Roughly 30 years ago I took my first tentative steps right here in Japan. The story goes that it was on Nijo Castle’s nightingale floor that those two little feet trod and today they repeated the process. The floorboards of the outer building, where feudal lords would stay, are mounted in such a way that they gently squeak when you walk on them. With all the tourists in there today it really did sound like a flock of birds. Because this was such a special occasion and because I know how to turn off the flash, I decided it was worth the risk to break the no filming rule and get some shots for my walkumentry. My partner-in-crime Lorraine and I were very discrete about it but still managed to pick up a tail who watched us very closely but never intervened. If you want to see and hear the floor you have to watch the film, or just come visit.
Interestingly the paintings on the walls were not all that ornate. The woodwork was exquisite in places though. We passed the afternoon sitting in the imperial palace park and then dehydrating ourselves in the tourist info center at the train station. Ridiculously situated on the 9th floor they are a very helpful bunch and we’ve now got accommodation sorted and a plan for the week. The palace is opening for just a few days and the temples are opening at night at the moment so there is almost too much to do.
This evening we walked a little further and found kano-gawa, a cherry blossom-lined river with a row of authentic looking restaurants backing on to it. Inside sat Japanese and foreigners at low tables and paper screens slide back and forth as oil yaki and other great dishes arrived.
There are two South African JETs staying in our room tonight. They both live in Takoshima and will make a great post drop place for my first shoe change.
Word of the day: Inaka = way out in the country-side