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Review of Nijo-jo Castle

Nijo-jo Castle
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US$36.18*
and up
Nijo Castle and Imperial Palace Visit with...
Ranked #39 of 1,356 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Built in 1603 this beautiful Shogun palace with its history are amazing. Also has two beautiful gates and a water moat that surrounds the palace. On the grounds is also a very nice garden of ponds, Rocks, Trees etc. A must see. Plan on approx. 2 to 3 hours. Also the shoes come off while in the castle.

Thank Perry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"nightingale floors"
in 248 reviews
"wall paintings"
in 89 reviews
"ninomaru palace"
in 81 reviews
"audio guide"
in 125 reviews
"squeaky floors"
in 43 reviews
"japanese history"
in 81 reviews
"remove your shoes"
in 42 reviews
"edo period"
in 40 reviews
"gardens are beautiful"
in 44 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 107 reviews
"world heritage site"
in 36 reviews
"main building"
in 41 reviews
"walk around"
in 46 reviews
"under renovation"
in 31 reviews
"cherry blossoms"
in 56 reviews
"rainy day"
in 31 reviews
"kyoto station"
in 35 reviews
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is one of the must sees on the tourist route in Kyoto and is one of those places where its best to get there early to miss the queues especially with the increase in the numbers of tourists over the last few years. Easy to find and adjacent to the Nijo-jo Mae station easy access. The 'jo' or castle isn't a castle in the sense that it's a fortified building but is more of a fortified mansion. The main entrance gate the the mansion itself is quite something to see with its Momoyama style decorations. The inside of the mansion is fascinating and attractive in equal measure, as are the gardens through which the visiting route passes. The mannequins that are placed within the rooms aren't the usual sort of mannequins that are bound to disappoint but are very skillfully done and lifelike. Well worth the queues to see

Thank brixtontrev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

If you only have a limited time in Kyoto, head to the Castle, even if you have days in Kyoto make it your first stop. By the way the ANA hotel is across the street from it. The entrance fee is 600 yen per person and worth it. The castle is beautiful and the gardens are some of the best we've seen. The descriptions of each room are informative and very worthwhile reading. This site wasn't as crowded as some of the others. This site fulfills your fantasy of what Kyoto should be. Photography is forbidden in the Castle, so you will have to discover the magic for yourself.

Thank Monica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This castle was the Kyoto base of the Tokugawa Shoguns for centuries. As such, it has an unimaginable depth of history. You can get glimpses of this in the massive ramparts, beautiful gardens and austere Ninomaru Palace. The Palace is a series of rooms, each taking the visitor closer to the power of the Shogun. The corridors are sprung with nightingale floors, that emit a birdsong squeak when walked on. Designed to alert the occupants to intruders, they provide a veritable symphony with the hundreds of tourist visitors.

The gardens are in places overpowering with their multitude of stones, but there are also quiet places, one with a brook and tea garden. This is a lovely place to soak up beauty and history for 2 to 3 hours.

Thank Dave_Cowley_Road
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited several "castles" while in Japan and found them all disappointing. Just empty rooms and nothing very interesting inside. More impressive on the outside, usually.
At Nijo-jo there are some big wall paintings, which are all replicas. You have to take your shoes off inside and no photos are allowed inside.
This castle (actually an imperial villa) was built in 1603 by a shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan after a long period of civil war.
The grounds are extensive, with an inner moat as well as an outer moat. Some of the cherry blossom was just starting to come into bloom. We would have liked more time to explore the grounds. We were there with a tour and given 80 minutes to do the whole property, inside and out. Our guide said the grounds weren't very interesting, but we enjoyed our quick dash through the gardens. We did not have long enough outside. No need to linger inside.

2  Thank roaming_kiwi58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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