Nijoko Castle




Kyū-Nijōjō, or the 'Former Nijō Castle', also called Nijōkojō, 'Nijō Old Castle', was built by Oda Nobunaga for Ashikaga Yoshiaki, the last of the Muromachi shoguns, in 1569. The castle, 390m2 in area, was triple-bounded by moats and featured a three-tier tenshu (main keep). The residential castle also featured a spring-fed garden with artifical hillocks. At the time the castle was also referred to as the Nijō Palace (二条御所). Kyū-Nijōjō was abandoned in 1576 following the fall of the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1573. Nijōkojō was besieged by Oda Nobunaga during an abortive rebellion by Ashikaga Yoshiaki that year, but the Emperor brokered a peace treaty which saw the former shōgun exiled. Building materials were recycled from the castle for use at Azuchijō. A residence for Tokugawa Ieyasu was built on the site in 1602.

More recent archaelogical findings at the site of moat traces 6m wide and 3m deep indicate that the castle's inner moat had irregular and projecting moat corners, indicating the accomodation of yagura (turrets). Before the castle the site was that of the residence of Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the 13th Ashikaga Shōgun, and there is also a marker indicating this.

Visit Notes

RonS and I (ART) found traces of the 'Old Nijō Castle' near the Imperial Palace. The castle, which was bounded by ishigaki (stone ramparts) and hori (moats), extended from just within the grounds of the palace out to the west. A marker indicating the site is to be found at the Heian Women's University building. The remains of the castle were unearthed during the construction of underground rail several decades ago and some stone blocks have been relocated and dubiously "restored" on the inside of the Imperial Palace embankments. Here you see a scattered pile of them held in place by concrete. The better put together stonework by the gate is an Imperial Palace structure which looks like it could be a Meiji Period restoration effort. It's curious to see these stone platforms either side of the gateway; one wonders if they weren't intended to support a larger edifice. It seemed to me that the embankments which are now covered in trees may have originally supported earthen walls.


Castle Profile
English Name Nijoko Castle
Japanese Name 二条古城
Alternate Names 旧二条城
Founder Oda Nobunaga
Year Founded 1569
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Marutamachi Station on the Kyoto underground; 5 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 1' 11.57" N, 135° 45' 28.58" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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