Monday, February 1, 2016

Kyoto -- Nijo-jo III

I love the stone lanterns!!

Up the stairs to the site of the former castle keep...
...and its views!!
Of the moat

Of the Honmaru

Exiting through another gate in the outer wall

On the outer grounds, there were vendors selling their wares outside the gift and snack shop. 

From here, we took a bus ride and a neighborhood walk to track down a Samurai sword shop, then prepared for our last day's visit on the mainland.....

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kyoto -- Nijo-jo II

Ninomaru Palace
Originally built in 1603 by the first shogun of that period and used as his office and residence when he was visiting Kyoto.

The decor on the palace had not yet been refurbished as the gate had.

"The Ninomaru Palace is a national treasure.
Please do not run in the Palace.
No food (including chewing gums) or beverage is allowed in the Palace.
A person under influence of alcohol cannot enter the Palace.
For the purpose of wooden floor conservation, please wipe your feet and remove your socks if they are wet."
Also not allowed were photos.....

Nimomaru (secondary circle of defense) Palace consists of five buildings joined by squeaky-floored corridors. These "nightingale" floors acted as intruder alerts.

The exit of the Palace leads to the Ninomaru Garden.
Complete with a visiting crane!!

Pond with three islands

These were my favorite spots in the garden-- view of the rock plank bridges and a waterfall!!

Back through the inner wall... the very-special-occasion-use-only, Honmaru (main circle of defense) Palace,...

...and the site of the original castle keep...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kyoto -- Nijo-jo

We couldn't resist checking off another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kyoto's Nijo Castle.
Entrance gate of the outer wall

I purchased our entry tickets, we crossed the moat,...

...and entered the outer gate.

The castle keep

The elaborately decorated Chinese-style inner Karamon Gate leading to Ninomaru Palace. 

Beautifully detailed!!
3D art decor

Gold-tone metal pieces attached to the wood rails