Featuring distinctive architecture, Nijo Castle is amongst the key attractions in Kyoto; here are some captivating facts about this site that are worth knowing before you visit.
A Shogun Residence
Dating to 1603, Nijo Castle was the Edo Period’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s, Kyoto residence. This UNESCO World Heritage Site which is about an eight-minute walk from Park Hotel Kyoto was completed 23 years after being initially built; this was done by the shogun’s grandson, Iemitsu, who added a castle keep spanning five storeys.
Amongst the striking features here that those visiting from a hotel near Karasuma Oike Station can take in are the uniquely designed nightingale floors. These are special floors in the castle and its corridors that make a squeaking or chirping noise every time they are stepped on; this was done for security to warn of any intruders!
Intricate Wall Paintings
The main attraction at Nijo Castle is Ninomaru Palace that served as the office and residence of the shogun. Within this site, you will find more than 2,000 enthralling wall paintings done by what was at that time Japan’s largest school of painting, the Kano School; they were the Tokugawa shoguns’ official painters.
A Kobori Enshu Creation
Equally mesmerising is Ninomaru Garden which was designed by Kobori Enshu who was a well-known tea master and landscape architect at the time. This Japanese-style garden offers an idyllic place for a stroll, set amidst an enchanting site with a large pond as well as plum and cherry trees that blossom from March to April.