Nijo Castle


Museums & Sights

Major venue


Built in 1603 as the Kyoto stronghold of shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, Nijo Castle occupies vast grounds, including a garden and pond by master landscape designer Kobori Enshu. The buildings are bolder and golder than most of Kyoto’s landmarks, with ostentatious carvings, dramatic murals and gold leaf galore, signifying the fine tastes of a warrior. Although it boasts squeaking ‘nightingale’ corridors and samurai guard quarters, the castle is unfortified, designed to flaunt more than to protect. When the shogunate fell in 1869, the fortress passed into imperial hands and became known as Nijo Rikyu (Nijo Imperial Villa). If you look closely, you can spot the hollyhock crest of the Tokugawas and the chrysanthemum mark of the emperor. An English-language audio guide is available for ¥500.

Kyoto Shortlist

Review updated October 2009


541 Nijojo-cho, Nijo Dori, Horikawa Nishi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Transport Nijojo-mae station (Tozai line).

Telephone 075 841 0096

Open 8.45am-4pm daily. closed tue in dec, jan, july and aug.

Admission Admission ¥600.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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