Nijo Castle
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
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08:45 - 16:00, 18:00 - 22:00
Monday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Tuesday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Wednesday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Thursday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Friday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Saturday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
Sunday
08:45 - 16:00
18:00 - 22:00
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About
This world heritage site was the home of Tokugawa leyasu, one of the most powerful men in Japan. The castle was built as a residence and not for defense purposes. However, to protect the shogun from enemies, special creaky floorboards were installed to warn of anyone approaching.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: City Center
No district of Kyoto is quite as representative of its blended nature as the City Center. By day, the covered shopping arcades along Kawaramachi and Shijo Street bring deal hunters and fashionistas out in droves to peruse the clothing, accessories, gifts, and home goods offerings. When it grows dark, the City Center is a hip spot for nightlife, alive with bars and clubs. A trendy culinary scene and an abundance of local watering holes give the Center its youthful vibrancy. In contrast, the quieter areas of the City Center seem a world away, shielded from noise by the foliage of the public gardens and zen spaces surrounding the area's shrines, castles, and the Imperial Palace. These ancient and sacred spots are seamlessly folded into the scenery, providing a respite from the energy of the city, but close enough to put you directly back onto the pulse of the city when you're ready.
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4.5
6,987 reviews
Excellent
3,350
Very good
2,699
Average
794
Poor
105
Terrible
39

CanuckJames
Nishinomiya, Japan1,186 contributions
Jun 2022
This is a UNESCO world heritage site.

As of June 2022, the Honmaru-Goten Palace is closed for major restoration/renovation.

The various gardens inside the castle walls are all accessible and beautiful.

The iconic Kara-mon gate itself is worth going even if it is just for a selfie.

You have full access to the Ninomaru-Goten Palace. However, you must take your shoes off and there are no photos allowed inside. The fact that all the intricate wall murals are all replicas did not take away from appreciating their beauty. (The originals are stored onsite somewhere else) The squeaking floors were quaint.

The painting gallery was closed.

Understand why this is a world heritage site. It is a must-see while in Kyoto.
Written 25 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Priscilla T
Berkeley, CA59 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Good historical site made better by the lore of shogun and “nightingale” floorboards designed to creak to give warning of assassins which you can walk on
Written 23 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vicky Silve
Abbadia Lariana, Italy598 contributions
Apr 2022
“Shogun, where are you?” was my only thought when I was wandering through Nijo Castle. The entrance is quite expensive, but it worths it.
Written 26 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Melinda G
Osaka, Japan471 contributions
Jan 2021 • Couples
The palace was not open due to the New Year holidays but the garden was open. Most of the buildings were being renovated anyways so we wouldn’t have been able to go inside. It would be worth visiting in the spring or fall to see the cherry blossoms or the fall colours.

It wasn’t crowded and peaceful to walk around.
Written 3 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gregg L
Tucson, AZ245 contributions
Nov 2020
Beautiful castle interiors. If only they allowed pictures inside!! There’s a bit of construction / restoration in some areas but the main halls are accessible.
Written 27 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elisabethmh
Oslo, Norway567 contributions
Nov 2019
Nijo Castle (Nijōjō) and Ninomaru Palace is definitely worth a visit while staying in Kyoto. The garden is simply stunning! Nijōjō was built in 1603 for the first Shogun during the Edo period, Leaysu. It was eventually donated to the city of Kyoto and is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Written 8 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TulRocK
Samut Prakan, Thailand32 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
It’s highly recommended to visit. The floor inside the castle will generate the sound when you step on. It shows how smart they are to design this place.
Written 1 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,282 contributions
Oct 2019
We visited this early 17th-century castle on a rainy October afternoon and the weather failed to deter a huge number of tourists. But most people chose to spend their time in buildings so we had the gardens mostly to ourselves. Designed in the Japanese Zen Buddhism style, these stunning green spaces, complete with water features, appear throughout the castle grounds. The gardens proved to be most enjoyable for a stroll, even in the rain, and worked well with the castle's two palaces, Ninomaru-goten and Honmaru-goten.

Only Ninomaru-goten was open during our visit.The absolutely magnificent Karamon Gate stands at the entrance to this palace and proved to be one of the major highlights for us. Enormous, it features golden carvings, depicting symbols of longevity, such as cranes and plum blossoms. The palace consists of six connected buildings with more than 3,600 wall paintings. The artwork throughout is truly spectacular. Walking on the floorboards in the palace corridor causes a squeaking sound and was installed so the shogun could hear intruders.

Though there are audio guides available and tours in English, we found the English-language signs and information booklets given to tourists to be sufficient. We walked to the castle from our nearby hotel, but It can be reached by the Tozai Subway line, Nijojo-Mae station.
Written 30 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Della G
Coquitlam, Canada808 contributions
Dec 2019
One can visit various temples in Kyoto but the ultimate is to visit Nijo Castle. This amazing compound was built in 1603 by the Tokugawa Ieyasu a very powerful shogun. The compound consists of three distinctive area, Ninomaru Palace, the Honmaru compond and the garden area. This castle site has a UNESCO designation. Ultimately this site was ceded to the Imperial family who did reside there until the 1930s. The whole complex is connected via corridors, it is amazing architecture wise and the adjoining garden areas are sublime. The singing nightingale floor is a very unique design in the floor joists of the imperial palace. Apparently this is a common construction method in noble houses and palaces as it serves as a warning of intruders in the compound. This is an amazing UNESCO site to view and definitely belongs in the Top 10 sites to see in Kyoto.
Written 24 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HotRodHeart
France141 contributions
Oct 2019
This place was really nice. The front gate has been restored, and it makes you realize that the worn out wooden look of these temples and buildings we take for granted, and the "zen" and simple feeling resulting from it is far from what it was back then!

The secret of the floor is nice too ;)
Written 7 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Nijo Castle | Kyoto | UPDATED December 2022 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is open:
  • Sun - Sat 08:45 - 16:00
  • Sun - Sat 18:00 - 22:00
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We recommend booking Nijo Castle tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 57 Nijo Castle tours on Tripadvisor



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