Nijo Castle

The former Imperial Palace in Kyoto

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#1 in Central Kyoto

If you are traveling in Kyoto, among your visits of the numerous temples and shrines, don't forget to go to Nijo-jo, once Kyoto imperial castle. Located in the heart of the ancient Japanese capital, it spreads over 66 acres and is home to beautiful Japanese gardens, and two large main buildings: Honmaru and Ninomaru.

The castle itself is quite large, and the visit reveals stunning Tamami rooms with beautiful paintings of the Edo period. It's forbidden to take pictures indoor, but you'll come across banquet halls and even the Shogun's private apartments where his wives lived.

Walking in the gardens of Nijo castle is very nice: the lawn, trees and plants are well maintained. As a bonus, an alley strewn with sakura (cherry trees) is of course to visit during spring when they blossom. The entire site is part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1994.

The Nijo-jo is north of downtown, located at the intersection of the two subway lines in Kyoto. Note that the castle is a few hundreds of feet away from the Kyoto Manga Museum.

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How to get to Nijo Castle

By train -- JR Sagano line, track #32 or 33, stop at Nijo station (4 to 6 minutes, ¥190 / ~US$ 1.80 from Kyoto station) and 4 minute walk

By  subway -- From Kyoto Station, Karasuma line, change at Karasuma Oike / K08, then Tozai line, stop at Nijojo-mae / T14 (10 minutes total) and 2 minute walk

By bus -- #9, 12, 50 or 101 - Nijojomae stop (20 minutes, ¥230 / ~US$ 2.20 from the station) and 2 minute walk

Opening hours

Open daily from 8:45am to 5pm (last entry at 4pm)

Closed on Tuesdays from July to August and December to January, and from December 26 to January 4

How long / when to visit

Allow one to two hours for the visit

The vast alley littered with sakura (cherry trees) is very popular in spring


¥600 (~US$ 5.80)

In Japanese

二条城 (Nijôjô)


Official website (in Japanese)