Nijō castle

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From Sagaarashimaya we made our way to Nijō castle, another interesting place to visit in Kyoto.

Now, this glorious gate suggests indeed this is a castle, but it is certainly a very different castle or stronghold when compared to the massive structures I come to expect from Germany or France (okay: a castle and a stronghold is not really the same, but this one here has a moat and stuff, so I was expecting some serious rocks and a dragon’s den and cool stuff like that).

See that building behind the gate? That’s a main building of the castle, and it rather looks like a decently sized detached home.
You can go inside, but I did not take any photos. Mainly because there is really nothing to be seen here except empty rooms. ‘ bit sad, actually. Very interesting is the wooden floor, however, which gives sort of a nightingale sound when you walk on it. Apparently to warn the sleeping inhabitants from unwanted visitors.

This, or the carpenter was useless.
Either way, it’s a neat trick.

What I take photos of, however, is the absolutely stunning gardens surrounding the buildings.

Very, very nice. When you climb up to a higher viewpoint, the whole place really looks more like a friendly park area than anything else. But it is enclosed by rather massive stone walls.

We had a family photo taken by a German tourist, but the guy clearly did not know what he was doing. I am glad he didn’t poke out an eye while trying to press the shutter button of my camera.

And just to prove that there really is a stone wall, here’s a photo of it:

But even this looks more like an Adventureland prop at Disneyland than a place in which a Shōgun was having is tea after sharpening is sword collection.

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