead up a hill into a shrine full of statues of foxes and fox dwellings with families.
Huis Ten Bosch is a gigantic theme park in Sasebo (near Nagasaki) that is intended to be a mini version of Netherlands, including famous buildings such as the Huis Ten Bosch palace, Stadhuis and the Domtoren.
Kurashiki has a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period, when the city served as an important rice distribution center. In fact, “Kurashiki” roughly translates to “town of storehouses” in reference to the rice storehouses.
Chris Tham is a co-founder of Visual Voyager Pty Ltd, the Principal Voigtländer Ambassador for Mainline Photographics and a Workshop Instructor for Mainline Photo Academy.
She brings over 35 years of experience as a photographer to her role, starting with a Yashica rangefinder belonging to her dad, joining the Photography Club in school, and developing her own photos.
More recently, Chris has been taking photos during her travels, and as a result has experienced some of the most interesting places in the world.
Chris focuses on nature, street, and urban architecture subjects in her photography.