It was raining early on during my mother's
and my visit to Okayama's Korakuen
Happily though, the rain stopped and blue sky appeared
while we were still at this charming stroll garden
And we were also there when clouds, sun and water
combined to create magical scenes like this :)
The afternon that I went to Shukkeian, it was on my own as my mother was tired out from her exertions earlier that day and had retired to our hotel in Hiroshima to rest before venturing out in the evening for dinner at Sushi Tei. Afterwards, when I showed her the photos I had taken at that restored stroll garden, she had expressed her regret that she hadn't gone there with me.
Still, rather than take my mother to Shukkeian, I decided to take her to a larger and justifiably more famous garden -- one considered to be among the Three Great Gardens of Japan (along with Kanazawa's Kenroku-en and Mito's Kairakuen). As a matter of fact, when I visited Okayama's Korakuen a few years back, I actually had told myself that it'd be a good place to bring her on one of our Japan trips.
Consequently, I didn't let a little bit of rain stand in my way of doing so. And a good thing too since, like Takamatsu's Ritsurin Koen, whatever precipitation that fell during a visit to it didn't detract all that much from one's being able to admire the beauty on view in that expansive, ingeniously-designed and well-maintained garden. Also, as it turned out, it stopped raining midway through our Korakuen visit. Not only that but the clouds parted sufficiently to reveal patches of sparkling blue sky for part of our visit and then also combined with the sun to produce magical scenes that truly were a sight to behold!
Commissioned in 1687 by a daimyo, Korakuen was completed only in 1700 and made regularly accessible to the public from 1884. Like Shukkeian, it was damaged by bombing during the Second World War but beautifully restored after peace was declared; in the case of Korakuen, thanks in no small part to extensive and detailed records of the original designs having been passed down from generation to generation over centuries.