Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksCastles
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday
8:45 AM - 4:00 PM
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday
8:45 AM - 10:00 PM
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.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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from $14.10
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: 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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See what travelers are saying
  • Gardengel-IoW
    West Sussex, United Kingdom889 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    spectacular gate
    The gate is a real insta spot so you may have to wait for your picture! Pleasant grounds to wander with the classic water and rocks. Unfortunately there is some major works going on so a large building is out of bounds. Castle surrounded by moat and there is a view point to climb a few stairs to. Tea house in lovely tea tea garden that you can only access if you are having tea. You can either DIY or have the tea ceremony some bench seating outside and some floor seating inside. We did DIY and was a nice thing to do, although not very comfortable seating on bench and doing the tea beside you a small table would be of benefit.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 19, 2023
  • carloscharmy
    Bangkok, Thailand780 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must-visit destination
    Nijō Castle is an enchanting experience! The intricate fusuma paintings depicting historical scenes are a true highlight, evoking a sense of Japan's rich heritage. While the crowds can be overwhelming at times, the beauty of the castle and its lush gardens make it worth it. I fell in love with the palace's elegance and serene ambiance, where history comes to life. Exploring Nijō Castle was an unforgettable journey into the past, leaving me with cherished memories of Kyoto's cultural splendor. A must-visit destination for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in Japan's captivating history.
    Visited March 2023
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Pasi J
    Espoo, Finland63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive and beautiful time travel to the days of the Shogun
    Don’t miss this one. Although the inner palace was under renovation (and probably will be for quite a while), the beautiful castle grounds and the impressive Ninomaru-goten palace alone make the visit worth your while. There’s a separate fee for the palace so simply buy the complete ticket when entering the castle area. No shoes and no photos in this Edo period palace so just concentrate on the place itself. The nightingale floors have a distinctive sound when walked upon, and it was almost disappointing to find out it was apparently mostly just a building technique thing rather than a clever way to spot the otherwise silent assassins. There is an added bonus on the castle grounds, i.e. the cherry grove – we were a couple of weeks late for the main hanami season, but luckily the Nijo grove had quite a few of the late-blooming sakura.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 23, 2023
  • hhakim
    550 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb Historical Japanese Castle
    A visit to the Nijo-jo Castle is a must if you are in Kyoto. The structure is excellently well preserved that you can feel the way of life in this castle during the Edo Shogunate period. Do take your time absorbing everything during this visit. I would recommend that you come the earliest possible during opening hours to avoid all the crowd. We visited here first on our tour day (around 9am), spend some time here, and then went to Nishiki Market for wonderful lunch. Enjoy the wonderful & unique Japanese history !!!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 23, 2023
  • Andy F
    Devizes, United Kingdom1,252 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive
    This is an impressive part of old Kyoto from shogun times. It's a castle of sorts with a brick wall and a moat, but probably more for show than practicality. The gate and the main house inside the complex are impressive. The main house requires a shoes-off shuffle round a one-way system. The information boards in Japanese and English are very good. There's a shop, cafe & toilets.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 29, 2023
  • Nick M
    Frenchs Forest, Australia1,000 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit to Nijo Castle
    This is a really well preserved castle which is well worth a visit. Although the rooms in the castle don’t have much in them, their decoration is very good. The grounds of the castle are very good also, and well looked after.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 12, 2023
  • Gelatin
    Hythe, United Kingdom36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfect 👏 Place 👏 for 👏 all 👏
    NHK castle was a wonderland of delight! The castle was rich with history and information at such a reasonable price. It was an easy walk to there and the staff were very helpful in directing us to the ticket machine. When we got inside of the walls it was all in a simple path that lead us to the castles, and the inside was beautiful! So much rich history in such a beautiful place. Would recommend for everyone! But it is quite difficult for someone with a wheelchair since the ground is made out of gravel.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 20, 2023
  • Norm the Nomad
    Australia1,245 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really good. Recommended.
    A day for exploring ‘old Kyoto’, via Subway; Bus and LOTS of walking. First, we visited Nijo-jo Castle (~400 years old) and is connected to the end of the Shogunate. It is particularly famous for its ornate (silk) Wall paintings (very nice) and its “Nightingale” floors (the floor boards squeak and make a bird-like sound when trodden on). I had heard it was a defence to protect the Shogun from Ninja assassins; but apparently it was just design fault. Oh well). And the surrounding gardens were very ‘Japanese’.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 25, 2023
  • Martina1888
    Inverness, United Kingdom507 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nijo Castle
    As you might expect there are lots of crowds but it's still worth a visit. Ninomaru Palace with itss beautifully painted sliding doors (replicas) is absolutely gorgeous. There's was a small exhibition (additional 100¥) with some of the original sliding doors which I found very impressive. Nijo Castle is a must-see in Kyoto.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 29, 2023
  • Kathleen H
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit, especially for the gardens
    Visited the beautiful castle and gardens in mid-November. Unfortunately we were a week or 2 early for full fall colors, but the garden walk was still beautiful. The castle was interesting, but due to time we just toured on our own so did not have an opportunity to learn it’s history. We were able to walk there from our Kyoto hotel at Ace, get tickets and enter immediately around 10 am on a Wednesday.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 21, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles7,089 reviews
Excellent
3,410
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2,730
Average
803
Poor
106
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Richard G
cheltenham277 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Yes, you have to take your shoes off, and wear the slippers just put in the bin by a previous visitor. Cant see why as you traipse round the out side corridors looking into a series of rooms, so dont go anywhere near the rattan floors. Also no photography allowed, which seems strange as the wall paintings are all copies, maybe it is to keep people moving. Very repetitive if you are not a shogun devotee. Absolutely no furniture nor artifacts, such as armour, to see, so disappointing. Not really worth the entry fee.
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pavel H
Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic122 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
After landing in Osaka and transfer to Kyoto we went to see this castle because we were accommodated only 10 min. from here. It was our first contact with Japanese culture. Impessive walls from a big stone blocks, the possibility to see some typical buildings. It was late afternoon, so we were among the latest visitors (some of them were Japanese ladies in typical costumes). Nice autumn garden, lake etc.
Written May 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maggie44113
272 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Solo
This is the start and finish of the Tokugawa shogunate and a beautiful place to learn of the history. Begun in 1603, this seat of power is where the 1st Tokugawa shogun ended the civil war among the various feudal lords and consolidated power which led to the longest sustained period of peace and prosperity. In 1867, it was also here that the last Tokugawa shogun restored power to the emperor- the Meiji restoration. It is a beautiful castle befitting its significant place in the history of Kyoto and Edo. The silkscreens are gorgeous and evocative of power, nature and the seasons. The grounds are also very beautiful for strolling about and appreciating the size of the residence.
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

czihi
Utica, NY272 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This castle is a must. It is the last shogun's castle. This is where the Shogun turned is power over to the Emperor. The castle is beautiful. It is the first house tour that I toured barefoot. I did get the audio tour which was worth the purchase as well. Inside are beautiful wood floors that when they squeak they sound like birds chirping. The waiting rooms after the seasons - so if you were waiting in the room for the Shogun for winter that was a sign to look for a new job. Of course the gardens are well worth at as well. There is an art museum on the grounds but I did not have time to stop.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tanya T.
Illinois1,616 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
After touring four cities in Japan, we seized our last opportunity to explore a castle. With a quick cab ride and a short 5-minute wait, we passed through the striking, imposing gates of Nijo Castle.

At only 1,300 yen (around $8 USD) for admission to both the castle and gardens, it was an incredible value. You can also opt for just the castle at 800 yen ($5 USD).

We easily spent 2 and a half hours winding through the vast grounds, marveling at the gorgeous landscapes featuring hundreds of vibrant flowers, intricate structures, and exquisite artwork perfect for capturing photos (though not permitted inside the castle itself). And that was without reading all the detailed information posted throughout the grounds.

Once inside, removing your shoes is required to tour the different buildings at your own pace, primarily in a queued fashion. After exploring the interior, you can retrieve your shoes and continue admiring the breathtaking exterior gardens.

While resting spots were limited until reaching the keep tower, the climb up the stairs rewards you with spectacular views. Towards the end of the self-guided tour, you'll find restrooms and a restaurant for refreshments.

On a pleasant day, a visit to this historic castle makes for a delightful outing. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes to fully appreciate Nijo Castle's awe-inspiring beauty and rich heritage.
Written May 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oberst v
10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Beautiful castle and an example of an "administrative" type castle. The interior rooms are wonderfully decorated. I would recommend going in a different time of year than late July. I can only imagine how beautiful this place would be in spring (Cherry Blossom) or fall (with the leaves changing). It was hot but there is a rest station. Part of the castle is under renovation. We're going back. There is so much we didn't see because it was just too hot and we were pressed for time on this time.
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tommy
Calgary, Canada149 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
This is a fascinating castle that shows the life of the Shogun Warriors. Even though the arts are reproductions, it still captures the imagination and beauty. The grounds and garden were great to walk, but found it unfortunate of all the renovations and closed sections of the Northern buildings. Still a worthwhile visit to take in another cultural aspect of Japan.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeff K
Pittsburgh, PA2,193 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I initially assumed that the castle was open at night when I saw a bunch of photos taken @ night on Trip Advisor. That was a bad assumption as the castle is only open during the day.

From March 8 to April 7, however, the Naked Sakura Festival is being held on the grounds of Castle at night. The festival is a light and sound show that celebrates cherry blossom season. There are also assorted vendors selling food, drinks and crafts. You only have access to the outside areas of the castle, however.

We spent about an hour here and enjoyed it. Admission is 2,000 yen and you can buy tickets on line or at the castle.
Written March 25, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanneTravel
Groningen, The Netherlands107 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We passed by the castle and were intrigued to see what was inside. The castle is quite pretty with a lot of rooms with gorgeous murals. You have to take off your shoes and put on slippers on the inside of the castle (you can also skip this and only pay for entrance to the garden, this is not worth it). A large part of the castle was under construction on the outside.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alanthebairn
Falkirk, UK828 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
We "escaped" from our guided tour to visit Nijo-Jo and were so glad that we did. The decoration of the Imperial Villa was stunning and the sounds from floor boards is fabulous.

The gardens are beautifully kept.

A really interesting place to visit
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Nijo Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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