The castle was originally 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.
The rooms themselves were quite impressive with old, richly decorated screens as walls but there was a no picture policy and a load of guards ready to enforce it. However it was the extensive gardens that I thought most impressive.
The castle has several gardens including groves of cherry and Japanese plum trees. The garden was designed by the landscape architect and tea master Kobori Enshu (well, who doesn't like a brew after a spot of gardening?). The garden has a large pond with three islands and features numerous carefully placed stones and topiary pine trees.
Took us ages to work out what was going on with these trees (below). They do the same thing in China but use blue tarpaulin. It's to protect non-hardy plants from the freezing cold in the winters. Obviously, the Japanese way is a lot more elegant and, if I knew anything about it, I'd say this was more effective too.
Sadly though we think we were about a week too early for the cherry blossom. Still, very nice it was anyway.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.