Nijo Castle (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle Outer Wall and Moat In Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle Outer Moat In Kyoto

  • Map Nijo Castle Grounds In Kyoto

  • Karamon Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Karamon Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle Inner Moat In Kyoto

  • Honmaru Yoguramon Nijo Castle

  • Nijo Castle Inner Moat In Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle Honmaru Palace In Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle Honmaru Palace In Kyoto

  • Ninomaru Garden Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Momoyama-mon Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Momoyama-mon Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Seiryuen Garden Cherry Blossom Nijo Castle

  • Seiryuen Garden Cherry Blossom Nijo Castle

  • Seiryuen Garden Cherry Blossom Illumination Nijo Castle

  • Cherry Blossom Nijo Castle

  • South Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • North Gate Nijo Castle In Kyoto

  • Illumination Nijo Castle

  • Ikebana Art Nijo Castle

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Facts & Figures

Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, was the former residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 - 1616), founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. The massive stone walls, the wide moat and huge gates of the castle are an impressive sight and a testimonial of the power of the Tokugawa clan, which ruled Japan for over 260 years. Best Ryokans in KyotoExplore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The flatland castle complex includes the Ninomaru Palace and gardens, two concentric rings (Kuruwa) of fortifications, Honmaru Palace and some support buildings. It covers an area of appr. 275000 square meters and is a great example of the architecture style during the Momoyama period (1573 - 1603).

  • Nijo Castle:
  • Opening Hours - 8:45 am to 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:00 pm)
  • Closed - 26th Dec - 4th Jan, on Tuesdays in Jan, Jul, Aug and Dec
  • Admission Fee - 600 yen (Adults), 350 yen (Junior High and High School Students), 200 yen (Elementary School Students)


Nijo Castle was constructed by shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. It took the effort by his grandson Tokugawa Iemitsu to finish the complex 23 years later. The end of the Tokugawa shogunate came in 1867 and the power went to the Imperial Court. Nijo Castle was used in the following years as the seat of the Imperial Palace. After the palace was donated to the city Kyoto in 1939 the public got access to the building in 1940.

Location Show map

Nijo Castle is located near Nijojo-mae Station in central Kyoto.
Address: 541 Nijo-jo-cho, Horikawa-nishi-iru, Nijo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Nijo Castle?

  • 15min from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus nr. 9, 50 or 101 to Nijojo-mae stop or
  • 10min from Karasuma Oike Subway St. to Nijojo-mae Station by Tozai Subway Line

Sightseeing spots


Karamon Gate - large gate marks the entrance to the castle grounds

Ninomaru Palace - the palace, a National Treasure, was built in shoin-zukuri architectural style and consists of 33 rooms, enjoy the amazing wall paintings

Ninomaru Garden - created by the master garden designer Kobori Enshu, the shoin-zukuri style Japanese garden is a must-see

Seiryu-en Garden - the garden is separated in 2 parts a Japanese Garden and a spacious lawn area, built in 1965

Honmaru Palace - the palace was reloctaed in 1893, not regularly open to the public

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri (third Sunday of May)
The first part is held at the Kuramazaki Shrine. Later a procession is leading to the Oi River, where more ceremonies and traditional dances (Funa Asobi) are held. The Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri started in 1914.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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