Nijo Castle

A castle with nightingale floors.

Legend has it that the squeaking floors were used as a security device, assuring that none could sneak through the corridors undetected. The English name “nightingale” refers to the Japanese bush warbler, or uguisu which is a type of bushtit or nightingale native to Japan.

The Nijo Castlewas built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the important Edo Period (1603-1867). After the Tokugawa Shogunate fell in 1867, Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace for a while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as a historic site. The buildings are some of the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era, and so the castle was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994.

Honestly the floors actually really did sound like birds when we walked on them. Such a special experience. No pictures were allowed inside the palace.

 

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