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After a six month break due to other priorities, I'm finally back! I most likely won't have as much time to dedicate to this blog as I used to, but I still have lots of themes to write about!...For today, I'll restart slowly...

As usual, at the end of december, I visited my relatives in Hita and this time, I first spent a couple days on Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of japan...and the only one I had never visited. Shikoku is famous for its 88 temple pilgrimage, and while the old fashioned way is to do it on foot, its 1400 kilometers force the majority of pilgrims to use more modern means of transportation.

I am not very fond of temples and besides, having very little time, I completely skipped that part, focusing as often on sightseeing, hiking and of course onsen.

But before arriving on Shikoku, I stopped for a couple hours at Okayama, on Honshu, to visit its beautiful castle:

As is the case with the majority of Japanese castles, it was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt later. Note its peculiar black color that earned it the nickname of "crow castle"...

Right next to the castle area is the other highlight of Okayama: Korakuen, a vast and peaceful landscape garden in the purest Japanese tradition, officially ranked as one of the three best landscape gardens of the archipelago, for what that notion is worth (I still remember my disappointment in Matsushima). However, Korakuen is indeed beautiful and pleasant, and particularly relaxing. Of course I went there in winter, obviously not the best season to enjoy the garden at its best.

Category: Travel

8 comment(s)

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By Jon on 03/26/2010 at 05:24:58

Nice to have you back, my friend! As usual, you continue picking the best places in Japan to visit. One day, when I'm back there, I should visit every place you've written about. I'll call it the Tarto Tour!

By Nicolas on 03/27/2010 at 13:29:45

Il est bon de retrouver ton blog, Hervé ! Et effectivement, c'est un beau jardin. J'imagine qu'en été, cela doit valoir le détour.

By mamie on 03/28/2010 at 03:33:11

quel plaisir de retrouver ton blog !!!!!!!!!
tes photos sont superbes
merci de nous faire connaître ce beau pays

By Patrick on 03/31/2010 at 15:09:21

Content de voir que vous allez bien et que vous continuez votre blog :)

By Tarto on 04/01/2010 at 09:04:44

Merci à tous ! Content de vous retrouver également :-)

By maria estela on 04/12/2010 at 04:00:46

Bonjour! J'ai découvert cette blog par azar et je suis ravie de partager tes voyages et tes photos. Tes histoires sont assez simples mais je resent dans elles, une sincérité que frappe et qui amuse. Je vois bien aussi que tu t'engage avec l'information que tes lecteurs veulent lire et connaitre du Japon. Je suis journaliste et je sais que cet point de vue c'est important. Courage! Je continuerai à te lire dès Santiago du Chili!

By romain on 04/23/2010 at 10:16:10

aaaaah ca fait plaisir de te voir de retour!
Super post, comme d'hab!

By jess on 05/27/2010 at 10:56:08

coucou ça fesait longtemps que je n'etais pas passée par ici!!!
c'est toujours un plaisir de voir tes photos et de lire tes articles...
bisous a bientot

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