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Nijo Castle

Visit the world of a wealthy and powerful shogun in this opulent 17th-century castle complex.

Nijo Castle is a testament to the power of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period (1603-1868). The castle was the stronghold of the family who essentially controlled Japan during this time, leaving the emperor to rule in name only. To create a defence against enemies, the castle was built with two palaces, two stone walls and two moats.

To make the most of your visit to Nijo Castle, consider renting the English audio guide from the kiosk at the entry at the impressive Eastern gate. With an audio guide, you’ll learn more about the site’s fascinating stories and facts.

Explore Ninomaru Palace, a World Heritage Site. This palace has more than 30 rooms, furnished with many tatami (woven) mats and featuring opulent paintings. Much about the palace is designed to awe and many surfaces are coated in gold leaf. Tour the retainers’ workroom, the rice store, the meeting rooms and the living quarters of the shogun. It’s best to walk lightly, though, since the floors were built to squeak, to warn sleeping inhabitants of intruders.

Visit the remains of Honmaru Palace, ravaged by fire during the 18th century. Explore the rooms where servants lived and cooked, and the areas where guests were entertained.

Don’t miss the palace gardens,which feature designs that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Ninomaru Garden has a pond with three islands connected by bridges. To the north of the complex, Seiryū-en garden combines traditional Japanese and Western aspects, as well as two teahouses, which are used for cultural events. At certain times of the year, you’ll also have the added pleasure of seeing the plum and cherry trees in blossom.

Bus trips from Kyōto Station, the city’s main transportation hub, to Nijo Castle take about 20 minutes. There is also a nearby train station and metered car parking. The castle has an entry fee and is open most days, except Tuesdays during certain months of the year.

It's not difficult to spend a whole afternoon at Nijo Castle. The list below provides just some of the things you can enjoy here:

Take a look at our Kyoto things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring Nijō Castle


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See all 2,420 Properties near Nijō Castle
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto P4,912
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Higashi Honganji Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kyoto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Kyoto Toji Station is 12 minutes.

    MIMARU KYOTO KARASUMA OIKE NORTH P5,224
    MIMARU KYOTO KARASUMA OIKE NORTH

    MIMARU KYOTO KARASUMA OIKE NORTH

    724, Shimomatsuyacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Central Kyoto, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nijō Castle. Nishiki Market and Shijo Omiya are also within 15 minutes. Karasumaoike Station is 6 minutes by foot and Nijojo-mae Station is 6 minutes.

      CROSS HOTEL KYOTO P5,353
      CROSS HOTEL KYOTO

      CROSS HOTEL KYOTO

         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is steps away from Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 10 minutes. Sanjo Keihan Station and Kyoto Sanjo Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto P5,277
        ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

        ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Nishiki Market and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 1 mile (2 km). Nijojo-mae Station is only a 2-minute walk and Karasumaoike Station is 11 minutes.

          First Cabin Kyoto Nijojo
          First Cabin Kyoto Nijojo

          First Cabin Kyoto Nijojo

             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kyoto International Manga Museum, Nijō Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Nishiki Market and Kyoto University are also within 2 miles (3 km). Nijojo-mae Station is 7 minutes by foot and Marutamachi Station is 10 minutes.

            MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO P5,676
            MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO

            MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO

            105, Machigashiracho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Central Kyoto, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shijo Omiya and Nishiki Market. Nijō Castle and Kawaramachi are also within 15 minutes. Karasumaoike Station is 5 minutes by foot and Nijojo-mae Station is 9 minutes.

              OYO 666 Guest House One More Heart Nijojo 1 P1,209
              OYO 666 Guest House One More Heart Nijojo 1

              OYO 666 Guest House One More Heart Nijojo 1

                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Central Kyoto, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Seimei-Jinja Shrine, Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nishiki Market are also within 2 miles (3 km). Nijo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Kyoto Nijo Station is 11 minutes.

                kyoto kamanza hotel P5,266
                kyoto kamanza hotel

                kyoto kamanza hotel

                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nijō Castle. Nishiki Market and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 1 mile (2 km). Nijojo-mae Station is 6 minutes by foot and Karasumaoike Station is 7 minutes.