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Nijo-jo Castle, Kyoto

4.3
Originally built in 1603 and holding World Heritage Site status, Nijo-jo Castle presents an exemplary look at Japanese feudal architecture. The castle served as a residence to the first Edo shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the complex contains two concentric circles of moat and wall fortifications, surrounding the central palace and auxiliary buildings. Observe the sound you make as you walk through the corridors connecting various buildings on the "nightingale floors" designed to make noise and warn guards against intruders. Put Nijo-jo Castle into our Kyoto road trip site and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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4.4
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  • We visited the interior, entering the world of the shogun. Different rooms with curious drawings, where according to the importance of the guest was in one or other. Very nice gardens.
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  • One of the largest and most impressive in Kyoto. We were there just as the sun was dipping and the crowds were leaving. The gardens are the highlight but as with all the sights in Kyoto don't rush ......  more »
  • Although this Castle was good, we were disappointed with the inside. All the wall paintings and panels were reproductions yet you were still not allowed to take photographs. Castle was a bit more colo...  more »
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  • A worthwhile visit and one could easily spend a few hours seeing the palace and wondering around the spacious castle. The main gate is currently under restoration, so one have to enter through the smaller south gate. Really like the wall paintings in those rooms. Note that no photography is allowed inside the palace. Ceiling paintings are exquisite. The intricate details and carvings of the gates are lovely. Although there are many tourists, the palace ground is large enough for you to find a corner to sit back and slow down, taking in the experience. Or may be just relax and do some reading, after having spent much time rushing through Kyoto's sights.
  • A beautiful site in the middle of Kyoto that should not be missed, well within walking distance of the main tourist an hotel section. The gardens are immaculately kept and very large, but remember that as you walk to the other side there is no exit there; you have walk all the way back again. The exit is also the entrance. If you go around the castle be aware that you have to remove your shoes and this is no fun in subzero temperatures. Shuffling around in ill fitting sandals in the freezing cold is miserable. Additionally, all the exhibit paintings are copies. There are no originals on display. However, the building itself is treasure.
  • The Nijō Castle was a major highlight for my time in Kyoto! Excellently preserved grounds, lots of information in English, and absolutely stunning landscape during the autumn! The colors are unreal! I had two experiences here, one at day and one at night. During the day I did the normal museum/exploring the grounds thing. At night though during the time I was there, the Nijō Castle had a special event called the "Art Aquarium". Think of really surreal aquariums, with trippy music, and colorful lighting set against the ancient landscape of the castle. Incredibly fun, strange, yet totally worth it. During the day I rented an audio guide and felt it was worth the money, if only for the reason in that it allowed me to slow down and really enjoy and understand the castle. A lot of the same information is written on the informational guides in each area, yet the audio guide provided some more depth and 'color' to the whole experience. Plus I didn't have to crowd around to read each guide post, and could look at the art and architecture from a good vantage point. The price of admission and renting an audio guide was a bit more than I expected, yet I felt it was mostly good value for the money. The nighttime Art Aquarium was pricey, and felt the cost could be a bit less expensive. Overall I felt both were worth experiencing. If in Kyoto, definitely visit the Nijō Castle! I had a great experience, and take your time exploring the area and taking in the history. Oh! Bring warm socks if visiting during the cold! You have to take your shoes off in order to enter the old building and walk around in it. The floor does get chilly!! You might be in there for as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour (like me!). Enjoy!
  • A great way to step back in time in Japanese history. Beautiful gardens as well. Be sure to get there before they close the main building to tours at 4pm. Wear some decent socks as well. You'll need to remove your shoes.
  • Great place to spend an afternoon. Beautiful gardens and structures. You get a real taste of how the shoguns used to live many years ago, and almost feel like you are retracing there steps as you walk through the gardens and buildings. I loved it. Even though it was a tad busy at times. Maybe head there early morning as mid afternoon was swamped.

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