Nijo Castle is easily one of the most impressive castles in all of Kyoto (and that's saying something, considering how many the city has!). The castle is considered as one of the finest examples of feudal architecture as it is still in its original form. Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, this is one place that you should not miss on your visit to Kyoto.
Built by the de facto ruler Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, the castle is divided into an inner keep, or primary line of defence and a secondary line of defence. Outside the compound, there is also a traditional Japanese garden with ornament stones, pine and bonsai trees.
When entering the site you go through a large gate, you then pass through multiple rooms on your way to the main keep, each with beautifully decorated ceilings and painted sliding doors, all decorated by famous artists. The main keep is closed to the public, but you can take a peek at it. Plus, you can also rent English audio guides for 500 yen/5 USD!
- 8:45am – 5:00pm, daily
- +81 75-841-0096
- 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8301, Japan.
- The castle is located a few minute walk away from Nijojo-mae Station. From Kyoto Station: Take the Karasuma Line from Kyoto Station to Karasumaoike Station (5 min). Transfer to Tozai Line to Nijojo Mae Station (2 min).