(Mis)adventures on our trip to Nijo Castle

Lost!  We were only 2 weeks into our trip, and we lost our little traveling companion, Solbit.  Joe searched everywhere, but the zippered pocket where Solbit resided was wide open.  We were distraught.

Solbit came to us unsolicited in an envelope with our Photojojo order a few days before our around-the-world trip began.  We thought we’d take Solbit with us, take pictures of her in foreign places, and send our 4 grandchildren (ages 3-7 yr old) emails about her adventures traveling the world.  Joe had quite a narrative going already.  Now she was lost when our trip around the world had barely begun.

DSC06423We last took her photo as she triumphantly stood on the sharp edge of a fierce Samurai Warrior, a little sculpture down the street.  We retraced our steps there.  No luck.  We then headed back to a small restaurant where we had lunched, directly across from Nijo Castle. The man in the restaurant looked at us quizzically.  Joe showed him Solbit’s photo on his iPhone.  The man’s face lit up.  Yes, indeed, she had been found.  The man took us to a shelf near the kitchen.  Solbit stood among several other small images. She seemed right at home.  We wonder how often guests lose their little “traveling companions” here?

Solbit was promptly deposited into Beth’s purse for safekeeping, so she missed seeing Nijo Castle, but we felt better seeing the castle and knowing that Solbit was with us.  Nijo Castle is one of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.  It was built in the early 1600’s as the residence of Tokugawa Shoguns.

An outer moat surrounds the castle, so we walked across a bridge and entered through the Great Eastern Gate.


We walked by the guardhouse and Ninomaru Palace.  Ahead we could see the garden so we went through the gate.


A grey heron greeted us.  The garden was quiet and quite beautiful.  We saw an older woman at work, sweeping with a small brush under a low hanging tree, removing leaves and other debris while trying to not disturb the lovely moss.


A second moat appeared – an inner moat surrounded by an outer moat.  Within was the primary defensive area of the castle.


We visited Nijo Castle on our afternoon walk, and it took us to a place and time we’d not seen before.  We’re only sorry that Solbit missed the castle as she stayed securely zipped into Beth’s purse and never complained.


Note: Solbit is a nickname for “Sparkle Orangie Lulu Break It”.  Our grandchildren each contributed to her name.

September 2013

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, Japan and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (Mis)adventures on our trip to Nijo Castle

  1. Lady Caladium says:

    I’m glad Solbit is safe! Looks like you are having a great time.

  2. lmjapan says:

    Great blog post! I’m so glad Solbit was found!

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