Nijo Castle Revisited 2019 - Kyoto

Located in Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Nijo Castle (二条城) is one of the most famous landmarks of Kyoto City. As of this writing, this castle already has more than 23,000 reviews on Google Maps plus more than 130 thousand photos from thousands of tourists who visited it. 

Nijo Castle (二条城)

I have been lucky to have visited Nijo Castle twice already. The first was last 2018 and the latest was during the 2nd day of our 2019 Japan trip. During our first visit, my wife, daughter, and I only managed to visit the Ninomaru Palace and parts of the Ninomaru Garden as we were set to meet a friend that day. During our second visit, we were joined by my parents and siblings, and this time we aimed to explore more of the castle grounds. 

Nijo Castle - Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Nijo Castle - Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

I learned from the first visit that Nijo Castle can get very crowded easily and there is a usual line at its ticket booth, so to address this, we preordered our tickets via Klook and was lucky enough to get about 5 pesos discount each as we bought our ticket when the Philippine Peso was performing better than the Japanese Yen. With the ticket from Klook, we got inside Nijo Castle grounds easily and were probably one of the first visitors inside.

Higashi Otemon (East Gate)

Team Nicerio, ready to explore Nijo Castle

Aya at Higashi Otemon Gate

I was happy to see that my parents were eager to take photos with the Karamon Gate as their backdrop. It reminded me of my wife and I who were eager to do the same last year but sadly cannot find someone to snap our pictures. From there, we went inside the Ninomaru Palace and checked out its historic interior. It was forbidden to take photos and videos inside but for those who are curious about what's inside, here's what you'd expect...

Nijo Castle Karamon

Mom and dad enjoying the moment.

The palace has numerous rooms complete with stunning wall paintings. These rooms were said to be used by their former occupants and their guests. For those with keen ears, the floorboards actually create a sound like that of a Japanese nightingale when stepped on. This is said to warn the residents if assassins manage to infiltrate the castle. 

Next stop Ninomaru Garden

Ella and mommy with Nijo Castle's giant bells

Ninomaru Castle as seen from Ninomaru Garden

Ninomaru Garden

Mom and dad at Ninomaru Garden

After exploring Ninomaru Palace, we then explored Ninomaru Garden until we reached the bridge leading to the Honmaru Palace. Sadly, the Honmaru Palace was under renovation and was fully covered so we explored the Honmaru Garden instead. 

Honmaru Yagura Gate
Honmaru Yagura-mon Gate

The Honmaru Palace is currently being restored

Honmaru Garden

Going up the donjon

The donjon

The moat around Honmaru Palace as seen from the donjon.

The Honmaru Palace as seen from the donjon

At the far end of the garden was the Donjon where one has to climb up some steps to get a nice view of the Honmaru Palace and garden. We did not miss taking some family pictures here as there were only a few people around. 

The dozo (earthen storehouse)

Kita Nakashikiri-mon Gate



Seiryu-en Garden

From there, we continued walking northwards passing through some storage buildings before continuing on eastwards. We found ourselves at a path adjacent to Seiryu-en Garden. While following this path, one can easily admire the scenic beauty of the garden with the Waraku-an (teahouse) and Koun-tei (teahouse) as backdrops.

Kita Ote-mon (North Gate)

We continued following the pathway eastward until we reached the far end of the wall. The pathway then turned southwards passing through the gallery. We made a brief stop at the restrooms nearby before seeing and checking out the souvenir store beside it. Inside the souvenir store was a shop selling ice creams so aside from buying some souvenirs, I also bought some ice creams to try out. 

Golden Soft Ice Cream "Nijo Castle Sakura Fubuki" 1980 yen. A must-try.

It looks like Ella loved it.

Just a few meters from the souvenir/dessert shop was the Great Eastern Gate (Higashi-Ote-mon). It was the same gate that we entered from the ticket booth, which means that we have successfully completed going around the castle grounds. 

Back to Higashi Otemon to wrap up our Nijo Castle tour

Overall, our visit to Nijo Castle today was fulfilling as it was another moment for us to bond as a family. Just to share, Nijo Castle was our first destination on the second day of our 2019 Japan visit

Nijo Castle Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Nijo Castle is 600 yen per person and an additional 400 yen if you want to enter the Ninomaru Palace.

Nijo Castle Opening Hours

Nijo Castle is open from 8:45AM to 4PM every day.

Why visit Nijo Castle?

Nijo Castle is a must-visit destination in Kyoto City as it shows visitors an authentic look of Japan's feudal-era castle architecture. Aside from that, it's also one of the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In short, it's a highly recommended destination for those who are fond of well preserved historic places.  

Getting to Nijo Castle:


From Kyoto Station, one can ride Kyoto City Bus numbers 9, 50, or 101 and board down at Nijojomae. From there, the ticket booth is only a few meters away on foot. 



Overall rating


  1. Great post as usual, Neil!
    Makes me want to visit Kyoto again for Nijo Castle.

  2. What a beautiful castle! You sure find the most incredible places.

    1. Thanks Cyndi. :) It's just that Japan has numerous amazing places worth visiting.

  3. Replies
    1. It is. Please do visit Nijo Castle when you are in Japan.

  4. japan is so high on my bicket list , there is something there for everyone .. love the cultture out there

  5. Thank you for sharing your adventure, just by looking at the photos I want to go there now. :D

  6. Great shots! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience in Kyoto, you must've enjoyed your visit there!

    1. I sure did! I love Japan. Kyoto is one of my fave destinations. You should come visit. :)

  7. This looks like a wonderful trip. And great photos.

  8. Loved reading it. What an interesting place to be. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog as well! :)

  9. I am adding visiting the Nijo Castle to my bucket list it looks amazing! thank you for the great images!

    1. Thanks Wendy. Looks ng forward to your visit after this pandemic. :)

  10. AAww how cool! I really need to get out and see the world when it reopens! Great stuff!

  11. I cannot wait to travel again. I would not mind to visit those sites first when things get back to normal.

    1. Please do include Nijo Castle to your itinerary when you come visit.

  12. This is just beautiful. I see why you were eager to get back a second time.

    1. I'd be glad to come back again and again until I visit every castle in Japan. :)

  13. Amazing photographs with elaborated info of castle. Liked immensely.

  14. Replies
    1. Thank you. Nijo Castle is really a beautiful place. You should come visit.

    2. Amazing! Tye photos are stunning. Looking forward to visiting Japan one day and certainly Nijo Castle will be on the top of my list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  15. I think I have been to Nijo Castle. I can't remember as I been to Kyoto so many times but never remember when I went.

    1. That sounds amazing. The mere fact that you have been to Kyoto numerous times is something to envy about.

  16. I love this. I never knew about the Nijo Castle but wow is it beautiful. I’m adding it to my lists of places to visit once this pandemic is over.

  17. Wow. I love visiting cultural monuments. Such places with a story behind. Loved all the pictures.

    1. Thank you so much. Nijo Castle is one of those cultural monuments that you'd see in Kyoto.

  18. Wonderful castle as it is! Amazing visit for everyone for sure! Can't wait to see this in person. Love your shots!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I do hope you get to visit Nijo Castle. :)

  19. I always wanted to visit Kyoto! Thank you for a small insight into it.


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