HOME Kansai Kyoto Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle
  • Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle
  • Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle
  • Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle
  • Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle
  • Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle

Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle

  • Multilingual Staff


Nijo-jo Castle was established in central Kyoto by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. The third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu carried out a major renovation in 1626 for the Emperor Go-Mizunoo's visit, leading to its current day form. In 1867, the 15th shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu declared the restoration of imperial rule in the great hall of the castle’s Ninomaru Palace. Furthermore, in 1868, Nijo-jo Castle served as the headquarters of the Great Council of State, which is equivalent to the present-day Cabinet. The castle thus played an important role in Japanese history during the late Edo and Meiji era. From 1884 to 1939, the castle served as the imperial family’s villa. Must-see spots include Ninomaru Palace, which is adorned with wall paintings and has been designated as a National Treasure, the karamon gate, an Important Cultural Property, and Ninomaru Garden, a National Site of Scenic Beauty. The castle gained World Heritage Site status in 1994 as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

- Ninomaru Palace: A National Treasure known for its “nightingale floor” corridors and vivid wall paintings
Ninomaru Palace consists of six separate buildings. It is considered an authentic example of the shoin-zukuri architectural style, and has been designated as a National Treasure for its importance in Japanese architectural history. The palace has historical significance as well, since the restoration of imperial rule was declared in the great hall. The palace is adorned with a variety of wall paintings, engravings, and metal ornaments, giving it a gorgeous appearance. The corridors are known as “nightingale floor” corridors because they produce a sound like a bird’s chirp when someone walks down them.

- Ninomaru Garden, a National Site of Scenic Beauty
Ninomaru Garden is designed so that it can be viewed from three directions: the great hall of Ninomaru Palace, the Kuroshoin (library), and Gyoko Palace that was used for ceremonies and events. Also called Hachijin-no-Niwa, Ninomaru Garden is registered as a National Site of Scenic Beauty. It is a shoin-zukuri style garden that embodies the world of Shinsenhorai, with three islands in the central pond along with four bridges.

- Enjoy a night tour and illuminated cherry trees in the annual cherry blossom festival
Nijo-jo Castle is famous for its cherry blossom, and is also home to sample cherry trees. The castle grounds are home to a collection of approx. 300 cherry trees of 50 different kinds, including the Taiwan cherry, Yoshino cherry, mountain cherry, weeping cherry, and Japanese cherry, which can be enjoyed for over a month. Features of the annual Nijo-jo Castle Sakura Festival include illuminated cherry trees and a projection mapping show using the castle’s historic buildings.

Location Information

  • Address

    541 Nijojocho, Horikawa Nishiiri, Nijo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8301

  • Nearest Station
    Nijojomae Station
    ・ Tozai Line
  • Phone Number
    Available languages
  • Hours
    8:45am - 4:00pm
  • Closed
    *Nijo-jo Castle is closed from December 29 to 31.*Ninomaru-goten Palace is closed from January 1 to 3, December 26 to 28, and on Tuesdays in January, July, August, and December.
  • Public Site
    Official Site
  • Multilingual Staff

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※ The above information was correct at the time of updating, but there may be changes to actual prices. Please confirm the current prices when visiting.