Nijo Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Nijo Castle
Japanese Name 二条城
Alternate Names
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year Founded 1603
Castle Type Flatland
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
Visitor Information
Access Kyoto Station, bus
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.kyoto.jp/bunshi/nijojo/
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 0' 51", 135° 44' 52"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 1992, 2004, 2017
Visits July 1992; March 23, 2004; July 28, 2017
Added 1999
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Nijo1.jpg


History

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.

Visit Notes

Nijo-jo is a must see stop for any visit to Kyoto. There are only a few traditional castle defensive structures, but it is mostly famous for the fabulous Ninomaru Palace and the Honmaru palace. The Honmaru Palace is unfortunately only opne during sleect times of the year and I've never been able to enter it.



Gallery



4.21
(58 votes)
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Anonymous user #1

12 days ago
Score 1++
I loved learning about the history and seeing the art inside. The garden was amazing and I got to see the boat rock in the pond that my teacher taught us about. The gates were also very impressive.
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SuupaahiirooAshigaru

16 days ago
Score 1++

This is a great castle site. Visited for the second time this week (November 2017, the first time was in June 2014). Very crowded.

Of course the palace (goten) is magnificent. To commemorate the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, in one of the main rooms they have an impressive reconstruction (using life-size dolls) of the ceremony in which the last Tokugawa shogun gave up his power in favour of emperor Meiji.

I was also very surprised by the gates. There are many of them (nearly ten in total?), some small, some large. Most interesting to me is the fact that almost all gates look different and there are some very rare designs. Another unique (according to the signs at least) feature of this castle is the presence of two large earthen-walled storehouses.

For some reason the signs on the site claim that the palace is the only original in Japan. Being quite sure there are some others (Kawagoe, Kakegawa and Kōchi, four in total if I'm not mistaken), I went to the jimusho to inquire. They insisted this is the only original one, though. However, after some extra research online I'm all the more convinced of my initial assumption. I'm a bit fed up with all these superlatives being used wrongly, to be honest.
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EricShogun

15 days ago
Score 1++

That's funny. Yes, you're absolutely right there are other original palaces, much smaller, but still original. Unfortunately, I've had very mixed experiences with some of these so called "staff" at bigger castle sites including one yesterday in Yamagata who gave me completely wrong information.

Indeed, I love all the gates at Nijo-jo too. I revisited last summer when they had the special exhibit of the interior of the Otemon and corner yagura. I still have lots of new photos to update here!
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ARTHatamoto

6 months ago
Score 0++
No Tenshukaku (donjon) remains at Nijou-jou, but you can climb the stone works and see hundreds of carp in the hori (moat). There is a space in the middle of the complex where a yagura stood which overlooks the whole site, and is very scenic when the blossoms are out. There are still several walls, turrets and gates surrounding the complex. I particularly liked the bridges over the moat. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for much of the country's history. It was raided frequently. At one point the elites built their homes like mini-castles to protect from cultist upraisings or the armies of adventurous feudal lords. Now streets lined with castles, wouldn't that be something to see?
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JohnsonbPeasant

12 months ago
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Visited 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014
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FurinkazanHatamoto

19 months ago
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I visited this wonderful site again today. The great eastern gate is now being restored and completely under scaffolds. It remains the entrance to the castle. The exhibition hall was also closed, but we enjoyed the visit of the palace. I got my 100 meijô stamp under a tent to the right after entering the castle grounds.
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Kiddus i2003Ashigaru

20 months ago
Score 0++
Liked it very much more like a palace than a castle/fort.
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RaymondWHatamoto

64 months ago
Score 0++
This is a great castle ruin to visit if you want to see one of the few extant castle palaces left in Japan. Other remaining ones from the Edo Period that I know of are at Kochi Castle, Kakegawa Castle and Kawagoe Castle Ruin. I took a friend who was visiting Japan here last weekend. There is a little bit of restoration work going on. The Karamon and parts of the walls surrounding the Ninomaru Palace are under wraps until 30th September 2013. The Ninomaru Palace remains unaffected and is business as usual. Also, there is a drive by the castle staff asking for donations to raise funds for preservation and restoration work.
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A22cricketAshigaru

79 months ago
Score 0++
Original castle in all of it's drafty splendor. The intentionally squeaky floor competes with the rattle of the wooden doors for noise awards. The details are subtle but great. Best suggestion is to look all around as you walk down the corridors.
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UsagiAshigaru

83 months ago
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An unique and interesting style, with a very Japanese feel. Seeing the old foundations and a moat, make this well populated gardens castle a great visit.
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JamesPeasant

83 months ago
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If I remember correctly (it has been a few years) but the excellent Nijo Jinya is quite close to the castle and certainly worth a visit while you are in the area. This privately owned ‘ninja house’ was originally an inn that housed important visitors to Kyoto and features a great number of traps, secret rooms and tricks that were used to spy on (and sometimes assassinate) customers. Tours had to be booked quite some time in advance but even for those with little language skills everything is visual enough to fully understand with some (painful) demonstrations of how things worked.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

100 months ago
Score 0++
I visited this one 5 years ago and last year. This is a real beauty. Certainly worth it's 5 stars.