Castle sights in Okayama
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Nicknamed U-jō (烏城; Crow Castle) because of its colour, the striking black Okayama Castle was built by daimyō Ukita Hideie and completed in 1597. Much of the castle was dismantled after the Meiji Restoration and most of what remained burnt down during WWII air raids. The castle was rebuilt in 1966.
The imposing exterior – its gilded fish-gargoyles flipping their tails in the air – is the castle's most impressive aspect, and you can enjoy it for nix by walking around the grounds, or looking from across the river. Inside the donjon (main keep) museum, modern finishes and an elevator mar the 16th-century feel, but there are a few interesting displays, and views from…