Ninomaru Palace was built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. It is a compound of grand buildings and many gardens surrounded by stone walls, thick gates and a moat. The castle was given to the Imperial Family in 1867 and named Nijo Detached Palace (Nijo-jo).
The 8 acre Shin-in Garden (Garden of the Gods) is divided into four parts:
Heian no Sono (south): With its many cherry trees, It also contains many plants identified with passages from the famous Japanese novel, The Tale of Genji.
Seiho (west): The Byakko-ike (White Tiger Lake) is the centerpiece for the West Garden. In June, 2ooo iris are in bloom in the lake here.