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Nijo Castle

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.


Guide to Exploring around Nijo Castle


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Lodging Near Nijo Castle

See all 1,250 Hotels near Nijo Castle
$39
Hotel Gran Ms Kyoto

Hotel Gran Ms Kyoto

410-3 Shimomaruya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
4.2
of 5, from 1,405 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Honnoji Temple, Nijo Castle, and Gion Corner. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kiyomizu Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$64
Rinn Nijo Castle

Rinn Nijo Castle

322-2 Aneinokuma-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
4.7
of 5, from 127 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Shibori Museum and Nijo Castle. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Higashi Honganji Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$87
Sakura Terrace The Gallery

Sakura Terrace The Gallery

39 Higashikujo Kamitonoda cho, Kyoto
4.6
of 5, from 2,378 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Minami, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Toji Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$63
HOTEL UNIZO Kyoto Shijo Karasuma

HOTEL UNIZO Kyoto Shijo Karasuma

8 Kakkyoyamacho, Higashiiru, Kyoto
4.2
of 5, from 914 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Art Center, Nijo Castle, and Higashi Honganji Temple. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Gion Corner are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$77
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei

361 Rokkaku-cho, Rokkaku-sagaru, Kyoto
4.4
of 5, from 510 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Art Center and Nijo Castle. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Higashi Honganji Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$68
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto

Nijojo-Mae Horikawa-Dori, Kyoto
4.3
of 5, from 1,005 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the historical district of Kyoto, this hotel is 2 km from the Kyoto-Shi downtown area. The hotel is 100 meters from Nijo Castle, and 1.5 km from Kyoto Imperial Place and Sento Imperial Palace.

$127
Kyoto Four Sisters Residence

Kyoto Four Sisters Residence

387 Bishamoncho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
4.8
of 5, from 27 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Shibori Museum, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$129
SOLARIA Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier

SOLARIA Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier

Nakagyo-ku Kiyamachi-dori Sanjyo Agaru, Kyoto
4.6
of 5, from 113 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Honnoji Temple, Gion Corner, and Heian Shrine. Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 2 mi (3 km).