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Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Nijo Castle

Number-five of the fifty most visited sights in Kyoto, Japan.

Vista 7352 volte
    This guide contains photos
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Difficulty: Facile
Length: 0.6 miles / 1.0 km
Duration: 1-3 ore
Accessibile alle Famiglie
 
Anteprima: It was here,in 1867,in the Ninomaru Palace,where Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837 to 1913),the last Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan, signed the declaration returning all authority to the Imperial Court,and what followed became known as the "Meiji Restoration".The following year the Imperial Cabinet was installed in the castle.

Nijo-jo (Nijo Castle) plays a small and more modern roll in Kyoto's history.From the end of the "Nara Period" (794), Kyoto has functioned at the crossroads of Japanese history. From it's beginnings as the Kunikyo and Nagaokakyo settlements, until the Emperor's move to Edo (modern day Tokyo),it was the Capitol of Japan for over 1,000-years.

It was in 1601, when Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 to 1616), the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, ordered all the feudal lords in Western Japan to contribute to the construction of Nijo-jo,and,25-years later,in 1626, the castle was finally completed. It's main purpose to be used as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogunate.Intended to impress visitors,the showy castle is more a Palace than a Fortress with defences designed for looks rather than combat.

In 1750 the Central Keep, or Donjon, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then, in 1788, the Inner Palace was destroyed by a city-wide fire. For the following 5-years the site remained empty until it was replaced by a Prince's residence, transferred from the Imperial Palace.

Nijo-jo is the fifth most popular destination, out of the fifty top destinations in Kyoto, so I would recommend an early start to your day if you want to get here before the hoards of tourists and sightseers arrive.


Consigli: Nijo-jo opens from 8:45am to 5pm (Last admittance to 4pm). Admittance is 600-yen.
I don't think there are many more central tourist destinations, than Nijo-jo. It is smack-bang in the middle of Kyoto. If you are coming by the J.R.Train,via the Main Line, you need to change at J.R.Kyoto onto the J.R. Sagano Line and alight at the Nijo Station. From there it is about a 5-minute walk to the castle.If you are arriving by the Keihan Main Line,you need to change at Sanjo Station for the Tozai Subway Line and alight at the Nijojo-mae Station.There are also regular buses from Kyoto Station and Sanjo Station as well as other destinations.

Make sure you have plenty of film. Bring something to eat in one of the many gardens and dress accordingly for the time of year.

Punti di Interesse

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Higashi-Ote-mon (Great Eastern Gate).

This is the main entrance to Nijo-jo. As you walk from the street,and cross the bridge and enter through the gate, you will be stepping-back in time.
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Kara-mon (Main Entry to the Ninomaru Palace).

As you enter through the Main Entrance, pass the Guardhouse on your right,turn left then right, you will be greeted by this magnificent structure.
The Karamon Gates are often used as entrances to Japanese Castles,Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines, and have historically been a symbol of authority.
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Ninomaru Palace.

The 3,300 square-meter Ninomaru Palace consists of five connected separate buildings.Inside the walls and ceilings are lavishly decorated with quantities of Gold-Leaf and elaborate Wood-Carvings, intended to impress visitors of the power and wealth of the Shoguns.
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Interior art of Ninomaru Palace.

Viewing art such as this brings tears to ones eyes. We have to be grateful that it has been preserved and protected for others to appreciate.
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Ninomaru Garden.

The "Chisen-kaiyushiki" style garden (a style dating-back to ancient times, with wandering ponds following the natural flow of the land)was designed by Kobori Enshu (1597 to 1647)and reconstructed in 1626. Enshu was a master of tea-ceremony,architecture,garden design, calligraphy and poetry during the early Edo culture.
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Bridge, entrance to Honmaru Palace.

After your stroll through the Ninomaru Gardens, you are now ready for the Honmaru Palace.
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Honmaru Palace.

The Honmaru Palace (Inner Palace) was added to the castle complex in 1626, upon the orders of the Third Tukugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. The Donjon (a five-story castle tower),which was part of the original construction, was struck by lightning in 1750 and burnt to the ground.
The structure is designated an "Important Cultural property".
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Honmaru Garden

The Honmaru Palace and Garden are surrounded by the Inner-Moat and covers 16,800 square meters.The construction of the garden was completed in 1896. Starting with the "Karensansui Style" (stones & gravel employed to depict hills & water)the garden underwent a series of reformations, reaching it's present configuration in the artificial grass-covered miniature hill landscape style, complete with curving road running-through the garden and a mound forming a small terrace for moon-watching.
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Inner Moat and Dojon.

Once exiting the Honman Palace enclosure, the trail brings you through groves of Cherry Trees and Plumb Trees. During Spring,when the trees are in full bloom,these will make a very-picturesque sight.
As we leave the groves,we follow the Inner Moat to where we reach the base of the stone foundation where the Dojon once stood.
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Kita-Otemon (Great Northern Gate)

As you follow the Inner Moat, passing-by other small buildings and gardens, you arrive at the Kita-Otemon Gate. This gate is a large "Yaguramon Style Gate" (Yagura comes from Ya, meaning arrow,and,Kura, meaning storehouse),which was used to store arrows, along with other kinds of weapons,food and supplies.
Landmark
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Exterior Moat and Walls.

After having left the Kita-Otemon Gate you return to the main entrance, the Higashi-Ote-Mon Gate,passing by other buildings such as the storage building,resting-room,toilets and Guard-house.
Upon exiting Nijo-jo, I recommend you take a stroll around the Outer Moat and Walls.
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Nijo Castle Map


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