Friday, April 8, 2011
Nijo Palace part two
Shall we go in?
Walking up one can see the artistry. This was definitely meant to impress those coming to see the Tokugawa Shogunate.
They had this fortress built as their residence in Kyoto, completed in 1626.
Passing under the amazing gold leaf and relief work.
Butterflies, cranes perhaps, and dragons.
One of the entrances to Ninomaru.
Gleams even under overcast skies.
The building is constructed almost entirely out of Japanese Cypress. Surrounding it are these wonderful trees, beautifully trained by hard working gardeners.
Walking under the entrance. We did go inside and took the self-guided tour. The palace is so large, the rooms inside beautifully decorated by artists of the time. The building is most famous for the "nightingale" floors, beams of wood attacted to the posts below them with clamps so anyone walking on them would cause the beams to move against and create a squeeking noise. Wearing only socks it is a challenge to try and walk without making the nightingale sound.
Peacocks above the doorway.
More walls and more buildings.
The details amaze me, even in photograph form.
Ninomura occupies the eastern part of the grounds. The western half of the grounds are surrounded by another moat, the Inner Moat.
Gate and wall by the Zen Garden.
Besides a moat, the inner part of the western section is built-up, with huge stones surrounding this inner portion.
Bridge across the Inner Moat to the Inner Castle grounds.
These buildings up on the Inner Castle Grounds were part of the original home of the Tokugawa shoguns. This is part of Honmaru Palace.
It is very peaceful here.
Walking up very steep stairs, we are able to view parts of Honmaru from above. What a view!
The inner moat from above. The amount of work it must have taken to build this.
Back down to the ground level walking back to the eastern section.
A few details...
Clouds against clouds.
A few websites where I found information and you can find out more about Nijojo:
Show Me Japan Website