Located in a large traditional merchant’s house, this kimono-shop-museum is a great place to learn about kimonos and the history of...
Kyoto International Manga Museum
This fine museum has a collection of some 300,000 manga (Japanese comic books). Located in an old elementary school building, the museum...
Jittoku is located in an atmospheric old sakagura (sake brewery). It plays host to a variety of shows – check Kansai Scene to see...
For a quick snack or cuppa in groovy surroundings, this cosy coffee shop on the west side of Downtown Kyoto is a very nice choice. We go...
541 Nijōjō-chō, Nijō-dōri, Horikawa nishi-iru · interesting places nearby
The military might of Japan's great warlord generals, the Tokugawa shoguns, is amply demonstrated by the imposing stone walls and ramparts of their great castle, Nijō-jō, which dominates a large part of Northwest Kyoto. Hidden behind these you will find a superb palace surrounded by beautiful gardens. As you might expect, a sight of this grandeur attracts a lot of crowds, so it's best to visit just after opening or shortly before closing.
This castle was built in 1603 as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu. The ostentatious style of its construction was intended as a demonstration of Ieyasu's prestige and also to signal the demise of the emperor's power. As a safeguard against treachery, Ieyasu had the interior fitted with 'nightingale' floors, as well as concealed chambers where bodyguards could keep watch.
After passing through the grand Kara-mon gate , you enter Ninomaru palace, which is divided into five buildings with numerous chambers. The Ōhiroma Yon-no-Ma (Fourth Chamber) has spectacular screen paintings. Don't miss the excellent Ninomaru Palace Garden , which was designed by the tea master and landscape architect Kobori Enshū.