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Okayama Castle
Okayama and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers
Castles, Fortresses, Towers

The first constructions on the territory of Okayama Castle appeared in 1346-1369. That was the place where a local aristocratic family wanted to build a palace that would be especially beautiful and luxurious and would highlight their notable status. Unfortunately, the initial castle was not preserved: only bulk ramparts and walls were left. Later, they were used for building a new castle.

Its construction started in 1573 and finished in 1597. That was a luxurious palace at that time. The big territory could be entered through 21 gates. 34 defensive towers offered a view of the whole surrounding territory. However, the first owner was not fortunate enough to live in this luxurious place for long. Internal wars led to the outcome that the majestic complex passed from hand to hand, from clan to clan like a spoil of war. Thus, the buildings were often reconstructed. Gilded tiles, which initially covered all the roofs, were removed and sold. Only the black color of the walls remained the same. That, indeed, was a distinguishing mark of Okayama Castle.

In 1869, the castle was owned by the local government. It decided that the palace of the samurai epoch is a relic of the past that is not needed in the present. So, the external moats, which separated the castle from the city, were filled up, external walls and gates were removed and the castle constructions were not used.

In 1945, Okayama Castle was damaged again: constructions were burned due to bombing during the war, and almost all the beautiful architectural objects were demolished.

However, it was decided to start the reconstruction works in 1964. They lasted 2 years and finished in 1966. The castle, which was a spoil of war in the past and which was the subject of fights between the renowned Japanese dynasties, became a museum.

There you can go up to the highest – seventh – floor of the castle to view the beauty of the surroundings. In the basement, you can see the old drawings. On the first floor, you can take part in a master-class on making the national ceramic tableware. On the second floor, you will be offered to put on costumes of the samurai epoch and take a memorable photo. Moreover, the museum has extensive expositions on the history of the castle and the city, many unique items which were persevered during the fire and also interesting historical documents.

Address: Okayama Castle

Published by

Oksana Shmakova

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