Nijojo (Nijo Castle)

On our last day in Kyoto we had a late checkout so we decided to setoff for Nijojo, a castle not far from our accommodation.

We walked along the Nijo streets and took it all in.

Finally, we arrived at a fortress surrounded by a moat. We still did not see anyway in, the moat and the fortress it was protecting went for quite a distance. We continued walking around until we turned a corner and started to see the hustle and bustle of tourists and visitors.

We figured out entry cost and stumbled in.

We saw gold and lavish buildings, the entrance put on a show for us as any royalty would. People all around us were looking up.

Grabbing a map we were soon to realise just how big this place was, there was the main circle of defence, followed by a second with gardens encircling them (and don’t forget the brick wall and moat). It was clear to see that this place had been built to protect and conquer, probably due to the first resident Tokugawa Ieyasu being the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Nijōjō was built in 1603 and its buildings are some of the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era. A great eye opener to Japan’s history with beautiful gardens to adore along the way. Well worth an explore.

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