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.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Toji Temple and Shijo Omiya are also ...
RIHGA Royal Hotel KyotoAU$126
24 Feb. - 25 Feb.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shijo Omiya, Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle. Nishiki Market and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also ...
M's INN SANJO OMIYAAU$64
27 Feb. - 28 Feb.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum, Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya ...
Tokyu Stay Kyoto Ryougaemachi Dori - Sanjo KarasumaAU$94
5 Mar. - 6 Mar.
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 ...
CROSS HOTEL KYOTOAU$146
26 Feb. - 27 Feb.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rokakkudo Temple and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Shijo Omiya are also within 10 minutes. ...
Hotel Monterey KyotoAU$105
5 Mar. - 6 Mar.
Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 1 mile ...
ANA Crowne Plaza KyotoAU$167
6 Mar. - 7 Mar.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Shijo Omiya and Pontocho are also within 15 minutes. Shijo ...
Hotel M's Est Shijo-KarasumaAU$65
24 Feb. - 25 Feb.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is steps away from Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 10 minutes. Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae ...
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto SanjoAU$141
28 Feb. - 29 Feb.