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


The Former Imperial Villa Nijo-jo Castle was built in Kyoto in 1603 by Ieyasu Tokugawa. The castle took on its present appearance in 1626 when Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun, used the remains of Fushimi-jo Castle to repair and expand the compound. It was in the Ohiroma (Grand Chamber) of Ninomaru-goten Palace within Nijo-jo Castle that the 15th Tokugawa Shogun Yoshinobu announced in 1867 that imperial rule would be restored to the Emperor. In 1868, the Dajokandai (equivalent to today's government cabinet) took up residence in the castle and created the foundation for the Meiji Restoration. From 1884 to 1939, the castle served as a villa for the Imperial Family. There is plenty to see, from the magnificent partition paintings in Ninomaru-goten Palace, which is designated as a National Treasure, to Ninomaru Garden, which is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The castle was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto in 1994.

・ Ninomaru-goten Palace is a National Treasure that is famous for its nightingale corridors and vibrant wall paintings
Ninomaru-goten Palace, which consists of six connected buildings, is designated as a National Treasure as the remains of an important historic architectural structure in Japan, representing an outstanding example of the Shoin-zukuri architectural style. The castle is also of great historic importance, as it was within the Ohiroma (Grand Chamber) of Ninomaru-goten Palace that the last Shogun announced the return of imperial power to the Emperor. The palace rooms are decorated with various wall paintings, colorful ranma sculptures (latticework), and metalworks, creating a dazzling interior. When walking along the corridors, the floorboards give off a sound like singing birds, which has led them to be called nightingale corridors.

・ Ninomaru Garden is designated by the government as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty
Ninomaru Garden can be viewed from the Ohiroma (Grand Chamber) and Kuroshoin (Inner Audience Chamber) of Ninomaru-goten Palace. Referred to as hachijin-no-niwa (garden of eight formations), the garden is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. With three islands in the middle of the pond and four bridges, the garden is designed in the Shoin-zukuri style to represent the world of shinsen horai (eternal youth and immortality).

・During the cherry blossom season, the castle is opened to the public at night so visitors can enjoy the sight of the illuminated sakura blossoms.
Nijo-jo Castle is also famous for its cherry blossoms and for planting sample cherry blossom trees. Around 300 trees of 50 different species can be found within the castle compound. As such, visitors can enjoy a variety of cherry blossoms over the course of a month, including species such as prunus campanulate (bellflower cherry), prunus yedoensis (somei-yoshino cherry), crasus jamasakura (wild cherry), prunus spachiana (weeping cherry), and prunus serrulate (hill cherry). The Nijo-jo Castle Sakura Festival is held every year, and at night, the castle's numerous historical structures, such as Kara-mon Gate, which is an Important Cultural Property, are lit up beside the cherry blossoms.

Location Information

  • Address

    541, Nijojocho, Nijo-dori Horikawa Nishi-iru, 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.