8.45am-5pm (last admission 4pm) - closed Tue in Dec, Jan, Jul and Aug, 26 Dec-4 Jan
Two lines of concentric fortified walls form a tight circle around Nijo Castle, which was constructed at the start of the 17C by Emperor Tokugawa Ieyasu. A supreme example of ostentation and refinement. The ceremonial rooms are embellished with paintings finished with gold, exemplary works of the Kano school, lavishly decorated coffered ceilings and superb tokonoma, altars which honour the ancestors. A peculiarity of the place is the floorboards, which creak with a noise like birds tweeting with every step you take, alerting residents to intruders. Enjoy a stroll around the garden among the lakes and rocks.