Nijo castle(二条城), Kyoto

Nijo castle was the residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu which was built in the 16th century. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The vast castle grounds are surrounded by huge stone walls, moats etc. and wide and beautiful Japanese gardens surround the Honmaru nad Ninomaru areas of the castle. There is an entrance fee of 600 yen to enter inside the castle.

The large entrance gate of the Nijo castle leads to the Kuromon gate. The Karamon gate welcomes us to the Ninomaru palace which is decorated with cranes, dragon, flowers etc. Wood carvings of cranes, dragon etc. are used to decorate the entrance gate of the palace building also.

 

Inside the Ninomaru building, there is a waiting room for the visitors of Shogun. We could see some statues of people in traditional dresses sitting with Shogun in the next building. The next building here was the private area of Shogun and his family. Here we can hear squeaking sounds while we enter inside. It is called ‘Uguisubari’ which was done for the protection of residents from attackers. All the rooms inside the palace are having fusuma doors with beautiful paintings and the tatami floors.

The garden around Ninomaru palace creates a nice scenery with ponds, various trees and plants etc. which makes a vast Japanese-style garden. There are a lot of cherry trees all around the castle ground, hence Nijo castle is a famous destination during Spring season.

 

The Honmaru palace is not open to the public except on some special occasions.

My trip to Nijo Castle in 2012.