Highlights and access methods of Nijo Castle (Kyoto Prefecture)

English | Japanese

Nijo Castle, located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, was built in the early Edo period by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Known for its lack of a castle tower, Nijo Castle is notable for its beautifully decorated Ninomaru Palace and its vast Japanese garden. The castle was also an important site of the Meiji Restoration, known as the place where the rescript for the Restoration of Imperial Rule was read. In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto".

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Nijo Castle in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

Nijo Castle(0)

(Last modified: )

(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Castles)

Highlights of Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle, located in Kyoto Prefecture, is a magnificent tourist destination where you can experience Japan's rich history and culture. Nijo Castle was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Originally built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, it is also the place where the announcement of the Restoration of Imperial Rule was made by the 15th and final shogun, Yoshinobu Tokugawa.

Nijo Castle is known for its double walls, the ruins of the Ninomaru Palace and the Honmaru Palace, various auxiliary buildings, and beautiful gardens. In particular, the Ninomaru Palace is designated as a national treasure with its elegantly decorated interior and a special type of flooring called "nightingale floors," which chirp like birds when walked upon, serving as a defensive measure against intruders.

The grounds of Nijo Castle are vast, covering over 275,000 square meters, and are highly regarded for their beautiful gardens. They include the Kiyomizu-tei, a landscape garden meticulously arranged with two tea houses and hundreds of stones, and the Ninomaru Garden, designed by the renowned landscape architect and tea master Kobori Enshu.

Nijo Castle can be visited throughout the year, but spring and autumn are particularly recommended as they showcase the castle's beauty with stunning cherry blossoms and vibrant autumn foliage.

Address and access method of Nijo Castle

The address of Nijo Castle is 541 Nijojomachi, Nijo-dori, Horikawa-nishiiri, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi. The nearest station is Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai Subway Line. It's a short walk from the station. Or JR Sagano Line Nijo Station. It takes about 17 minutes on foot from the station.

Attractions near Nijo Castle

Several notable attractions are located near Nijo Castle.

Kyoto Imperial Palace
An oasis in the heart of Kyoto, this area offers strolling paths, tranquil ponds, and meticulous landscaping. It was once the residence of Japan's Imperial family.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
This shrine is dedicated to the god of learning. It is famous for its plum blossom festival in February and flea market on the 25th of every month.

Kinkaku-ji Temple
This Zen temple, whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf, is one of Kyoto's most iconic landmarks. It is especially stunning in autumn, when it is surrounded by vibrant colors.

Ryoanji Temple
Known for its iconic rock garden, this Zen temple is a place of serenity and contemplation. The meaning of the garden's design is a mystery and is left to the individual's interpretation.

Other information about Nijo Castle

Official site about Nijo Castle :


Nijo Castle(1)

-- --

Thank you for reading to the end.

( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )