Nijō Castle is a flatland castle located in Kyoto, Japan. The castle consists of two concentric rings of fortifications, the Ninomaru Palace, the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several gardens. The surface area of the castle is 275,000 square meters, of which 8000 square meters is occupied by buildings.
In 1601, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, ordered all the feudal lords in Western Japan to contribute to the construction of Nijō Castle, which was completed during the reign of Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1626. Parts of Fushimi Castle, such as the main tower and the karamon, were moved here in 1625-26. It was built as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The Tokugawa Shogunate used Edo as the capital city, but Kyoto continued to be the home of the Imperial Court. Kyoto Imperial Palace is located north-east of Nijo Castle.
The central keep, or donjon, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1750.
In 1788, the Inner Palace was destroyed by a city-wide fire. The site remained empty until it was replaced by a prince’s residence transferred from the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1893.
In 1867, the Ninomaru Palace was the stage for the declaration by Tokugawa Yoshinobu, returning the authority to the Imperial Court. Next year the Imperial Cabinet was installed in the castle. The palace became imperial property and was declared a detached palace. During this time, the Tokugawa hollyhock crest was removed wherever possible and replaced with the imperial chrysanthemum.
In 1939, the palace was donated to the city of Kyoto and opened to the public the following year.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Exposure: 3 exposures (-2,0,+2 EV)
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Accessories: Manfrotto 190XB Tripod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Heavy Duty Grip Ball Head, Canon RC1 Wireless Remote
Date and Time: 6 April 2009 2.20pm
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