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World Heritage / Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Criteria: (ii) (iv) | Date of Inscription: 1994 | Location: Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures | Justification for Inscription


Things to see


Ninomaru goten (Ninomaru Palace)
Ninomaru goten (Ninomaru Palace)
The Ichi-no-ma room and Ni-no-ma room
The Ichi-no-ma room and Ni-no-ma room
Moat around Nijo-jo
Moat around Nijo-jo
Higashi Otemon
Higashi Otemon
Nijo Castle was built during the Edo period. It is located in the Chukyo District of Kyoto City.
Initially Nijo Castle was constructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu to serve as Tokugawa's residence in case the first shogun or his descendants visited Kyoto. Completed in a very large scale reconstruction effort ordered by Tokugawa Iemitsu, after the Tokugawa's Fushimi Castle to the south of Kyoto fell into disuse, Nijo Castle became much more of an focal point for Tokugawa Shogunate.
The name of Nijo Castle is also cited as the place the Restoration of the Imperial Rule was announced in 1867 by the last shogun, Yoshinobu. In the years after the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate the castle has been used as an imperial villa.
Ninomaru Palace, constructed originally by Tokugawa Iemitsu remains today as the only original building in Nijo Castle, the rest being reconstructions.
Ninomaru goten (Ninomaru Palace)
Ninomaru goten is a typical building of the shoin-zukuri (the samurai residence style) of the Momoyama period. A kurumayose (carriage porch) and six buildings including a Tozamurai (retainer's lodge), a Shikidai (Minister's reception hall), the Ohiroma (official reception hall), a Sotetsu-no-ma (corridor), the Kuroshoin (inner audience chamber) and the Shiroshoin (the shogun's residential quarters) lie in a shape similar to that of wild geese flying in formation. The total area of the Ninomaru goten is 3300sq m over 33 rooms containing some 800 tatami mats. Special, open to the public rooms such as the forth room of Ohiroma offer Kano Tan-yu's wonderful paintings drawn on traditional sliding doors.
Ichi-no-ma and Ni-no-ma of Ohiroma of Ninomaru goten
The Ichi-no-ma room and Ni-no-ma room are the places the shogun met the lords from his domains and are thus among the most noble rooms of the Ninomaru goten. The Ichi-no-ma room has 48 tatami mats and the Ni-no-ma room contains 44 tatami mats. In 1867, the Shogunate finally relinquished its power in favor of direct imperial rule; an event overseen by the 15th and final shogun.
Honmaru goten (Main Castle)
When first constructed, the Honmaru goten was used to raise the five-storied main tower and was as large and imposing as Ninomaru goten. Burned down following a lightning strike in 1750, in 1788 it lost its main palace in a great fire that swept through large swathes of Kyoto. Despite being reconstructed as the residence of the fifteenth shogun Yoshinobu in the late Edo period it was closed down in 1881.
The current Honmaru goten is ex Katuranomiya Palace transferred from Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1894.
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