We visited Nijo Castle in the morning, home to Ninomaru Palace which was fascinating. The palace consists of multiple separate buildings that are connected to each other by corridors and so-called nightingale floors as they squeak when stepped upon as a security measure against intruders. We had to take our shoes off to walk around the palace, and it felt like a maze. Don’t forget to look up - the ceilings are absolutely beautiful along with the painted sliding doors.
It was raining when we left the palace but it only made the gardens more vibrant and beautiful. This is the beauty of the Japanese garden, the rain actually makes them even more stunning so don’t be put off by the weather!
To shelter from the rain, we visited the Manga Museum – another recommendation from my brother. It was the perfect escape from the weather and oasis from the city. Hundreds of manga are available to take off the shelf and there are plenty of spots in the Museum to sit and read. There is also a large reading area, where I actually spotted a businessman having a nap. We were also lucky enough to be there when there was a Hayao Miyazaki exhibition on too which was great!
Since the rain wasn't going anywhere, we decided to embark on a little cafe trawl. Starting with a gem of a café, Café Bibliotic Hello!. Its entrance is adorned with huge banana tree plants and is set within a traditional wooden house.
We then went to Cafe Kocsi which was the perfect spot to re-charge, we fell instantly for its cosy charm.