Nijo Castle

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Nijo Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: Nijo-jo Castle Guided Walking Tour

1. Kyoto: Nijo-jo Castle Guided Walking Tour

Explore Niji-jo Castle with a licensed and experienced multilingual guide, who will introduce you to sides of Japan that ordinary tourists do not usually get to discover. Learn why this monument's feudal-era castle architecture is so significant in terms of history, culture, and art history. Hear all about the 400-year old castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its significance in the history of Japan.

Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

2. Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

Discover Kyoto like a local and see the top attractions on a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour private walking tour. Meet your host and get insider tips on what to see and do, learn about the culture and discover hidden gems along the way. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Book your preferred tour duration at least 72 hours in advance so that the best experience can be created in advance. You will be contacted shortly after booking to chat about your needs and interests. A like-minded host will then be provided, along with a bespoke, but flexible, itinerary exclusive to you. Visit sacred sites like the shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha or Kinkajuki Temple, explore the cultural district of Gion or get off the beaten path in historic neighborhoods with the help of your guide. Stop for lunch at an authentic spot, recommended by your host to suit your taste and budget, or snack on street food as you walk. Get advice on how to spend the rest of your time in the city and more.

Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

3. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

Kyoto: Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Guided Walking Tour

4. Kyoto: Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Guided Walking Tour

Experience a 3-hour immersive experience filled with unforgettable sights and stories on this walking tour in Kyoto.  First stop is the Imperial Palace. Enjoy a brief stroll around the gardens before entering the Palace’s grand buildings. As you walk around the complex, your guide will tell you stories about the palace’s history and design.  After leaving the Imperial Palace, feel like a local as you cross the Takeyamachi area, where an interesting mix of traditional Japanese homes, modern buildings, and locals shops and cafes come together. After a casual 15-minute stroll, you’ll reach Nijo Castle.  Nijo Castle dates back to the early 1600s, and consists of two palaces. The first is Ninomaru Palace, where you'll relive the days when the Shogun held court and conducted affairs from this imposing complex. After leaving the Ninomaru Palace's interior, you will continue to the second palace of the development, the smaller Honmaru Palace. Here a fortified wall and other defensive features remain, as well as a peaceful garden. Combining the Imperial Palace with Nijo Castle allows you to take a closer look at some of Kyoto's most valuable treasures, while also affording you lots of time to spend the rest of the day as you please.

Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour with Nijo Castle & Yasaka Shrine

5. Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour with Nijo Castle & Yasaka Shrine

Joining this small-group walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide will make your day in Kyoto a memorable one. The first stop is Nijo Castle, where you will hear about its history. Explore the main gate, inside the main building, and finally the massive garden and observatory. After Nijo Castle, take a short subway ride to Karasuma Oike station. From there, walk to a nearby local supermarket. See local fresh fruits, and visit a deli and bakery. If you did not eat breakfast, it is possible to take a short break here. Continue to Nishiki Market, located in Kyoto's downtown area. You will see a variety of foods such as seafood, deep-fried foods, Japanese pickles, Karaage, Takoyaki, Japanese spice, ice cream, green tea, egg roll, and more. Feel free to stop, taste, and buy food as you go. You will also have a chance to purchase Japanese knives, teacups, and plates.  After exploring the Nishiki Market, walk through Shin Kyogoku street, Sanjo street, and Kiyamachi street, to end up on the famous Ponto street. You will see a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Feel free to make a stop and enjoy a coffee break or lunch. You will then head into the Gion neighborhood. See the Minamiza Kabuki theatre and walk the traditional Hanamikoji street. Your guide will also take you to some of the backstreets in Gion where many ochaya teahouses can be found. You will not meet any maiko or geisha in the daytime, but you may do so if you come back in the evening. Finally, end up at the Yasaka Shrine, located at the eastern end of the Gion district. Visit the main stage and learn what it was set up for, and touch the underground water, which is said to enhance the beauty of body and mind.

Kyoto: 3.5-hours Historical Highlights Cycling Tour

6. Kyoto: 3.5-hours Historical Highlights Cycling Tour

Go on this cycling tour and explore the peaceful side of Kyoto.  Start this activity by learning about Nijo Castle. At Seimei Shrine you can find out how to pray at a Japanese shrine. Check out the Golden Pavilion and get ready to take great photos at Kamishichiken, the oldest geisha district in Japan.  After seeing the magical Golden Pavilion continue to cycle for a nice downhill ride to the Imperial Palace. Your guide will give you some insights into the history of this place.  At a traditional Japanese restaurant, you can discover the local cuisine with a variety of Soba dishes, as well as desserts with matcha and mochi. Feel free to visit a beautiful Japanese garden and a souvenir shop next door.  After this break, the tour will continue cycling back a relaxing ride along a beautiful route through the city. Finish your tour at the Kamogawa river and immerse yourself in this unique atmosphere while watching the locals enjoying their time.

Other Sightseeing Options in Nijo Castle

Want to discover all there is to do in Nijo Castle? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Nijo Castle

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 222 reviews

Our guide Agustin was so helpful and friendly. He took us to a lovely temple that wasn't on the main tourist trail, which was a great opportunity to escape the crowds of Kyoto in the autumn colours season. Our walking tour included all the things that we'd expressed interest in when booking. After the tour, Agustin also kindly emailed me information that he had researched for us about a museum exhibition and antique shop because we'd explained that we were interested in Japanese netsuke. Thank you Agustin!

Although not a native Japanese, Tanya is an experienced tour guide. She knows a lot about Kyoto as well as the history and culture of Japan. She contacted us in advanced with a proposal for the private day tour based on our interests. She even managed to bring us to a temple, where a traditional ceremony was held. Thank you for this unique experience Tanya!

The local Tour was amazing! Really made me feel like a local. An impossible task but one he really tried to accomplish. Helped me understand how Kyoto works from the ground up. Great experience and a great visit!!

The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.

Kokoro was great, very helpful and knowledgeable. We covered a lot of ground.