Nijo and its gardens

Day 10 · Nijo Castle, Kyoto Scroll down

On the first full day in Kyoto we dragged ourselves through the streets, under the scorching sun, with the goal of visiting the Imperial gardens and Nijo castle.

We got out of the 9h hotel and headed to our next hotel, because unfortunately, the host of our house here in Kyoto had to come back home due to work issues — we got to meet the lovely Atsuko in Lisbon, because she was visiting Portugal for the summer before she had to come back — so much for coincidences, heh?

Entrance gate to the Imperial Palace Gardens.

Entrance gate to the Imperial Palace Gardens.

There was barely any shadow to protect us from the blazing hot sun.

There was barely any shadow to protect us from the blazing hot sun.

The group average age was probably around the 60s. But were they full of energy!

The group average age was probably around the 60s. But were they full of energy!

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Kind fella who invited us to sit down and watch the game.

Kind fella who invited us to sit down and watch the game.

They were actually playing softball.

They were actually playing softball.

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After the game, there was a group bow.

After the game, there was a group bow.

The hotel was nice and let us drop off our bags, so off we went to explore the city. We walked to the Imperial Palace Gardens where unfortunately every temple was closed (you have to request a visit beforehand) and we were getting a bit desperate for something, because it was insanely hot outside. We came across a baseball team composed of elderly but very fit members, who invited us to sit with them and watch the game. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone was nice and having loads of fun and they really seemed to enjoy what they were doing. We learned from a Swedish guy, who apparently knew everybody else, that the whole gang gets together every week to play baseball.

On the way to Nijo Castle we saw this amazing Volkswagen Ghia.

On the way to Nijo Castle we saw this amazing Volkswagen Ghia.

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A typical Kyoto restaurant front.

A typical Kyoto restaurant front.

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We then headed to Nijo Castle, trying to avoid the sun as much as we could, and majorly failing at it. The humidity wasn’t helping either, as wasn’t the lack of water for so much time. We quickly got inside to cool down and slowly started to walk inside Ninomaru palace, as the wood creaking followed us, and step by step the light started to dim down as we advanced through the different rooms.

Finally at Nijo Castle. Even the moat is gorgeous.

Finally at Nijo Castle. Even the moat is gorgeous.

Many associate this white tower as being the Nijo Castle (we did), but it's simply a turret on the outside walls.

Many associate this white tower as being the Nijo Castle (we did), but it’s simply a turret on the outside walls.

Ninomaru palace.

Ninomaru palace.

Make sure to leave your shoes at the entrance.

Make sure to leave your shoes at the entrance.

Unfortunately they didn't let us take photos inside the palace, but this one captures a bit of the atmosphere of the place.

Unfortunately they didn’t let us take photos inside the palace, but this one captures a bit of the atmosphere of the place.

Honmaru palace and the adjacent beautiful gardens!

Honmaru palace and the adjacent beautiful gardens!

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