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Nijō Castle
Vacation Travel Guide

Visit the world of the 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.

Top things to do in Nijō Castle

Top Hotels Close to Nijō Castle

The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
3 out of 5
535 Karatsuya-cho, Shijo Horikawa Nishiiru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $22 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mibu-dera, Shinsenen, and Nijō Castle. Nishihonganji Temple and Kyoto International Manga ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (257 reviews)

"Excellent condition, spacious room for a business/tourist hotel, peaceful. Expedia's strict cancellation/change rules almost forced my colleagues to pay for 10 nights even the business meeting schedule had changed for shorter two stays. Luckily the hotel was flexible and accepted the change against ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2020

The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
15 Nishi-Iwamotocho, Higashi-kujo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $70 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower, and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,324 reviews)

"Good location just 5 minutes from Kyoto station. As a Gold member of Expedia, we received a really nice upgrade of room and free executive lounge perks. Of course the staff were accommodating and the hotel was spotless too. Would love to stay here again next time we're in Kyoto."…"

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2020

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
245-2 Aneyakojidori, Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $260 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 22

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (47 reviews)

"Amazing"…"

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2020

Ace Hotel Kyoto
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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APA Hotel Osaka-Higobashi-Ekimae
 Sotetsu Grand Fresa Osaka-Namba
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Best Lodging Options Near Nijō Castle

The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
3 out of 5
535 Karatsuya-cho, Shijo Horikawa Nishiiru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $22 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
15 Nishi-Iwamotocho, Higashi-kujo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $70 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
245-2 Aneyakojidori, Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $260 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 22
Ace Hotel Kyoto
MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
3.5 out of 5
105, Machigashiracho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $157 per night from Dec 17 to Dec 18
MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
3 out of 5
59-61 Nishinotoin, Shijo, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $27 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
Raku Hoshi Nijo Castle
Raku Hoshi Nijo Castle
3 out of 5
Nishinokyo Hoshigaikecho 20-32, Kyoto, Kyoto
Raku Hoshi Nijo Castle
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery (Opening November 2020)
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery (Opening November 2020)
4 out of 5
180 1 Ichinocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $484 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery (Opening November 2020)
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
4 out of 5
Nijojo-Mae Horikawa-Dori, Nakagyo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $81 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
Higurashi-Sou
Higurashi-Sou
2.5 out of 5
1211 Shuzei-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $73 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
Higurashi-Sou
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.