Nijo Castle: Illuminated

Posters all over Kyoto heralded the Nijo Castle Illumination as a romantic and quiet location for viewing the cherry blossoms. It was truly that- though the blossoms were scarce due to the unseasonal cold.

A couple of weeks ago, Nicky and I decided to take a walk in the evening to Nijo Castle, where there was a night time illumination going on to celebrate the start of the cherry blossom season. We went a little too early though, as the recent fallings of snow had hindered the blooming of the cherry trees, but the castle was beautiful all the same.

One of my favorite things about it was how quiet it was in the dark; the pathways were illuminated by signs saying “Route →” in light upon the pebbles, and the still working mill wheel powered its way by use of the stream trickling through the gardens. Candles were lit, a teahouse was open, and at the end of the walk, there was a free koto concert (one of the songs I recorded, and you can see it below). All in all, it was quite romantic, something that is actually quite hard to find in Japan, so I was very pleased with the trip.