[Post-Post]: Nijo Castle Plum Blossoms

It really has been too long since I last updated! A lot came up, and I really just wasn't feeling up to blogging, but now that it's all passed, I plan to keep this thing up to date! Whenever you see [Post-Post] in the title, it means that I posted this later than the actual date written on the entry. For instance, I'm writing this on April 17th, but the entry is dated March 29th. It's only because I want to keep the dates of the events true and correct.

Anyway... on to the blog!

Plum Blossoms at Nijo Castle
This week finally started the vacation the Town Mouse and I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Our last vacation, at the end of last year, while long, was spent apart, and it's very hard to want to go explore something new when you know the other person will be missing out on it. Also, when we get back from vacation, the new school year will be starting and we will be moving to our new school premises, so it's an important chance to relax before things get really hectic.

Our original plan was to go to the recently opened Kyoto Aquarium, but once we arrived there, we changed or minds. The line to get in was nearly a two-hour wait! There was a lot of protests about this aquarium being built, since there are already three other ones in the area, but even after the city abandoned the project, a private company took it up. The aquarium features a dolphin show and river animals section. It was such a nice day, and with the sheer amount of kids, we decided it would be best to instead walk from the aquarium up to Nijo Castle, where we could enjoy the blue skies and cherry blossoms.

On the path to Nijo, on Hirokawa Dori, there are a bunch of other places to see, many of which I have blogged about before, like the Kyoto Costume Museum and Nishihonganji. The Town Mouse had never seen Kara-Mon, the expertly carved wooden gate inside Nishihonganji, so we took a pit stop to go and see it. Here are some of the details of the gate:

After showing her the gate, we continued our journey northward to Nijo. Nijo Castle is beautiful all throughout the year, and they are currently having a light-up, which we attended last year. Unfortunately, as it was last year, the light-up is not scheduled very well with the actual blooming of the trees, so if you plan on going, plan to attend in the last few days of the event to see the most blossoms. There were hardly any trees blooming when we went- none of their plums had blossomed, except for a small grove on the western side of the castle gardens. Still, it was a gorgeous day, and a lot of fun. Nijo Castle is one of our favorite places in Kyoto. (Admission: 600 yen)