Illuminated Umbrellas Highlight the Enchanting Beauty of Japan’s Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

From its ancient temples and breathtaking nature to its colorful city life, Japan is full of wondrous beauty. Photographer Yukari Mitani travels around his home country snapping and sharing photos of some of its most charming locations. His most recent adventure brought him to the historic Okayama Castle in the city of Okayama, where he captured its beauty at night.

Okayama Castle—also known as “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior—has a history dating back centuries. It was built in 1597 under the direction of Hideie Ukita, a daimyo (lord) of the Sengoku period. It was used as a military facility, but it was also the main headquarters for merchants and craftsmen to meet and work on developing Okayama city. Hideie was eventually captured by the Tokugawa Clan and exiled to the island prison of Hachijo, so the castle passed on to Kobayakawa Hideaki, also a daimyo.

Much of the Okayama Castle was destroyed in 1945 during World War II. It had two surviving watchtowers, and the rest of the structure was replicated in concrete in 1966. The watchtowers are now listed by the National Agency for Cultural Affairs as Important Cultural Properties.

Nowadays, the Okayama Castle is a popular tourist attraction; Mitani’s photos show just how beautiful it can look when lit at night. He photographed the exterior during an exhibition inspired by “blooming flowers of lights in a dreamy flower garden” (which closed on August 31st, 2020). During this time, colorful bangasa (Japanese paper umbrellas) were laid out in front of the castle and lit up to show their pretty colors and patterns.

Check out the beautiful photos below and follow Mitani on Twitter for more snapshots from Japan.

Japanese Photographer Yukari Mitani recently visited the historic Okayama Castle, where he captured its beauty at night.

Okayama Castle

Countless colorful bangasa (Japanese paper umbrellas) were laid out in front of the castle and lit up to show their pretty colors and patterns.

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Yukari Mitani: Twitter | Instagram

All images via Yukari Mitani.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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