Travel

Kyoto 2009: Nijo Castle

Another must-go in Kyoto was the Nijo Castle, or Nijo-jo. According to my good friend Wikipedia, the castle was built in 1600s and was the home of the Japanese Imperial Court.

It was built in 1600s. Can you imagine that? The old girl certainly wasn’t showing her age, she still looked magnificent and grand. Does Singapore even have architecture remaining from the 1900s? Oh well, even if there is, it would have been painted over with a garish colour and pimped as a tourist attraction. I mean, look at Chinatown.

Back to Nijo-jo. What was most intriguing about the castle was its nightingale floors. To protect the occupants from sneak attacks, the builders constructed the floor such that it squeaks like a bird whenever someone walks upon it. Trust me, we tried tip-toeing and short of doing qing gong, the floor really creaks elegantly. It sounds like an oxymoron but trust me, it really isn’t.

The compound is huge and it takes a while for you to walk around the two parts of the castle as well as the vast garden. No pictures were allowed though, poo.

Ninomaru of Nijo-jo
Overlooking Nijo-jo
Within the grounds of Nijo-jo

For more photos of our Kyoto-Osaka trip, click here.

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