I may pretend that moats were something boys were interested in, but in truth, they fascinated me as well. The Nijo-jo Castle Imperial Villa had two: the outer moat surrounded the entire complex and within the walled off area an additional moat, the inner moat housed Honmaru-goten Palace and its garden.
I crossed over the first without any fanfare because I was eager to get out of the rain, but reaching the second moat, I lingered at both the East and West Bridges. They were fortified with sturdy doors. Wide bridges once allowed the imperial family to make elaborate exits and entrances.
Honmaru Yagura-mon Gate at the east end had been the main two-storey gate in the mid 1600s. However, with an impending Emperor’s visit, it was converted into a one-storey gate so no one could look down upon the Emperor.