Through the Karamon to the Shogun’s Palace

During the medieval era, entering the shogun’s palace was not as simple as approaching a gate and walking through–or even scaling a wall. Most Japanese castles lay within multiple layers of fortifications, designed to keep intruders out and to impress the people granted entry. This was true regardless of whether the castle was located out in the country or within a city like Kyoto. The outer ramparts of Kyoto’s Nijo Castle (in Japanese, Nijo-jo) feature high, roofed walls atop stone fortifications. Watchtowers at each corner provide an elevated platform for observation and defense: A deep, wide moat surrounds the outer perimeter of the castle grounds–all

Read more