Amongst the most famed attractions in Kyoto, Nijo Castle takes visitors on an unforgettable journey of discovery back to the Edo Period; here’s what you need to know.
This attraction enjoys a central location in the city and you can find new hotels in Kyoto, Japan nearby; options include properties like Park Hotel Kyoto, just an eight-minute walk away. The Nijojo-mae Station (Tozai Subway Line) is also close by, while you can alternatively take Kyoto City Bus #9, 50 or 101 from the Kyoto Station.
The Edo Period’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, initially constructed Nijo Castle in 1603. Over 20 years later, Iemitsu, his grandson, completed the palace buildings and added a castle keep spanning five storeys. Subsequently, it became an imperial palace and in 1994, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Featuring outstanding castle and palace architecture, Ninomaru Palace is the main attraction at Nijo Castle, set amidst tree-filled landscapes; it was here that the shogun resided and conducted his affairs when in Kyoto. Highlights include palace rooms with painted sliding doors and ceiling decorations, audience rooms and nightingale floors that make a sound when stepped on, a unique security system against intruders!
Honmaru’s original palace complex and castle keep were destroyed in the 18th century by fire, but later, one section of Katsura Palace was moved here. This part is not always open to the public, but you can climb the former castle keep’s stone foundation and take in the views as well as explore the idyllic Honmaru Gardens.