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Nijo Castle

Certificate of Excellence
City Center
As featured in 3 Days in Kyoto and 3 other guides
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Address: 541 Nijojo-cho, Horikawa-nishiiru, Kyoto 604-8301, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 75-841-0096
8:45 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 8:45 am - 4:00 pm

This world heritage site was the home of Tokugawa leyasu, one of the most...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 1038
  • 815
    Very good
  • 271
  • 35
  • 7
worth the visit

Nijo was the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns(Ieyasu), then an imperial palace. What impressed me were the defensive positions - the outer moat and the impregnable inner keep... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
The Bay Area
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3,968 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,166: English reviews
The Bay Area
Level Contributor
324 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Nijo was the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns(Ieyasu), then an imperial palace. What impressed me were the defensive positions - the outer moat and the impregnable inner keep surrounded by a moat and fantastic inner walls (Honmaru. The ticket gives you no access to the majority of buildings on the castle premises (which however appear to be still in use... More 

Thank cuckatoo
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
160 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Currently some areas are being renovated. If you are really into the history, or this is the only structure of its type you will be visiting it is worth while. Otherwise with the current renovations you only see some empty rooms, many with little color. And there is no photography allowed inside the building. The gift shop doesn't offer much... More 

Thank Pruguy
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

There is a lot of renovation going on at the moment and many school children visiting but the gardens were lovely to stroll through and a visit inside the castle is worth it just to hear the beautiful sound of the floorboards!

Thank Kate B
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

If you really love history, this is pretty interesting. But if you're pressed for time in Kyoto I'd give it a miss. Firstly you have to walk on gravel through the courtyards and it hurts the feet. Secondly, all the paintings inside as replicas and I found it rather dark in there. They do tell a story of the bygone... More 

Thank chandnikapur
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
161 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I can't comment too much on this castle as a lot was covered over for renovation. I would go visit somewhere else till they are finished the repair work.

Thank Damianmills87
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
94 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Nijo was one of the first places we visited in Kyoto, and we were really taken with the nightengale floors, that sound like birds singing as you walk on them (it would've been cool to hear what just one person walking on them would've sounded like, but there were about a zillion people there so it just sounded like a... More 

Thank mcp49
Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
925 reviews
526 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,088 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

While the exterior of this palace is certainly impressive, it was the interior of the palace which blew me away. The palace consists of a number of audience rooms with tatami matting on the floor and gorgeous murals on the walls, featuring a number of Japanese motifs. There are pine trees, birds of prey, anatomically incorrect tigers sketched from pelts... More 

Thank Raymond W
Level Contributor
151 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Despite some wall paintings have been moved for restoration, amd that most of the ones exhibited are reproductions, you really get the impressive and gorgeous beauty of a Shogun Palace

Thank viatgesambcartabo
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a great visit for your first day in Kyoto for being near the city center and Kyoto train station. The main castle is open to public visitation, but it has only a series of large rooms with tatamis (traditional Japanese straw mats); there are nice paintings at the walls and ceilings though. The outside area is beautiful, worth... More 

Thank ZeDoBar
Level Contributor
50 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We chose to go here a sense of history you feel as you walk round the gardens and the castle where everyone tries to creep around he shotgun was worried about being killed in his sleep so all the floorboards creek and interesting place to see

Thank overland13

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Staying in City Center

Neighborhood Profile
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.