Add dates

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Guided Walking Tour

1. 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.

Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

2. 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: Guided Walking Tour with Nijo Castle & Yasaka Shrine

3. 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: Private Walking Tour [Customizable]

4. Kyoto: Private Walking Tour [Customizable]

Explore the historic city of Kyoto and its temples and shrines. This private tour allows you to choose your own itinerary like this sample. Follow your guide to Kinkakuji Temple, Golden Pavilion or Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. After that, head to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a famous spot due to the thousands of Torii gates. Take a photo of the god of agriculture enshrined in Fushimi Inari Shine. Stop for lunch before visiting Kiyomizu temple, and experience the atmosphere of Kyoto's most famous district as you meander through Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. Afterwards, if you have time, visit the Gion district, the famous geisha area. The tour ends at your hotel, or a location of your choosing.

Kyoto: 3.5-hours Historical Highlights Cycling Tour

5. 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 248 reviews

A lovely stroll through astonishingly sprawling garden grounds, and carefully tiptoeing across the nightingale floor of a majestic castle (despite the crowds). Calling Mardi our guide felt like a disservice. She was more of an erudite friend, full of interesting facts across a breadth of topics from history to architecture, food to culture. Mardi happily made a few tweaks to our tour, prompted by what we thought were just throwaway suggestions. “Since you said you were interested in <x>, let’s go this way.” Slight diversions opened up new paths, some small and some large. While we followed an overall itinerary it felt like the whole trip was subtly catered towards us. But trip didn’t just start in Kyoto, I need to add. The founder, Kevin, kicked it off at the point of booking with helpful emails and detailed communication before we even stepped foot in Japan. Easily one of the best tour experiences we have had. (We had a second tour booked with them as well!)

This tour was exactly what was described - it was like having a friend show you around their city! My guide Nicolo was passionate about showing his city off and highlighting places to see and things to do. He helped me try foods I wouldn’t otherwise have tried on my own (due to my allergy and inability to communicate that effectively most times by myself) and even made reservations for lunch at a place he called ahead to to make sure they accommodate my needs! He also arranged a visit to a festival that only happens once a year and that I would have had no idea about! Thanks for an amazing day in Kyoto Nicolo!

We booked the 2 hour walking guide.We were very flexible with what the guide has planned for us. If you are looking for an experience through Kyoto through the eyes of a local, then this is the tour to book. In 2hours our guide managed to squeeze in Kyoto Tower view and explained how to use the subway and bus. So this is a must for first timers in Kyoto. We walked through the Nishiki market and Shinkyogoku. By far the best tour guide. Thank you Taibi

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!!

Tour guide was friendly, knowledgeable, and very accommodating. Recommend taking this tour.