Day 4: Nijo Castle

Day 4: Nijo Castle

Kyōto, Nijo Castle, rain, cherry & plum blossoms.


By Adam May 10, 2014

Since it was raining, we wanted to keep it close to the hotel to start the day. Marilyn was still sick, so today we tried to take it easy to start the day. We stopped by a grocery store to grab a snack and were amazed by their fresh foods. You could pick up a full sashimi plate for under $6, or grab freshly made tempura by the pound.

Grocery tempura

This delicious set of tempura was available at a supermarket.


A cheap breakfast from 7-11. With most places closed for breakfast, this was one of a few options that would let us eat and start visiting sites early.

Nijo Castle – 二条城

Nijo Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site and 400-year-old castle was across from our hotel. We took a rainy morning and explored the castle and its grounds. Although pictures are prohibited within the buildings, the gardens and moat surrounding the castle were picturesque enough. At $5, the audio guide was well worth it.

Nijo Castle was constructed with the help of feudal lords in the area who were all ordered to contribute to its construction. Some parts of it were also moved from elsewhere in the 1600s. It was initially built as the residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns during the Edo period.


The guardhouse and blooming plum blossom.


A close up of the entrance.


Taking off our shoes for the palace tour.


A close up of the blossoms.

Path up

These stairs were extremely steep, but regardless of age people were climbing up in the rain.


A stone shrine.

Castle corner

Plum blossoms around the castle moat.

Plum blossom

Close up of a plum blossom.

Yellow flowers

Close up of a yellow flower.


The moat was larger than it looked.

Nijo Rain Screenshot

Nijo Rain Screenshot


View from up top.

Building courtyard

Courtyard of the building.

Marilyn in the rain

Marilyn in the rain under the blossoms.

Rain in the garden

Rain coming down in the garden.

Plum blossom path

Down the plum blossom path.

Single blossom branch

A single plum blossom branch.

The rain turned out to be more atmospheric than a deterrent. It didn’t stop us from exploring the entire castle – inside and out. If you tour the grounds, I’d recommend you get the audioguide for sure. It helped at depth to the exploration.

Our next step was only a few blocks north. We walked up to the Kyoto Imperial Palace to explore the gardens and see what was in bloom there.

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