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Nijo Castle (二条城)
Kyoto and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers,  Palaces,  Squares, Parks, Gardens
Castles, Fortresses, Towers, 

Nijo represents the charisma and power of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogun dynasty and the diplomatic leader who unified Japan during the Edo period. The castle complex was his residence in Kyoto. Today, it is one of the city's leading cultural and historical landmarks.

Construction of Nijo began in 1601 and was completed 25 years later under Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun and grandson of the dynasty founder. After the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, the country's political leaders continued to own the complex for a while, and in 1939, when it was donated to Kyoto, its doors opened to all visitors.

Nijo is a vivid example of the castle architecture of feudal Japan, perfectly preserved to this day. It is one of the most recognizable palace complexes in the country, known for its historical significance and the UNESCO World Heritage status acquired in 1994.

The most impressive attraction of Nijo is the Ninomaru Palace. Its entrance is decorated by the picturesque Karamon Gate with elaborate wood carvings and other fine details that took ancient craftsmen a long time to create. Ninomaru itself consists of 5 buildings and 33 rooms covering an area of 3,300 square meters. The interior design is sustained in the classical Japanese style: tatami on the floor, fascinating plant and animal ornaments on the walls. It is noteworthy that all interior elements, from decorative woodwork to sumptuously painted screens, were designed and decorated by the great artists of the Kano school.

There is a beautiful garden just behind the Ninomaru Castle. It was created by the famous architect, gardener, and master of the tea ceremony of the 15th and 16th centuries, Kobori Enshu. The garden is built around a large pond decorated with many stones of all shapes and sizes.

In 1965, Nijo opened another garden, Seiryu-en, which boasts a magnificent combination of Eastern and Western styles. It was created to host cultural events, such as tea ceremonies, as well as to welcome official visitors of the city. Seiryu-en is an ideal place to take a walk and relax after a tour of Nijo.

Address: 541 Nijojocho

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Anna Sh

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