Nijo Castle (二条城), Kyoto, Japan - part 3. Seiryu-en garden

After the Honmaru palace, you will reach the Seiryu-en garden, where you can find two tea houses, by passing this gate.

gate to Seiryu-en garden Nijo castle Kyoto Japan

I had made some short video clips of entering Nijo castle and walking towards Seiryu-en garden. It is nothing special, but you can experience a bit of how that feels like.

 Seiryu-en garden

Seiryu-en garden was constructed in 1965 and compared to the older ninomaru garden and honmaru garden, it is the most modern. The first things you will see are a group of carefully placed stones. I didn't understand it at first, but when you watch them longer, they seem to make sense. The placement of the rocks, the grass, and the leaves are all in the exact right place and have some kind of meaning. It is like art, not everybody gets it and some might need more time to understand it.

Stone art garden nijo castle Kyoto Japan

Further along, you will find the Waraku-an Teahouse. I really loved the stone garden that you can find in front of it. There is also another tea house, Koun-tei, and a large pond, but by the time, I got there, I was starting to get tired and the heat really got to me, as I went there in the summer. So, there are no pictures of that. Aside from this part of the garden with two tea houses, a large pond, and the stone garden, the other part of the Seiryu-en garden consists of a large lawn area.  

Kyoto Nijo castle Japan Waraku-an Teahouse Waraku-an Teahouse nijo castle Kyoto Japan stone garden

At the very end and next to the Green garden, there is the Great North gate (Kita-Ōte-mon). The trees that you can find along the path are really pretty.

Great North Gate (Kita-Ōte-mon) Nijo castle Kyoto Japan

Food preparation and storage buildings

I don't know why, but I was really drawn in by the beauty of these food preparation and storage buildings. It might just be my female instinct kicking in, as women had the prehistoric task of collecting and making food, while men were out there hunting food. I always thought that the kitchen is the most beautiful part of the house and I love going grocery shopping and preparing meals. I think that is the most - if not only - feminine part of me. 

Nijo castle Kyoto Japan food buildings Nijo castle Kyoto Japan kitchen food preparation building
Nijo castle Kyoto Japan kitchen building close up

I can really imagine how much food - hundreds of bags of rice! - can be stored in this storage building underneath. You do need that much food, when you are under siege from all sides and you need to hold the fort until military back-up comes to save you.

Nijo castle Kyoto Japan food storage buildings

Souvenir shop and 400th anniversary gallery

Lastly, I saw this gorgeous souvenir shop. I have never seen anything like that. Normally, souvenir shops are just a corner in the museum, which they had set up to earn extra income. But this one has a worn, ancient feel to it, which really matches with Nijo castle. Inside, you can also get some refreshments like tea, cakes, and ice cream (gold leaf covered soft serve ice cream!).

Nijo castle Kyoto Japan souvenir shop

Next to it, you can find the 400th anniversary gallery, where you can see the Ninomaru screen paintings behind glass. The exhibition is different depending on the season (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter) and the entrance fee is 100 yen.  

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