- This article is about a garden located in Okayama, for the garden in Tokyo see Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
Kōraku-en (後楽園 Kōrakuen ), is a Japanese garden located in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture. It is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kenroku-en and Kairaku-en. Korakuen was built in 1700 by Ikeda Tsunamasa, lord of Okayama. The garden reached its modern form in 1863.
In 1687, the daimyo Ikeda Tsunamasa ordered Tsuda Nagatada to begin construction of the Korakuen. It was completed in 1700 and has retained its original appearance to the present day, except for a few changes by various daimyo. The Korakuen is one of the few daimyo gardens in the provinces where historical change can be observed, thanks to the many Edo period paintings and Ikeda family records and documents left behind. The garden was used as a place for entertaining important guests and also as a spa of sorts for daimyo, although regular folk could visit on certain days.
In 1884, ownership was transferred to Okayama Prefecture and the garden was opened to the public. The garden suffered severe damage during the floods of 1934 and during World War II bombing in 1945, but has been restored based on Edo period paintings and diagrams. In 1952, the Korakuen was designated as a "Special Scenic Location" under the Cultural Properties Protection Law and is managed as a historical cultural asset to be passed to future generations. Among the garden’s points of special interest are:
- The total area of the garden is approximately 133,000 square meters.
- The grassy area is approximately 18,500 square meters.
- The length of the stream is 640 meters.
- The garden was originally called Koen ("later garden") because it was built after Okayama Castle. However, since the garden was built in the spirit of "sen-yu-koraku" ("grieve earlier than others, enjoy later than others"), the name was changed to Korakuen in 1871.
- The garden was 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.
- List of Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites and Special Natural Monuments
- Tourism in Japan
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Korakuen.|
- Okayama Korakuen Garden official site (Japanese)