Thursday, January 03, 2013

Nijo Castle / Nijo-jo (二女城)

Besides the Kinkaku-ji, the Nijo castle or Nijo-jo (二女城) is another interesting place to be visited if you have limited time in Kyoto. 

One of the buildings in Nijo-jo
In  1603, the castle firstly built as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu. The construction process was finish in 1626 by third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu. He added some structures transferred from Fushimi castle, which is built in 1573-1614 in Momoyama period.

Nijo castle is the most finest temple of early Edo period and Momoyama culture in Japan. It makes splendid use of early Edo period building design, lavish painting, and carving that Iemitsu generously commissioned.

When the fifteenth Tokugawa Shogun, Yoshinobu, returned sovereignty to the Emperor, the castle become the property of the Imperial family. It was renamed the Nijo Detached Palace in 1884 and renamed again to be Nijo castle (Nijo-jo) when it was donated to the city of Kyoto in 1939.

As the Kinkaku-ji, Nijo-jo is also acknowledged as the world heritage site by UNESCO in 1994.
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