The imposing Nijo Castle (二条城) was built by the first Shogun of Edo Period (江戸時代) aka Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康). The Shogun’s name will definitely ring a bell if you have played Koei’s games like Nobunaga’s Ambition (信長の野望) before.
Possessing immense military power, the Shogun or Military General was way more powerful than the symbolic Emperor. Hence, it kinda explains why Tokugawa Ieyasu was able to build such a huge residence complex for himself at the present Central Kyoto.
Defensive layers of Nijo Castle
The entire perimeter of Nijo castle is surrounded by defensive wall and moat to fend off potential enemies, plus I’m certain there must be lots of castle guards patrolling the extensive grounds during those days.
If intruders sneak through the fortification to reach the Palace, they will need to deal with the infamous nightingale floor that make squeaking noise, which will alert the guards.
Around Nijo Castle
We proceed to the Palace after paying 600 JPY ($7.40) for the entrance fee. Footwear had to be removed before entering and sadly, photo takings are not allowed and strictly enforced. Sigh…what a pity since the paintings around the Palace are rather nice.
But I respect the reason to preserve the paintings since exposing them to light sources like camera flash will cause the paintings to disintegrate.
The Palace has multiple rooms with painted panels and ceilings but tourists have only limited access to certain area.
We also took a pleasant walk around Ninomaru garden in Nijo Castle.