Nijo-jo began as a mansion built by Nobunaga in 1569. The castle Nijo-jo was erected in 1603 to be Tokugawa Ieyasu's headquarters when he was in Kyoto. The main keep was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1750. It was never rebuilt. Ieyasu's palace is filled with beautiful works of art and is very well preserved. The Ninomaru Palace was mainly used for administrative affairs and reflects this in the many offices and meeting rooms it contains. It is designated a National Treasure.
Nijo Castle is a popular site for visitors to Kyoto but most don't realize that the palace was not the castle. They skip all the other artifacts and go straight to the ornate Karamon and then the palace. The entire compound along with the main keep (that no longer exists) would have been the castle. All those old gates and other buildings are important historical relics too. Nijo Castle provides something a little different If you get tired of visiting all the temples in town. Be sure to pay attention to the many original gates, storehouses, walls, turrets and other structures that also make this a magnificent castle ruin and must see for any castle fans.
|English Name||Nijo Castle|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, UNESCO World Heritage Site, has Important Cultural Properties, has National Treasures|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Ninomaru Goten Kurumayose & Toozamurai, Ninomaru Goten Shikidai, Ninomaru Goten Ohiroma, Ninomaru Goten Kuroshoin, Ninomaru Goten Shiroshoin, Ninomaru Goten Sotetsunoma, Ninomaru Karamon, Southeast sumi yagura, Ninomaru Goten Tsuiji wall, Ninomaru Goten Daidokoro, Ninomaru Goten Okiyodokoro, North Otemon, West Gate, Southwest Sumi Yagura, North dozo, South dozo, Naruko Gate, Momoyama Gate, North Naka Shikirimon, South Naka Shikirimon, dozo and nagayamon gate, Southeast Sumi Yagura Northern Wall, East Otemon, Honmaru Yagura mon, Honmaru Goten Goshoin, Honmaru Goten Genkan, Honmaru Goten Daidokoro & Karinoma, Honmaru Otsune Goten|
|Features||gates, turrets, bridges, palace, water moats, stone walls, walls|
|Access||Kyoto Station, bus|
|Coordinates||35° 0' 50.62" N, 135° 44' 51.68" E|
|Year Visited||1992, 2004, 2017, 2019|
|Visits||July 1992; March 23, 2004; July 28, 2017; August 17, 2019|
|Added to Jcastle||1999|