Visited April 2011
Day 3: Okayama & Umeda Sky Garden
Continuing our castle hunt, we headed up to Okayama the next morning. After seeking information from the station’s tourist information counter, we took a nice 30 minute walk to our destination. There, we got to admire the sakuras, while finally setting sights on the black-tiled castle.
Once again, I was in awe, for I did not expect any other colour apart from white that I was used to. For its black exterior, Okayama Castle is also known as the Crow Castle.Just next to Okayama Castle is Korakuen Garden. A beautiful landscape garden, Korakuen is one of Japan’s Three Best Landscape Gardens. As Spring has finally arrived, we enjoyed strolling along the rows of sakura trees, while the Japanese indulged through their picnics. And in case you didn’t know, entering most gardens of Japan requires an admission fee. Korakuen Garden costs ¥400, but if combined with Okayama Castle, it is ¥560. Time passed quickly when one is having fun, and before we knew it, it was time for lunch. Heading to the train station, and being presented with so many food options, we decided to head into one restaurant without knowing much about it. Little did we know that what we chose was actually Saboten, with Singapore having only 3 branches. On hindsight after knowing that we dined at the original Saboten in Japan, it is truly surreal. However, I would say that the meal in Japan is much nicer, because they offer mugi rice, also known as barley-rice. With free flow of rice, the boys could not get enough of it, for it was truly delicious!After lunch, our original plan was to head on to Matsue Castle, of which was a 3-hour train ride away. However, we decided not to rush our trip, and instead changed our plan to return to Osaka.
After having a quick rest, we proceeded to Umeda Sky Building as our last pit stop for the day (entrance fee at ¥700). Heading up to 40 stories above ground, we had to brave the extremely strong winds for a night shot of the city. Being unprepared for such a weather, my fingers went numb from just being outdoors. The view however was extremely worth it.Credits to my partner for photos of the night scene of Osaka.