Many rooms of the highest quality
There was a man by the name of Suketada Ogawa who had served under Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and was defeated at the Battle of Sekigahara. His eldest son began Nijo Jinya as a rice exchange on the land near Nijo Castle. Such a facility is known as a jinya, but it was also used as an inn for visiting feudal lords (daimyo). Even now as it has for generations, it remains a residence of the Ogawas, and it is the second private home in Japan to be registered as a National Important Cultural Property. It is well-constructed to prevent fire and has been devised with defensive measures which gives Nijo Jinya high architectural value. In addition, it is a building that is a masterpiece of Sukiya architecture where you can glimpse the attention to detail with the 7 tearooms, the latticework in the Big Hall and the porcelain ornaments designed to hide the nails, among other highlights. As well, due to its defensive construction, many contrivances can be noticed such as watch rooms and locks. Furthermore, there is the Noh-no-Ma which was used as a Noh stage, and the Kasuga Room which has the image of Nara, the hometown of the Ogawas. With Japan’s oldest tiled bathtub that was designed so that its temperature could be regulated and a tearoom that feels as if it’s on water, nothing was spared anywhere in the planning by the original owner.
Defensive architecture and anti-fire countermeasures
The highlight of Nijo Jinya is its adroit defensive architecture. Since guests were staying to attend trials, the building was designed with ways of escape in mind. There was a secret watch room in the ceiling known as a mushagakure, a hanging stairway going up to the 2nd floor that was hard to see, and other hidden paths and stairs which made the house a veritable ninja residence. Also, other detailed measures were put in place such as copperplate and small windows so that there would be no fire damage from sparks. For a tour, telephone reservations are necessary and you can check out the homepage.