World heritage site "Nijo Castle (NIJO-JO)"

Ninomaru Palace of Nijo Castle

Ninomaru Palace of Nijo Castle

Basic and usuful information

Basic information

Name World heritage site "Nijo Castle (NIJO-JO)"
Name(Japanese) 二条城
Postal code 604-8301
Address 541 NIjojo-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto-fu
Telephone number 075-841-0096
Open hours 8:45〜17:00 ※Admission office closes at 16:00
Regular closing day ・December 26th-January 4th
・Every Tuesday in January,/July/August/December
※If a holiday falls on a Tuesday, the next day will be closed.
Price Adult/600 yen
Junior High School/High School Student 350 yen
Elementary School Student/200 yen
※Children below Elementary School age/ Free
Official web site http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/bunshi/nijojo/

Useful information

Credit Card Not available
Supported card company
Within a 10 minute walk from the station
Infromation for Free Wi-Fi
Foreign language English
Average time required about 1 hour -
Purpose Alone
Accept Children
Child policy None
Handicap-accessible ・Wheelchair access
- Wheelchair available free of charge
- Wheelchair accessible toilet available
- Wheelchair access throughout the castle premise
※At places where the slopes are not available, persons with wheelchair may need to take the roundabout routes.
※To enter NINOMARU Palace, it is necessary to change to the wheelchair provided in the Palace;
Smoking No smoking
Value coupon No
Other useful information None

"Nijo Castle" is the place that witnessed both the beginning and the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate period! Introducing the highlights and the history of this popular sightseeing spot, which is also registered as a World Heritage Site.

"Niho Castle" is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Kyoto city. The official name is "Moto-Rikyuu NIjo-Joo."

It is widely known as the place where the historical event "TAISEI HOKAN (returning of the power of the nation to Emperor)" took place which ended the Edo Shogunate period. It is the castle the first shogun of Edo period Tokugawa Ieyasu built when he took the throne. Therefore, the castle was the symbol of Tokugawa Shogunate Period and eventually the place witnessed the end of the Tokugawa throne.

Nijo Castle is very grand in spite of its location in the middle of Kyoto city.

In the Castle, there are many valuable heritages, many of them are named National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.
In 1994, Nijo Castle was named the World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its historical significance.

Nijo Castle is very attractive not only because of the historical building, but also, for the various events that are held thoughout the year.
There are special events not only the famous illumination during the cherry blossom season but also those events such as Projection Mapping Event for Tanabata festival and Art Aquarium.
We recommend that you enjoy these events that would make you feel closer to this World Heritage site.

Nijo Castle is not as old historically, but it is one of the sites where important events in the Japanese historiy took place. It would be a great opportunity to learn the Japanese history to make your visit even more special.

Below are the detailed introduction of "Nijo Castle," including the highlights, histoty, and the events that take place.

World Heritage Site "Nijo Castle" -Contents-

●Basic and useful information of World Heritage Site "Nijo Castle"
●Map of Nijo Castle
●What is the history of "Nijo Castle" which has significant relationship with Tokugawa Shogunate?
●Highlights of the World Heritage Site "Nijo Castle"
●Popular Events such as Lighting-up of cherry blossoms and Tanabata festival!
●Comments from EnjoyJapan! Editorial Dept
●Access to Nijo Castle

●Map of Nijo Castle

Quote:from Nijo Castle Official site/http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/bunshi/nijojo/map/index.html

【List of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties in Nijo Castle】

●National Treasure and Important Cultural Properties:

・Ninomaru Palace (Ninomaru-Goten)


The photo shows the "Ninomaru Palace."

●Important Cultural Property:

・Honmaru Palace (Honmaru Goten)
・Great East Gate (Higashi Ote Mon)
・Great North Gate (Kita Ote Mon)
・West Gate (Nishi Mon)
・Yagura Mon
・Naruko Mon
・Momoyama Mon
・Kita Nakajikiri Mon
・Minami Nakajikiri Mon
・Tonan Sumi Yagura
・Seinaii Sumi Yagura
・Dozo ※Ninomaru Palace Daidokoro Kita
・Hokkusei Dogu
・Nansei Dogu
・Tonan Sumiyagura Hoppou Monheki

【Gardens of Nijo Castle 】

・Ninomaru Garden (Ninoaru Teien)
・Honmaru Garden (Honmaru Teien)

●What is the history of "Nijo Castle" that strongly relates to Tokugawa Shogunate?



"Nijo Castle" is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto and it is featured in every traveler's guide book.
If you have visited Kyoto already, many of you may have visited Nijo Castle.

"Nijo Castle" has so much to do with "Tokugawa Shogunate," where the castle played the setting for the beginning and the end of the Edo period. Here is the introduction of the history.

It is told that the feudal lords (daimyo) in the nation were ordered by the first shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu to build the castle for the protection of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and for Shogun's accomdation for the time of his stay in Kyoto.

The same year, Tokugawa Ieyasu held the celebration of becoming a shogun at the Ninomaru Palace and the Edo Shogunate was born.
Also, in 1613 and 1614, when "Osaka Natsu-no-Jin (Summer Seige of Osaka) " and "Fuyu-no-Jin (Winter Seige)," took place, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu departed from this "Nijo Castle."

At first, "Nijo Castle" had only Ninomaru Palace and a tower, but at the time of the third Shogun "Tokugawa Iemitsu," there was a extensive renovation when Honmaru Palace and the castle tower were renovated and this was when the castle was established as it is today.

After the third Shogun "Tokugawa Iemitsu," there was no Shogun who visited "Nijo Castle," the gardens were not maintained, and Honmaru Palace and the Castle Tower were burned down due to lightnings and fire.

The Honmaru Palace was reconstructed in Meiji Period by dismantling Kyu-Katsuranomiyatei from Kyoto Gyoen.

In 1867, the 15th Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu returned the throne to Emperor (Taisei Hokan) at the "Ninomaru Palace" in "Nijo Castle," which ended Tokugawa Shogunate's Edo period that lasted for about 260 years.

After a while, Nijo Castle became the property of Kyoto prefecture, later under the military rule, then under the rule of Imperial Household Dept when it was called "Nijo Rikyu."
Today, "Nijo Castle" is owned by Kyoto city and it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.

As you can see, "Nijo Castle" witnessed the beginning and the end of Edo period.
How about visiting the castle thinking about its historical significance?

●Highlights of World Heritage Site "Nijo Castle"

In Kyoto, there are many famous temples and shrines that are named World Heritage Site.
Kiyomizu Temple、Kamigamo Shrine、Shimogamo Shrine、Kinkaku TempleGinkaku TempleNinna TempleByodoin Hohohdo、Daigo Temple, Ryuan Temple, to name some of them. As you can see, the famous temples and shrines that we see on TV and magazines are registered as World Heritage Sites. "Nijo Castle" is one of them.

In the Castle groud, there are many historical structures that are registered as Important Cultural Properties and National Treasures.
Here are the highlights of such amazing "Nijo Castle."

The most valuable place to see: National Treasure "Ninomaru Palace"



maroさん(@maro__3)が投稿した写真 -


First highlight of Nijo Castle is "Ninomaru Palace" which is registered as a National Treasure and an Important Cultural Property.

The first attractive spot of this Ninomaru Palace is "Kurumayose (carriage porch)" with its gorgeous embelishments. Ninomaru Palace is a representative sturucture of "Buke-fu Shoin-zukuri (traditional Samurai-style architecture)," and next to the "Kurmayose," is the largest room "Tosaburai" and the five rooms listed below are next to another: "Shikidai," "Chokushinoma," "Ohiroma," "Kuroshoin," "Shiroshoin."

In this Ninomaru Palace, the 15th Shogun Tokkugawa Yoshinobu gave up the throne, returning it to Emperor.

There is a floor that makes sound when we walk, sounding just like the tweeting of a Japanese bird "Uguisu." It is called the floor of "Uguisu-bari." The floor was constructed with special clamps so that the floor would bounce to make sounds when someone steps on it.

In all the rooms except for "Shiroshoin," you can see the gorgeous paintings with gold leaves on the room partitions which are the must-see.

These pictures are the creations by "Kano-ha" group of artists, whose leader was "Kano Tanyu." These Pictures are registered as the Important Cultural Property of the nation.

Livia Linさん(@y.l.813)が投稿した写真 -


Gorgeously built 'Kurumayose." is the entrance of Ninomaru Palace.

@naomon21が投稿した写真 -


The floor of "Uguisu-Bari"

Highlight #2 "Kara Mon"


@m137_57が投稿した写真 -


"Kara Mon" located at the entrance of Ninomaru Palace is the official gate of Ninomaru Palace.

The gorgeous and luxurious gate was completed during the great renovation of Nijo Castle that took place betoween 1624 and 1626. On the south side, there are colorful carvings of Botan flower, Butterfly, Crane, Yamato Matsu, Turtle, Dragon Tiger, and on the North side, Botan flower, Butterfly, Saint on a tuttle, Chinese peacock,and Dragon.

South side of "Kara Mon."

tomoさん(@toaratoa)が投稿した写真 -

North Side of "Kara Mon."

Highlight #3 "Honmaru Palace"


Honmaru Palace of Nijo Castle

The front of Honmaru Palace

The Honmaru Palace was originally as grand as Ninomaru Palace, but it burnt down during the big fire of Tenmei.

The present Palace was built between 1893-1894, transferring the Kyu-Katuranomiyatei from other location, and it is registered as an Important Cultural Property. In the Palace, there are entrance, Otsune-goten, Goshoin, Kitchen, and Gan-no-ma.

Highlight #4 "Ninomaru Garden"

Nijo Garden of Nijo Castle

It is told that Kobori Enshu built Ninomaru Garden in 1602-1603 and it is named a Special Site of the nation.

The garden can be viewed from three places; Gyouko Goten, O-Hiroma, and Kuroshoin. The Turtle Island and the Crane Island in the pond are said to be viewed as turtle and crane from any directions. Please make sure by seeing it yourself that it is true.

Highlight #5 "Seiryu Garden"

The garden consists of two styles: the European style on the east side and the Japanese style on the west side.

It is told that there were a tower castle and a path in this location. Today, it is used for citizen's tea ceremony meetings, and also there is a special tea room "Waraku An" which is used to accomodate the nation's very important guests.

Tea room "Waraku-an"

VG JOYEさん(@joye0213)が投稿した写真 -

Seiryu-en is filled with quiet and calm atomosphere.

Seiryu-en duing the cherry blossom season

●Information of popular events such as cherry blossom illumination and Tanabata!

In Nijo Castle, there are many Important Cultural Properties and National Treasures to see, but viewing these valuable heritages is not all. There are various events held at this site that many people visit to enjoy those events. Here are some of the events held at Nijo Castle. 。

"Kan-o-chakai (cherry blossom viewing tea ceremony)" in April

sayaさん(@taya27saya)が投稿した写真 -


Cherry blossoms bloom beautifully at Nijo Castle and there are special tea ceremony events held during this season. There are out-door seats on days with nice weather, you can enjoy the Japanese tea under the full bloomed cherry blossoms.



From late March to early April: "Lighting up of Cherry blossoms"

@pichikochan21が投稿した写真 -


About 200 cherry trees with blossoms are lit up in the Castle ground. In 2016, "Projection Mapping" was introduced. The night view of cherry blossoms at the World Heritage site Nijo Castle is breathtakingly beautiful.


August: "Tanabata in Kyoto" 」

Ak Naさん(@rivertce)が投稿した写真 -


It is a very innovating event that casts Projection Mapping on the World Heritage. You will be able to enjoy the mystical and and magical appearance of Nijo Castle

@utachan.dayoが投稿した写真 -


Late October to Early December: "Nijo Castle Festival"


Nijo Castle Festival is a popular annual event in the fall.

It is a festival held for citizens of Kyoto and for the visitors to introduce the fascinations of Nijo castle. During the festival that runs for one month, special attractions that represent the Kyoto culture, such as guide touring of the castle ground, and citizen's grand tea ceremony, Kyoto's speciality goods market, There are other varieties of events such as Nijo Castle jogging, Star gazing meet, as Classic car exhibition.

You will discover new ways to enjoy your stay at Nijo Castle during this special event.


AoiTさん(@aoitaka0515)が投稿した写真 -


Classic car exhibition event. It is very interesting to see the contrast between the classic car and the World Heritage.

You can view the scenes of 2016 Nijo Castle Festivalby visintg here

End December - Early January "Nijo Castle Garden Viewing"

The event that you can enjoy the Kyoto-style end/beginning of the year. You can enjoy viewing the garden with the background music of Koto music and also there is screen painting exhibition held as well. During this event, there is a special treat: admission fee is waived if you are wearing kimono.

Festival schedule for the 2016〜2107

Dates: December 26th - 28th, January 1st - 4th
Time:10:00〜16:00 ※Last admission 17:00
Admission:Adult 400 yen、Up to High school student 200 yen ※Free for visitors wearing kimono
When told it is a World Heritage Sight, it may sound very strict and formal, but at Nijo Castle, many events introduces people to feel familiar with the World heritage.

Please check the dates of the events and visit Nijo Castle during the events. You will be able to discover a new aspect of the World Heritage.

There are other fascinating events held at Nijo Castle in addition to those that are introduced above throughout the year.
Please check here for detailed information for events.

●Comments from EnjoyJapan! Editorial dept

Takeruさん(@takeru_ri)が投稿した写真 -


Nijo Castle is one of Kyoto's must-visit sightseeing spots. Many people may have visited here with the school trip. Nijo Castle is registered as World Heritage Sight and it has many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties to see. Gorgeous "Kara-mon" and "Bukefu Shoin zukuri" are amazing to see. We can feel and appreciate the Japanese history just viewing those sturctures.

It was very moving when I went into the big room where "Taisei Hokan" took place. Please enjoy the site remembering the history of the sturcture that witnessed the Tokugawa shogunate period.

Also, the events held at NIjo Castle will be very interesting for everyone, even for those people who are not so interested in history. It is a sightseeing spot we strongly recommend. 。
Postal code 604-8301
Address 541 NIjojo-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto-fu
Telephone number 075-841-0096
Parking Yes
Detail information about parking ※216 lots/paid parking
※parking fee/standard size cars

- up to 12 hours: 800 yen
- after 12 hours: 200 yen/ hour

※Parking lot hours/

- 8:15〜18:00
Access informtaion (by train & bus) (Train)
・Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line "Nijo-jo Mae" station
・From Kyoto Station/Kyoto Municipal Bus 9, 50, 101 to "Nijo-jo Mae"
 Send this article by e-mail
EnjoyJapan! Japan Travel Guide and Popular Information
Hashtag in this artcle
Date created:2017/01/19

Last update:2017/01/19

Most Recent Sightseeing category spots

Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Arashiyama, Takao)
Tenryuji Temple (Rinzaishu Tenryujiha Shomu Hon-in)
The MOMIJI in the garden is a must-see! World Heritage Site "Tenryuji Temple" in beautiful Saga-Arashiyama! Intoducing highlights of Tenryuji Temple including the spectacular "Unryu-zu," Goshuin stamp, and "Shojin Ryori (vegetarian cuisine). "
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Arashiyama, Takao)
SUZUMUSHI TEMPLE (Myotokuzan Kegon Temple)
"SUZUMUSHI TEMPLE" is said to have a special power for making a "true-love knot" ! Listen to interesting and entertaining sermons, purchase popular Happiness OMAMORI (Japanese amulet), and make one special wish to the OJIZO-san wearing WARAJI (straw sandals)!
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto Other areas
"HEIAN JINGU" is a famous shrine for "JIDAI MATSURI," one of the Three Major Festivals of Kyoto, wedding ceremonies, and SHICHIGOSAN! It is told to be a sacred spot for special prayers, many visitors come to pray to make their wishes come true. Also, there are many things to see such as the SHIDAREZAKURA (weeping cherry tree) that blooms beautifully in spring.
Sightseeing   Shiga  Otsu
ISHIYAMA TEMPLE (Ishiyama-dera)
"ISHIYAMA TEMPLE" is a "temple of flowers" noted in connection with MURASAKI SHIKIBU! A famous sacred spot where people visit to pray for safe childbirth, warding off of evil, good fortune, and good marriage! During the MOMIJI season, there will be an illumination event and evening concerts are held during the event as well. Enjoy the illusional atomosphere!
Sightseeing   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
A new Art Space "NIFREL," a collabortion of an aquarium and a zoo, with artistic presentations! Once you step in, you wil find a new sensation! Introducing here is the very popular spot where you will enjoy seeing animals living in various ways!
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kyoto Station area)
World Heritage "Toji Temple"
World Heritage Site "Toji Temple" is known for the tallest wodden Five-story Pagoda in the nation! Introducing the highlights of the temple including the information regarding its amazingly beautiful night illumination events during the seasons of cherry blossoms and autumnal leaves, and the information of antique market held every month.

TOP 10 Popular Spots

Restaurants   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
Their specialty "Tuna" is served in a variety of exquisite dishes from raw Sashimi to Aburi roast. Unveiling the amazing Tachinomi bar "IZAKAYA TOYO" that a long waiting line is always formed, even right after its opening.
Restaurants   Osaka
¥100 Sushi! "KURA sushi" is cheap and delicious conveyor belt sushi restaurant.
Restaurants   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kibune, Kurama, Ohara)
Kifune, a popular Summer resort in Kyoto! Enjoy cool breeze in "Hirobun", where Nagashi Somen (Flowing cold noodles) and Kawadoko ryori are local specialty!
Featured   Osaka
Intruducing the most recommended & popular "Super Sento (deluxe public bath)" in Osaka! Exclusively chosen by Onsen-lovers!
Introducing the most recommended and most popular "Super Sento" in Osaka. These are the choices made by onsen lovers, a listing of best "Supser Sento" from each of the three areas of Osaka City area, Northern Osaka area, and Southern Osaka area. Also introduced are the latest information of Osaka's "Super Sento."
Activity   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
"Niji no Yu Osaka Sayama"! Enjoy the open-air bath with fine view that you can look at the waterfall!
Activity   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
Paradise on the top floor of the building? Take the bath under the sky! Super Sento "Natural Hot Spring Naniwa no Yu".
Activity   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kibune, Kurama, Ohara)
Popular Day Trip Spa in Kyoto "Kurama Onsen"! Enjoy and have a luxury time in the outdoor hot spring surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Activity   Osaka  South of Osaka(Sakai, KIX Airport)
"RINKU NO YU" The popular Super Sento near from Kansai airport! Take the open-air bath and feel the sea breeze!
Restaurants   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
It's worth while waitting! "Harukoma Sushi". Freshness, big size topping, delicious and reasonable sushi restaurant in Osaka.
Sightseeing   Hyogo  Kobe city(Harborland area)
Let's see night view of Kobe port from "Mosaic Big Ferris Wheel" located in "Harborland", a popular date spot in Kobe!