A grand structure that serves as a reminder of the Tokugawa Shoguns that once held power.
Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, put into motion the construction of Nijo Castle in 1601 as a symbol of his power, and he demanded that all of Western Japan's feudal lords contribute. The castle was complete in 1626, during the reign of Tokugawa Iemitsu. The imposing structure served as the Kyoto base of the Tokugawa Shoguns for more than 260 years, and today it continues to impress all who lay eyes upon it.
The castle is made up of two concentric rings and includes a moat, huge stone walls, decorative gates, several gardens, and cherry and plum tree groves. The inner ward contains Honmaru Palace and Ninomaru Palace. The second palace houses beautiful pieces of Japanese art and the "nightingale floors." These were designed to make a bird-like sound when stepped on as a way to alarm occupants of possible intruders.
Photo by Keith Pomakis