Nijo Castle KYOTO JAPAN

Friday, May 02, 2014

Walk with ChaMike in Japan | Nijo Castle


Honmaru scenic view from a castle keep

Nijo Castle is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites which was the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun during the Edo Japanese Period. Shogun means military commander or general of Japan. It is said that Nijo Castle is the best surviving example of Japanese palace architecture.

It was ChaMike's very first stop in Kyoto, our hotel staff recommended to go here first so we can still witness the gorgeous display of Sakuras/ Cherry Blossoms.

Entrance ticket for Y600 (P260)

Nijo Castle has 3 main areas: Honmaru, Ninomaru and some gardens surrounding the area.

Ninomaru Palace is the main attraction of the castle, Ninomaru is the secondary circle of defense during the old times. 

Karamon Gate

Upon entering the palace we were asked to remove our shoes and informed that picture taking is not allowed inside. The palace is still in its mint condition where the flooring are called nightingale floors because they squeak when stepped on for security purposes. Ninomaru also has elegant replica wall paintings, the original paintings were kept for preservation- take note that they don't allow sketching as well. 


Ninomaru Palace

After a few walks we saw a traditional Japanese landscape garden with large pond. Ninomaru Garden has a relaxing and calming ambiance. 

Ninomaru Garden
 
Ninomaru Garden

After passing by Ninomaru Garden a bridge connecting to a large castle gate filled with moat and surrounding with water welcomed us. It is the entrance of the other area of Nijo Castle- Honmaru.

Mike standing at a bridge of a castle gate surrounding with moat

Honmaru was the main circle of defense which consists of numerous structures but were destroyed by fires during the 18th century. 


Honamaru Palace

Honmaru Palace

Honmaru Palace was not regularly open to the public so we didn't get to see what was inside the palace but visitors were allowed to roam around the vicinity, we also climbed up a castle keep which offers a beautiful scenic view of Honmaru.
 
Mike took this shot while I take a shot of Honmaru

 Gardens are all over Nijo Castle, if you are looking for a perfect venue to spot sakura trees Nijo Castle is the place to go. It was already on the third week of April when we went there and based on our research the cherry blossoms were in full bloom the week before our visit but luckily we still found lots of sakuras! It was as if they waited for us to see them <3 


Group of a beautiful Sakura trees

Sakura or Cherry Blossoms are flowers mostly in pink color that bloom in some countries such as: Europe, China, United States and Japan.

Pink <3


So seeing a sakura is on top of my Japan list so you can just imagine my delight when I saw the sprawling sakura trees all over the place.

Intentionally wore pink shades and scarf for an ultimate terno Sakura shot

I took as many shots as I can, I just couldn't help myself.

Sakura in dark pink
Sakura in light pink
Beautiful Sakura
Aren't they pretty? <3
Mike blends well in this pink perfect backdrop

After seeing the beautiful group of cherry blossoms we then saw a walkway full of Sakuras. It was the loveliest site! Though you can see some trees were beginning to wither nevertheless it was picture perfect.

Saw this on the net before we went here, a dream come true! <3
I can walk on this pathway everyday!
Of course Mike should have a shot too <3

And when we were about to exit, a gorgeous sakura tree was standing in its beautiful form as if it was waving at me to take a photo with it.

Last na talaga! Promise!

Nijo Castle is a great way to start your Kyoto Adventure. It has impressive architecture, rich history and gorgeous sakura trees.

Details:
Opening:    8:45 am to 5:00 pm
                   Open everyday except Tuesdays on January, July, August and December
Fee: Y 600 (P260) 

How to get here: The entrance of Nijo Castle is a short walk from Nijojo-mae Station along the Tozai Subway Line. From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Karasuma-Oike Station and transfer to the Tozai Line to Nijojo-mae Station. The whole trip takes about 15-20 minutes and costs 260 yen

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