Monday, December 02, 2013
Nijo Castle, Kyoto
Nijo Castle, one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. The above pic isn't the castle itself, it's just one of the west/north/east/south wing control tower.
Yes Kyoto has got that many UNESCO attractions. Built in 1626 by Togukawa Ieyasu the first Shogun of Edo Period. It is smaller in size compared to the Imperial Palace of Kyoto but still big enuff for u to spend 1.5 hours in here :))))
The entrance to Nijo Castle was really modest. Entrance fees is about 600 yen. Japan has got so many vending machines, half of the time, there isn't a ticket booth but machines after machines to purchase ur entrance tickets.
We had to cross the wooden bridge to get into the "outer ring". There's 2 moats in this castle. So defense was pretty tight...as an enemy, u need to swim across the first huge moat before entering the outer ring....then lots of ninja samurais action before u could even get to the inner moat....and finally the main palace itself.
*pic taken from the web*
see wat I meant!!!!
do not underestimate the moats...it ain't easy to swim across and to climb up. The section where it's nearer to the outer wall has got gradients and high walls.
JS: "Monkey wat are u doin???? come back here this instant!!!!"
The wall was really high~~~~ so any ninja samurais skills are highly needed to scale this stone wall. Even if I could haiyeakkkk yak yak yak and step up like a ninja, it's impossible to do this without energy bars on my backpack. One sure burns tonnes of calories just to swim across and climb this wall. Fight all the tight securities...by the time u have access to the shogun himself...your limbs would be so tired to even kill him. :P
beautiful beautiful beautiful!!!!!!
this is the east entrance to the secondary inner defense system before u arrive to the main attraction the Ninomaru Palace.
From the inner court the Karamon Gate looked exactly like from the outside.
Nope that gal wasn't me....I don't cam-whore like tat :P
The looked so small in the pics, but actually it's quite high. The japanese referred this as the Chinese style gate.
Ninomaru Palace was the residence and office of the Shogun whenever he visited Kyoto. Served by a few buildings connected to each other with corridors. Sorry no pics coz no photos allowed.
Apart from its intricate woodwork, paintings and architecture of Ninomaru Palace...the only thing that I made squeal like a lil gal was its "Nightingale Floors"
yes....the name says it...the wooden floor chirp like a bird whenever u step on it...Such flooring was designed to alert the entire household/securities and Shogun himself of intruders..Apparently many assassins had made attempts to kill him. Now I understand why Ninjas need to master the skill of walking on water...bcoz if u do, u can oso walk on the nightingale floors without any sound...hahahaha...sorry this isn't a fact, just my 2 cents thought :P
I was having fun walking on the entire palace's floorboard with the creaking chirping sound. JS threw me the slitted eyes look but hey!!!! I can't control it....the floor board just squeak whenever pressure is applied on it...I'm not a ninja so pls dun expect much fr me.
Outside of the Ninomaru Palace, there's a beautiful zen garden. All the pine trees were so well manicured. the landscaped stones complemented the natural beauty of this pond. The stones were carefully laid here for aesthetic beauty.
the Honmaru Palace which was not open to public, only on special ocassion....u can climb up one of the fort to view this. Apparently there are about 400 cherry trees being planted inside the Nijo Castle so the hanami season would be so splendid with late blooms lasting form March till most of April.
Japanese tourists taking a break on top of one of the fortress. From here u can view the expanse of the entire Castle...it's really huge covering about 275,000 square metres.
When we were in Kyoto, it was mid October and the autumn foliage was about to start...
"Hey look the maple trees is turning orangie soon."
JS is heading to Japan again tonite -_-" *jeles me!!!!*
I hope he will be able to capture all the beautiful RED RED deep RED Maple trees!!!!
the inner moat....see I told u it's damn high...
the west exit of the palace. If u spot Nijo Castle on Google Earth or the map, it was laid accordingly on its grid...just like how Churches were built to face East.
Do take ur time to stroll along the gardens of Nijo Castle. This is a must visit in Kyoto :)) afterall it's a UNESCO Heritage Site...trust me u won't wanna miss it :))))
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