Within the Nijo-jo Castle complex, on a slushy wet morning, I passed through Kara-mon gate and entered Ninomaru-goten Palace. It was a relief to be out of the rain after walking from my hotel to the site, but I soon forgot the wet conditions when I spied the opulent rooms where shoguns once ruled.
Ornately painted panels of tigers, bamboo trees or cherry blossoms decorated the walls of every room of the six connecting buildings. Ceilings of the thirty-three rooms were covered in colourfully painted patterned squares. Despite the wall panels being replicas of the original ones that enriched the rooms, photographs were still not permitted. Some of the original panels from the Edo period were displayed in the museum on site.
Squeaking over cypress floors that warned guards of unwanted intruders, we peeked into room after room until we left the palace.