Nijo Castle, Kyoto

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  • Nijo Castle
    by Ewingjr98
  • Nijo Castle
    by Ewingjr98
  • Nijo Castle
    by Ewingjr98
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    Nijo Castle - Central Kyoto

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 19, 2013
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    Nijo Castle is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The castle was begin in 1603 under Tokugawa Ieyasu, and completed in 1626 during the reign of his grandson Tokugawa Iemitsu.This stage of construction included a five-story castle yhat was built in the center of the fortress. The large castle, the centerpiece of the site, was destoyed by lightning and the ensuing fire in 1750. This remained a shogunate castle until around 1867 when power was returned from the Shoguns to the Emperor, and the castle was donated to the city of Kyoto in 1939.

    Entrance to the castle complex is 600 Yen per adult, which includes a nice, long tour of the interior of the impressive, 33-room Ninomaru Palace, built with the original castle. To the west of the Ninomaru Palace is the Honmaru Palace, built with the original castle, and destroyed in 1788, the current structure was completed in 1847. On the north side of the castle grounds are the impressive Seiryu-en Gardens, which were built in 1965.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Nijo Castle

    by Jim_Eliason Written Jun 18, 2012
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    Residence of the Shogun, this castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1601. The castle lacks the traditional keep of Japanese castles but contains a couple of palaces and large gardens in its expansive setting.

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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    Another Jewel of the many in Kyoto ....

    by jlanza29 Written May 4, 2012

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    Main entrance to castle
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    The ostentatious style of this castle was intended as a demonstration of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu's prestige.
    Nijo-jo Castle was the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa shoguns, who ruled Japan for the over 200 years from 1603 to 1868, and it remains an eloquent testimony to their power. The wide moat, massive stone walls, and heavy yet elaborate gates are still impressive, and were the only fortifications the inhabitants felt they needed, so firm was their grip on power. The grounds are large and contain several lovely gardens as well as groves of plum and cherry trees. The palace building itself is imposing, yet upon closer examination, is rich in decorative detail.

    Inside the palace are several masterpieces of Japanese art, most notably the painted screens of the main chamber. In this room the shoguns met the daimyo (high-ranking warlord-administrators) who sought their audience. The screens were painted by artists of the Kano school and employ rich colors and large amounts of gilt to depict flowers, trees, birds and tigers. They were meant to impress. Also in the palace are the famous "nightingale floors," which were designed to squeak and thus alert guards to any intruders.

    Spent about an hour here and saw everything in a non-rushed way .... entrance fee was 600 Yens

    Make sure you walk around the gardens ... just beautiful......

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    Nijo Castle

    by SallyM Updated May 2, 2011

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    Nijo Castle - from street
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    Nijo Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Nijo Castle is different from the other castles we visited in Japan as the main building, the Ninomaru Palace, is a single-storey rather than a tower with steep stairs. It is built in the shoin-zukiri style, with linked sections. The wall paintings are by members of the Kano School. The complex was created by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616). In the first grand chamber there are dummies representing feudal lords paying their respects to the shogun.

    The corridor floors are designed to squeak when they are walked on - to prevent intruders sneaking in. Because of the noise they make they are known as 'nightingale floors'.

    In the castle grounds are beautiful gardens, including a cherry tree grove and plum tree grove, and the Seiryu-en Garden, constructed in 1965, which contains a large pond and two teahouses. There are also audio information panels in the grounds in 4 languages: Japanese, Chinese, English and Korean.

    The castle gates open at 8.45 a.m., and the Ninomaru Palace opens at 9.00 a.m. - if you arrive early you can look round the gardens first.

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    The Nijo Castle

    by Gili_S Written Feb 9, 2010

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    The Nijo Castle itself is dated to the 17th century while Kyoto was still the Capital of Japan. During the years some parts of it been burned by fire and only in the mid 20th century it was given to the city of Kyoto and been opened to the crowed as a touristic site.

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    Nijo Castle & Fortress

    by Gili_S Written Feb 9, 2010

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    The Nijo Castle is a large complex of fortress and palaces spread on a large area of 275,000 square meters. When you plan to visit here plan about half a day for it if you want to see it all. In this tip I added photos of the fortress and gardens.

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    A world heritage of Kyoto

    by muratkorman Written Sep 12, 2009

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    Nijo Castle is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. The castle was originally built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The palace building Ninomaru is kept in its original form and is famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors and squeaking floors when someone walks on them as a security measure for intruders. The other parts you can visit are Honmaru Palace, Seiryu-en Garden and Ninimaru Garden. The admission is 600 JPY. Opening hours are between 8:45 to 17:00.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Nijo Castle

    by Rabbityama Written Jan 11, 2009

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    Nijo's Ninomaru Palace
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    When most people think of Japanese castles, they picture the large majestic buildings, like Himeji Castle. Nijo Castle was built with the Shoin-zukuri architectural style, so it does not look like a typical Japanese castle however, do not let this deter you from going. Nijo Castle is well worth the visit!

    It is probably more appropriate to refer to Nijo Castle as an Imperial Palace, similar to the imperial villas, because the residents were indeed the Imperial Cabinet. The main section, the Ninomaru Palace, was commissioned by Tokugawa Ieyasu to be built in 1601 and was completed in 1603. The palace you see today is this very same palace; it was never burned down or reconstructed, so the building, as well as the beautiful paintings inside are all originals. The Nightingale floors have also been preserved, so as you walk in the palace, you will noticed the floorboards squeaking. These were used to indicate to those inside that someone was intruding, so outsiders could not easily launch a surprise attack or spy.

    The Ninomaru Garden is also quite beautiful, and it dates back to 1626, so it was part of the original palace.

    The Honmaru Palace was brought from Katsura Imperial Villa from 1893-1894 and dates back to 1847. The Seiryu-en Garden was built quite recently, in 1965, so it was not part of the original castle however, don't be too disappointed, because the Ninomaru Garden is both more beautiful and the original palace garden!

    Nijo Castle is a beautiful historic site with great examples of original Japanese architecture, artwork, and gardens. It was designated as one of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites in 1994, an honor it certainly deserves!

    The entrance fee is 600 yen.

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  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    Visit Nijojo!

    by Toshioohsako Updated Jul 19, 2008

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    Its a castle buit in 1603 by the first Shougun Tokugawa Iyeyasu for his Kyoto residence. This place is called "Ninomaru" (second castle). Its a typical masterpiece of "Momoyama" architecture. It has a large garden and enjoy taking pictures here.

    The Nijo Castle is one of many UNESCO's World Heritage Site in Kyoto.

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  • yurxlnc's Profile Photo

    Nijo Castle

    by yurxlnc Updated Jul 13, 2008

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    tourists at nijo castle
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    This was the former residence of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu , built as a residence for him and his successors.
    It is now known as Ninimaru [secondary castle], built in 1803 and famous for its Momoyama architecture.
    The main castle Honmaru had a five storied tower.
    Admission 600 yen.
    Open 8.45-17.00 daily, but closed on Tuesdays January, July, August and December. Also closed 26 December -4 January.

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  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the gardens

    by trvlrtom Updated Apr 17, 2008

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    Cherry grove, beautiful even in the rain.

    The Nijo Castle deserves its reputation as one of the highlights of Kyoto. Most likely if you are in the city you will visit it. The buildings are impressive and worth every moment you spend there, but don't skip the gardens either.

    There are three of them: the Seiryu-en, the Green garden, and the Ninomaru, each different and special in their own way. The Seiryu-en has two parts, one with a large pone in the Japanese style, and the other with a spacious lawn mostly in the Western style. The large Ninomaru garden goes way back in time, with several small island in the pond. It's also worthwhile to walk along the path on the west and south sides of Honmaru, where there are cherry tree and plum tree groves, exceptional in their respective seasons.

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    NIJO CASTLE

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 10, 2007

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    ENTRANCE TO NIJO CASTLE
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    NIJO CASTLE IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

    Built in 1603 as the residence for Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

    Reconstructed due to fires in the 18th century it still maintains its original form.

    Shogun Castle architecture is distinct from the Buddgist or Shinto Temples.

    This is a shoes off tour and no photos inside.

    Extremely interesting interior . But the main attraction is the "Nightingale Floors'

    The floors sing ( squeak ) like a nightingale. The floors were designed and built to

    squeak to alert the Shogun if intruders or assasins were near at hand.

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    The Nightingale Floor

    by Gryphon25 Written Oct 6, 2007

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    Nijo Castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu. When walked on the floors would squeak. This would prevent any assassins from geeting close to the Shogun. It really is amazing and you ,as I did, will try your best not to make the floors squeak. You can't take pictures inside the castle. The period is well depicted with sign boards and life size models.

    Nijo Castle is part of a big complex containing other buildings a moat and a beautiful garden and is worth the walk.

    Cost Y 600

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    Tokugawa Shogun castle

    by sandrafiza Updated Sep 24, 2007

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    Nijo Castle Extrance
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    The castle was originally built in 1603 as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu. It was completed in 1626 by the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu, with the additional of some structures transferred from Fushimi Castle.Nijo catle is one of the finest examples of Momoyama architecture in Japan that makes splendid use of early Edo period building design and the lavish painting and carving that Iemitsu ordered.

    But went you go in, why is it so empty.You will see a lots of empty room and the board will tell you that this room is used for what. I get bored with all the empty room but i have the school kids to entertain me.

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  • Zirpsis's Profile Photo

    The Tokugawa Shoguns' place

    by Zirpsis Updated Jun 20, 2007

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    Ninomaru Palace entrance at Nijo Castle
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    This castle is a fine example of Momoyama architecture with some great paintings and wood carvings inside. Near the entrance, the paintings were scary with fierce figures watching the visitors but the closer to the inner quarters, the more pleasing the pictures. Beautiful floral and animal motifs in over 950 paintings. However, photography was forbidden inside, so you must go and see for yourself! The famous nightingale floor of the Ninomaru Palace was really amazing. Nobody could sneak in unnoticed!

    There was a time in Japan when the Shogun was more powerful than the Emperor. So this was the real center of government where shogun lived and ruled until the last shogun decided to return sovereignty to the Emperor in 1867. Don't miss this one. It's really impressive!

    Total site area is 275000 sq meters, buildings 7300 sq meters

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