Japan | Nijo Castle

8:54 AM Ally M.G. 0 Comments

I think my sleep deprivation is finally catching up to me. Today I was suppose to get up at 6:20 once again, but I had a lie in till 6:40 because I could not get my eyes to stay open. It was bound to happen eventually, but I hate feeling so bleh in the mornings.

Today has been one of my less exciting days. I had class from 9:10-12:00. (I also slept on Riley's shoulder on the bus ride to school because I need a few more minutes of rest). Only groups A and B had an excursion today. Tomorrow it will be my turn to play on the taiko drums since I am group C. After class ended I hopped back on a bus and returned to the accommodations with Franz and Chess. The bus so crowded that I thought I was going to die of a heat stroke, due to the warmth of the amount of bodies in that tiny space!



Originally, I was going to visit Nijo Castle by myself because Franz was going to go to a Cat Cafe.(I am allergic to cats) I was totally fine with going by myself, especially since I was in Tokyo by myself for three very long days. Last minute, Chess and Franz decided to join me (mostly because they had nothing better to do).

Before heading to Nijo castle we made a quick stop to a bakery Komura-sensei recommended us called Croix-Rousse. There I ate a melon bread, but the one from Seiyu is beating all the melon breads I have eaten so far.



Then we headed off to Nijo Castle (It was about 3 bus stops away). The castle was originally built in 1603 as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu. It was completed in 1626 by the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. Nijo castle is an example of early Edo period and Momoyama culture in Japan. This is because it makes splendid use of early Edo period building designs, lavish paintings, and carvings that Iemitsu commissioned. By 1867 the castle became the property of the Imperial family and by 1939 it was donated to the City of Kyoto. It is considered a national treasure of Japan.



It sucked that I could not record or photograph the inside of the Ninomaru Palace (where the Shogun lived), it was so beautiful. The painting that lavished the walls of the main rooms were restorations but I was able to later visit the gallery exhibition where they had the original wall painting by Kano School. It was exhilarating walking the same halls that the Shogun and many historical figures of Japan once roamed. It almost felt surreal. 

Something really cool about the Palace is its corridors. When one walks on the corridor of the Ninomaru Palace, it chirps. This floor design is called a Nightingale floor. This type of floor was used in order to catch any assassins who tried to assassinate the Shogun. Also, we had to take off our shoes and put them in little cubicles before stepping into the Palace. (My socks got dirty). Once we finished touring around Ninomaru Palace we took a stroll around the Ninomaru Garden, and here I could take as many pictures as my heart desired (along with videos).






It only took about an hour to tour around the Nijo Castle. It was so beautiful. I pass it everyday on the way to school and now when I pass it I will have it's beauty appear in my memory. Which is bloody fantastic.

After Nijo we went to eat pizza at the hispter place again in Sanjo-dori and then returned to the accommodations to study, because if I do very well on the quiz I will be able to move up a class.




Something I do not like about Japan is that everything closes so early, by 4 or 5 most major sites are close and many mom and pop stores also begin to close. I feel sorry for those who have work and get off around that time and can't really go anywhere because everything is pretty much close.





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