Monday, August 24, 2015

Kyoto: Nijo Castle (Nijojo) in Japan


Nijo Castle (二条城, Nijōjō) was built for the first Kyoto shogun resident named Tokugawa Ieyasu during Edo Period (1603 - 1867). Since after the fall of Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867, Nijo Castle was then converted as an imperial palace. 

Ninomaru Palace is the only palace that opens to the visitors every day in Nijo Castle. Ninomaru Palace is used to serve as the residence and office for the shogun during the Edo Period. Ninomaru Palace is located in front of the entrance of Karamon Gate to the palace itself. All visitors are required to remove their shoes and put on Japanese home shoes (as provided by the officers there) before entering the Ninomaru Palace. Photography is prohibited during the tour in Ninomaru Palace in order to preserve the original painted walls, ceilings and sliding doors in the palace. 

It is impossible for visitors to walk along the corridors without any squeaky sounds throughout the tour at Ninomaru Palace. The floor of corridors are called as nightingale floor which is built in such a way as a security measure against intruders into the palace. 

Once you have finished touring the Ninomaru Palace, you can walk to Honmaru Palace, the next door of Ninomaru Palace. Honmaru Palace remains closed to visitors all the time but you can enjoy the serene of the garden and the lake at Honmaru garden. Honmaru garden is usually crowded during the seasons of cherry blossom, Spring and Autumn.

Nijo Castle has been designated as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in 1994 as it is recognized as one of the surviving palaces from Edo Period, which is also one of the most popular historical attractions at Kyoto, Japan.

How to get to Nijo Castle?
Subway Station : 
Tozai Subway Line: Get down at Nijojo-mae Station  or

Kyoto City Bus no. 9, 50 or 101 from Kyoto Station   or
Kyoto City Bus no. 12 from Shijo-Kawaramachi 
Opening Hours :  9am to 4pm 

                            (except Tuesdays and  26th Dec to 4th Jan yearly)
Entrance Fee   :  600 yen


This is the main entrance of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
This is the main entrance of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Another main entrance gate to Honmaru Palace (main circle of defence with a five story castle) and Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
Another main entrance gate to Honmaru Palace (main circle of defence with a five story castle) and Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

All the building structures and gardens are in symmetrical at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
All the building structures and gardens are in symmetrical at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Karamon Gate leads the visitors to Ninomaru Palace which used to be the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
Karamon Gate leads the visitors to Ninomaru Palace which used to be the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

A closer look at the beauty designs of colourful and gold plated of wood carving on Karamon Gate at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
A closer look at the beauty designs of colourful and gold plated of wood carving on Karamon Gate at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Ninomaru Palace served as the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
Ninomaru Palace served as the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Visitors must remove their shoes and slip on Japanese houses  shoes that are provided before entering the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
Visitors must remove their shoes and slip on Japanese houses  shoes that are provided before entering the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

This garden is located nearby Honmaru Palace and it is usually crowded during cherry blossom and autumn season at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
This garden is located nearby Honmaru Palace and it is usually crowded during cherry blossom and autumn season at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan


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