Nijo castle, Kyoto.

We started our journey at 7.30 a.m. after checking out our rooms near the Kyoto station. The Kyoto tower looked entirely different in the daylight. The lighted up tower was so beautiful when I saw it last night.

We took a one-day bus pass for Kyoto city travel. The first among our schedules was the Nijo Castle. We get on the Kyoto city bus to reach there. It took about 20 minutes. The entry ticket for the castle worth 600 yens. Photography is not allowed inside the castle. Upon entering the castle building, there is a guard house with some samurai statues. Kara Mon (Chinese style Gate) welcomes us to the Ninomaru Palace. It is decorated with cranes, flowers, butterflies, tigers,  lions, dragon etc. carved on a wooden plate.

We can see the statues of Shogun in various pauses inside the main complex of Ninomaru Palace. The social hierarchy within the feudal period of Japan is reflected in every part of this castle. Each building had a raised platform where the Shogun would be seated. While entering inside the palace, we could hear beautiful squeaking sounds called ‘uguisu-bari’. It was actually done for the protection of the residents from attackers. Many paintings of nature, birds etc. could also be seen in this building.

The Ninomaru garden is one of the main attractions of this place which is a wonderful Japanese-style garden with water lilies, plants and trees, and rocks. At the center of the garden, there is a large pond containing three islands connected by four small bridges.

Walking through the residence of ancient rulers of Japan was really a wonderful experience.