Originally built in the 16th century, Okayamajo was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1966. Thanks to its black exterior, it has earned the nickname "Crow Castle"; it was painted black to contrast with neighboring Himeji's famous White Heron castle. Unlike castles of yore, an elevator whisks you up to the fourth floor of the donjon. The top floor affords a good view of the park and the city beyond, while the other floors contain a few swords, samurai outfits, lacquerware, and other Edo-Period items, most identified in Japanese only and quickly seen in 15 minutes or so. There's also a children's play area with old-fashioned toys, but probably the most rewarding thing to do here is to try on a kimono and have someone snap a picture of you with your own camera. Donning costumes is free, but only five participants are accepted at 10 and 11am, and 1, 2, and 3pm. Frankly, if you've seen other Japanese castles, you might just want to photograph this one from the outside and move on. For a fairy-tale fantasy indulgence, you can rent swan-shaped paddle boats on the river below the castle (just be glad your neighbors aren't here to see you).