Nijō Castle

Vacation Travel Guide
Nijo Castle featuring heritage architecture, landscape views and a pond

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 Hotels Close to Nijō Castle

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
3.5 out of 5
361 Rokkaku-cho, Rokkaku-sagaru, Shinmachidori , Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $41 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Art Center and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle are also within 15 minutes. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (958 reviews)
"A comfort room with moderate amenities. Room upgrade was ok, simply reckoned the original room was small."

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2021

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $72 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Nishiki Market are also within 2 ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (2,003 reviews)
"Convenient location and courteous staff. Just wish use of swimming pool and gym is made free for staying guest."

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2022

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $72 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
Located in Central Kyoto, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rokakkudo Temple and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle are also within 1 mi (2 ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (963 reviews)
"スタッフの方々も親切でとてもすごしやすかったです!"

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2022

Hotel Monterey 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.

Plan a trip to see Nijō Castle

Hotel Toyo
Shin-Imamiya Hotel
Hotel Taiyo

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Nijō Castle

Popular places to visit in Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle

Choose one or more items to build your trip:
Choose one or more items to build your trip:

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 $20 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
3.5 out of 5
361 Rokkaku-cho, Rokkaku-sagaru, Shinmachidori , Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $41 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $72 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $72 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
245-2 Aneyakojidori, Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $155 per night from Feb 14 to Feb 15
Ace Hotel Kyoto
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
4 out of 5
74 Nakajimacho,Kawaramachi Higashi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $26 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
M’s Hotel Sanjo Omiya
M’s Hotel Sanjo Omiya
3 out of 5
77-1, Aneomiya-cho Nishigawa, Nakagyo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $24 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
M’s Hotel Sanjo Omiya
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
3 out of 5
59-61 Nishinotoin, Shijo, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $22 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
Smile Hotel Kyoto-shijo
Agora Kyoto Shijo
Agora Kyoto Shijo
3.5 out of 5
36 Kasabokocho, Shimogyo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is $25 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Agora Kyoto Shijo
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.