So as one does when travelling, I decided on a whim to stay on the train late one afternoon and visit Nijo castle, as it was on the same subway route. I got there around 3:30 in the afternoon, which allowed an hour and a half before closing time to wander around and take in the gardens.
I noticed a whole lot of people running about in big red raincoats, and worked out that there was an art event on in the evening, after closing time, so I got in line and bought a ticket. The installation was called “Art Aquarium Castle” by the artist Hidetomo Kimura. It was all these really interesting glass sculptures filled with water and koi fish. He’s been making similar installations all over the world. There’s a website here if you want to see more about it. Definitely worth it, the atmosphere was so magical. There was some really good music playing and a beautiful vanilla-incense kind of smell.
Such a good way to see the castle!