Shogun Castle

When we went to Europe a few years ago, we got a good dose of historical buildings. The Japanese have their fair share of them too, and it was good to be able to get inside a grand, old one.

There are a few to choose from in Kyoto, being the old imperial capital. We chose to go to Nijo-jo – Nijo Castle – the headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogun. This clan held complete power, even over the Emperor, for over 250 years.

Nijo-Jo Castle

As you can see just by the outer moat and guard-house, they liked things big!

Nijo-Jo Castle

Nijo-Jo Castle

We visited Ninomaru Palace, one of the palaces in the complex. The entry gate was appropriately grand.

Nijo-Jo Castle

Nijo-Jo Castle

It’s certainly a place to dress up for.

Nijo-Jo Castle

We got into the palace grounds proper, and the castle was definitely of a large size. We weren’t allowed to take any photos, but we can report that there were large, airy reception rooms with beautifully painted walls and ceilings. In the Japanese style, it was tastefully minimalist compared to Western, or even other Asian palaces. We particularly liked the squeeky floor boards – a security measure against ninjas!

Nijo-Jo Castle

The gardens around the palace were also lovely to walk around.

Nijo-Jo Castle

Nijo-Jo Castle

Particularly since the trees were turning.

Nijo-Jo Castle

Nijo-Jo Castle

Nijo-Jo Castle

That’s all from Kyoto. Wishing everyone a merry and safe Christmas. After Christmas we’ll travel to somewhere new in Japan!

Nijo-Jo Castle

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