Originally built in in the 1600s under the rule of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nijo Castle is one of Kyoto's most well-preserved historical monuments. The site at which the Meiji period and Japan’s era of modernization began, the castle is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. When it comes to things to do in Kyoto, Nijo Castle should be your first stop.
English audio tours are available at the castle, ideal for understanding the site’s role in history. As you walk through the C Gate, you will be able to see the Honmaru Palace, surrounded by the inner moat, and the Ninomaru Palace, which served as home to the Shogun when visiting Kyoto.
Of particular note are the Uguisu-bari, or 'nightingale floors', of the Ninomaru Palace. They were designed to make noise when stood on, as a means of preventing surprise attacks. Every year from the end of March to mid-April, the cherry blossoms surrounding the castle are illuminated, making it one of the most spectacular places in the city to enjoy the blooms.
Nijo Castle opening hours are from 08:45 – 17:00, though last admission is at 16:00.
From nearby Hotel
- HOTEL MYSTAYS Kyoto Shijo : 7 min by bus