Aug. 21, 2020 UPDATE
Nijo-jo Castle- 二条城 -
There are brochures in English, Chinese and Korean at the entrance and also audio guides in 6 different languages.
Audio guides are available in 6 languages (English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French and Japanese) Brochures are available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean
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World heritage site of important historical events in the center of Kyoto
Built in 1603, Nijo-jo Castle is fortified to fight off enemy attacks. This castle was made as the official residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, when he stayed in Kyoto. One of the most important historical events in Japanese history called "Taisei Hokan" (the restoration of governmental powers to the crown) took place in this castle. The lavishly decorated Nijo-jo Castle is representative of the highest level of Momoyama architecture which shows the power and authority of the Tokugawa shogunate. Please check out the beautiful gardens in Nijo-jo Castle too. In Ninomaru Palace, there are dolls to show how ti looked at the time of the Tokugawa shogunate (please note that photography is strictly forbidden). The entrance is under construction, but you can still enjoy the solemnity of this majestic castle.
When you walk through the Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate), you will be able to see the gorgeously decorated Kurumayose or "honorable carriages approach".. The design on the Ranma-chokoku (a carved transom and a decorative frieze consisting of carved panels fixed above the head of a door) differs on its front and back (referenced from the official website). The scene of pine trees standing in front of the Kurumayose is beautiful.
Cherry Blossom Light Up event in Spring
Nijo-jo Castle is also famous for cherry blossoms, which are illuminated at night during at this special spring time event (The event period is subject to changes, but usually runs from March 25th until April 17th). The cherry blossoms are beautiful to see during the day and also when they are illuminated in the darkness of night. Please visit Nijo-jo in spring to see a different view of the cherry blossoms.
Walk Through the Tunnel Of Cherry Blossoms
In Nijo-jo Castle, there is a path surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms on all sides. It feels as if you’re walking through a tunnel of cherry blossoms. Although Nijo-jo Castle during the spring is crowded, you can still enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms in this relaxing atmosphere.