Next stop.. Nijo castle.
Nijo castle was built in 1603 as a residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period. The castle was completed after 23 years by his grandson. After Tokugawa shogunate fell in 1867, the castle was used as an imperial palace and later on donated to the city as a historical site.
Visitors to Nijo castle will be welcomed by this giant gate.
By entering, you will see the Ninomaru palace which was served as a residential and office for shogun during his visits to Kyoto.
I was not able to take any photos of what is inside the palace as the security was pretty tight. Based on the history that I read there and online, only the highest rank visitors can reached the main audience room where the shogun would sit on an elevated floor with body guards hidden behind closets.
In fact, the room itself was like size of a 3 room flat? I am not sure but it did look huge to me. They had different animals drawn on the wall. From Eagles, to Tigers and garden animals.
If I did not remember wrongly, there was a room where there were 2 tigers on the wall. It was used as a symbol to tell visitors that this shogun was not a push over. The main details would have to go through the history books.
Got a nice angle before exiting.
After that, I proceed on to a soba shop that has been around for over 500 years called Owariya.
The shop first began as a confectionery shop. Only at mid Edo period that the shop started business on Soba. Soba was brought to Japan by a trainee monk and made at a zen temple in Kyoto. As the monks in the temple were not able to handle the order, shops started to take over and sell soba. It was said that Owariya started to be one of the distributor at 1700s.
Out of curious, I visited the main shop at 322, Niomontsukinukecho.
The shop kept its traditional style of using rooms tatami. I wanted to have a seat that do not require me to take off my boots. Unfortunately, I had to because of lack of seats and I did not want to stay in the rain for any longer.
This was what I ordered. Age Soba? I can’t remember the name. It was a random name on the menu that I could understand. I was presented with a Japanese menu after greeted English into a tatami room. LOL?
The soba was soft. The soup was refreshing. But it lacked those meat that we always had when we go with soba.
If you want to understand more and locate this place: https://honke-owariya.co.jp/en/shop/
Not sure if this post is interesting enough for everyone. Its a post on castle, I tried to add in some history and thoughts.
Give me your comments and like this post if its good enough for you. I dont really have much visitor though. 😦 Thank you.
Until next time~