Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksCastles
8:45 AM - 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 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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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: 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 travellers are saying
  • G2Kpauly
    Melbourne, Australia3,394 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive
    I enjoyed my walk around this castle. I bought the ticket to go inside and in the garden. I was abit annoyed when told no photos inside the castle because it's sacred. They should tell you before you buy that ticket. It was pretty with nice murals inside but unfortunately no photos! The outside was a lovely slow walk with some good photo points. Well worth a visit in Kyoto.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Mitchmo1
    Fontana, California65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is history! Worth the time for sure!
    This is an amazing place. We loved walking “around” the main Ninomaru-goten Palace and seeing the panel reproductions that now are displayed in each of the rooms. Be sure to listen as the building speaks to you as you walk! The Honmaru-goten Palace was closed for restorations, but we actually liked to see all that was going on to the building ( peaked through the construction fences). Almost wished they had a viewing area so visitors could see all the work being accomplished. be sure to stop at the castle painting gallery (worth the extra Yen) and see the original panels that have on display. Plan plenty of time to stroll!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 June 2023
  • 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 July 2023
  • carloscharmy
    Bangkok, Thailand781 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 22 July 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
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 July 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
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 September 2023
  • Andy F
    Devizes, United Kingdom1,253 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
    Travelled with friends
    Written 29 September 2023
  • Nick M
    Frenchs Forest, Australia942 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 October 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
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 October 2023
  • Norm the Nomad
    Australia1,224 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 October 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 waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles7,070 reviews
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3,396
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2,727
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801
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Beth Anne P
64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We spent hours here. Both the castle and the gardens are gorgeous and a must-see in Kyoto. Beyond that, you learn so much about Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Tokugawa period in general, and how shoguns lived at the time, as well as about how castles were fortified and manned. You also have the unique opportunity to tour the inside of the castle and see how people lived, where they slept and ate and wrote and conducted audiences. The art on the screens - ok, yes, they are reproductions as the originals are being preserved safely elsewhere - is absolutely magnificent. It is so much fun to spot the different bird species hidden around the paintings and to learn about how the approach to painting differed depending on what a room was used for and the room's proximity to the shogun himself. Also note that when you go to see the 1-2 originals on display at the castle museum, you realize that the reproductions in the castle are an absolutely exact replica (you also learn, in this museum, about the approach artisans and museum staff have taken to making the reproductions which, itself, is very interesting). Do make time for the gardens. Do go to the gift shop and buy a book to learn more. Definitely do come here.
Written 18 May 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.

Tanya T.
Illinois1,554 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 18 May 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.

LVV
Takatsuki, Japan63 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
This castle is the real deal. Think of all the powerful people in Japanese history who walked on these floors and strolled through these very gardens. You simply have to visit this castle if you are in Kyoto. However, for this reason it can get very crowded.
Written 8 May 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.

S N
24 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
The ground surrounding the castle was bigger then I expected. It’s got a lot of green and u can walk around for quite a bit. You can even go inside the castle to check out the rooms, you do have to remove your shoes.

The Castle was definitely worth visiting! It is quite popular so do expect a crowd.

Entry: 1300 yen per person
Open: till 17.00
Written 5 May 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.

fizzy1991
Nashville, TN5,967 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Authentic Shogun's castle. Lots of rooms where he entertained travelers. There were no more furniture in the rooms but there are some rooms with dioramas of life-size people depicting the events that would take place in the setting. There are also some beautiful gardens to walk through. This was much more interesting than the Imperial Palace.
Written 3 May 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.

davetheguide
Tel Aviv, Israel5,674 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
An hour and a half is what you need to visit this site. We just walked around the gardens and viewed the castle from the outside. That was sufficient. I would recommend if you have the time, but it's not a must.
Written 27 April 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.

Birgitta-Kenneth
Solna, Sweden1,484 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Unfortunately we were late so we had to rush through the castle but it was amazing and as always with some great historical backdrops. Some of the entrances are so spectacular
Written 24 April 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.

Christian M
Copenhagen, Denmark5,147 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The entrance fee to the old shogun castle with its two solid ring walls consists of two parts: 800 yen to visit the outdoor areas, and an additional 500 yen if you also want to enter the main building.

Let's just reveal that the last 500 yen is only well spent if you're interested in reproductions of old hand-painted wallpapers. That - and a handful of life-size shogun figures - is all there is to see inside.

The area outside is only marginally more interesting. In mid-April, the cherry trees have blossomed, and frankly, the poetry is lacking.

Better spend your time in Kyoto exploring the thousand orange gates and the golden temple.
Written 13 April 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.

chowso
Gloucester, UK1,758 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We spent longer at the castle than planned, mainly because of the amount of people there and the difficulty getting around the tour groups. But it’s an interesting site with some very lovely gardens. The inner palace was good but gets a bit tedious as most of the rooms look the same.
Written 11 April 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.

James I
New York City, NY576 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
A nice way to spend a morning in Kyoto especially if the castle is within walking distance. The grounds are not overly large so you will not be walking long stretches just to get around, and there are a few areas worh the plants nicely arranged. Definitely pay the extra admission to get into the palace as it has on display numerous wall murals (reproductions), as well as a lot of information about the layout of the building and its history with the shogunate. Very affordable and easily reached by city bus 12.
Written 5 April 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.

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