Kyoto Trip: Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1603 to provide lodging for Tokugawa Shogun and as a palladium for Kyoto Imperial Palace.
ticket booth outside the Nijo Castle
entrance to Nijo Castle

We walked around and went through the grand Kara-mon gate adorned with an abundance of engravings. It features four supporting pillars and a Chinese style gabled roof.

This gate leads to the Ninomaru Palace where you can see several masterpieces of Japanese art, most notably the painted screens of the main chamber. There's also the famous "nightingale floors" which were designed to squeak when stepped on and thus alert guards to any intruders. The total floor space of the buildings is 3,300 squared meters and includes 33 rooms and over 800 tatami mats.
ninomaru palace

Above the head of the door of Kuromayose entrance to the Ninomaru palace is a ranma-chokoku design (a carved transom and a decorative frieze consisting of carved panels). On the front is depicted are five luan (a mythical Chinese bird), pine trees, peonies and at the top clouds, and at the bottom, you can see grass. The carving really looks great because of the intricate details.

Visitors should leave their shoes at the entrance and it is forbidden to take pictures and videos inside.

These two decorated bells were used to make an emergency announcement but are now displayed in the courtyard of Ninomaru Palace.

Next to the Ninomaru Palace is the Ninomaru Garden which has a large pond with three islands and features numerous placed stones and topiary pine trees. I wish I had taken more pictures here but decided to set aside my camera and just enjoy the moment.

outer walls and moat of the Nijo Castle

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Honmaru Palace and garden of Nijo Castle due to time constraints.

Nijo Castle
541 Nijo-jo-cho, Horikawa-nishi-iru,
Nijo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
Tel: 075-841-0096
Fax: 075-802-6181

Opening hours 8:45am - 4pm (the castle closes at 6pm)
*Ninomaru Palace viewing hours 9am - 4pm

New year period (26 December - 4 January)
Each Tuesday of January, July, August, and December*
*When Tuesday falls on a public holiday, the castle will be closed the following day instead

General admission: ¥600

Toodles, until next time,
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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Asia!