|The entrance of Yamashita Street|
It was about a 30 minute walk from Sakashita-mon Gate, on the southeast side, to Inui-mon Gate, at the north end. It was my first time to go into the premises of the Palace, so everything was quite new and exciting to me. After going through the Sakashita-mon Gate, we crossed the new palace building and in front of the office building of the Imperial Household Agency, both of which we are familiar with from TV broadcasting and newspapers.
|Sakura and Dokan moat|
We passed through the entrance of Yamashita Street, which leads to Momiji-yama, or Mt. Momiji and Empress Michiko’s cocoonery, and Dokan-go or Dokan moat, which is named after Ota Dokan who developed the Edo Castle originally in the 15th century. The combination of sakura with the castle moat and stonewall is incredibly beautiful. The pale pink color of sakura is emphasized with the backdrop of the dark stonewall and the white plaster wall. It looked so refined and so elegant.
|The contrast between sakura and dark stonewall backdrop is beautiful|
This experience made me go crazy about Edo Castle. Unfortunately, the castle tower in Edo Castle was burnt down three times and also the main buildings built in both the Edo and the Meiji eras were lost because of the air raids during World War ll. Although there are very few remains on the premises, there is still something in the air that reminds us of those days.
I bought some books that illustrate the reconstruction of the dwelling of Edo Castle. It’s a fun to read those books and to imagine what it used to be like. You can easily go back in time and feel very close to the Edo era.
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