Nijo Castle – Kyoto | Travel Information

Nijo Castle in Kyoto

Nijo Castle is a castle in Kyoto near the city centre. It is probably one of the more unique castle grounds you will come across. Most Japanese Castles will be located atop mountains or hills, these served as an extra fortification for the castle in case of an attack. The Nijo Castle is quite the opposite, and is what’s called a flatland castle, meaning that the castle keep was built on flat ground and not on a hill or a mountain. This allowed for more space to build the palace which severed as a residence and office for the Shogunate Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the first Shogunate of the Edo Period (1603-1868)


Nijo castle has 3 main areas, the Homaru which is the central castle area, the innermost fortified place with the most defense in case of attack, then the outer defense area, known as the Ninomaru and lastly the gardens which are attached to each of the sections. Originally, the Homaru area was the taller section of the castle, with it having 5 stories at one stage in its lifetime. However, following a fire in the 1700s, the castle keep was destroyed and has never been rebuilt since. The Ninomaru Palace, however, is still the original building which was built in the early 1600s. The Homaru palace is rarely open to the public, so if you do visit Nijo castle, then you will likely only be able to visit the Ninomaru Palace.

Hours and Admission

  • Hours: 8:45am - 5:00pm
  • 600JPY


Nijo Castle is conveniently located near Nijojo-mae Station along the Kyoto Subway Tozai Line. However, the Kyoto Subway is a little confusing to use as it doesn’t get you everywhere, so if you are coming from the Kyoto Station, then you would want to get off at Karasuma Oike Station, and transfer lines. You can also walk from that station (will take you about 10 minutes)

Addtionally, Nijo Castle is only about a 20 minute walk north from Kyoto Station. 

Where To Stay near Nijo Castle

Are you planning a trip to Japan soon? Then you really should consider purchasing a JR Rail Pass, especially if you are planning on hitting all the major Tourist cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Sapporo. 

The JR Rail Pass makes getting around the country easy, and can save you several hundreds in travel expenses. All you need to do is just show your pass at the ticket gate, and you have access to any and all JR rail lines across the country, and not just the standard commuter trains, but luxury trains, and even the world famous Shikansen (Bullet Train). A JR Rail Pass is an essential item for any visitor to Japan. Buy your pass today by clicking here now!