[Official Name] Nijo Palace
[Location] Nijo-dori, Chukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
[Type of Palace] Hirajo
Nijo palace, which was the base of Kyoto of the Tokugawa Shogunate, was built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, as a place for the Tokugawa-ke family to stay in Kyoto. It was also used for the meeting of Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyori, the General Staff Office in the battle called "Osaka Natsu and Fuyu no Jin", and also for the Restoration of the Imperial rule in 1867, by the 15th Shogun, Yoshinobu.
The palace consists of the Honmaru, which was moved from the former Katsuramiya palace, and the grand Ni no Maru palace. The Nijo palace is a compilation of luxuriousness and gorgeousness.
Nijo palace was built from 1601 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and is the representative architecture of the Momoyama era. It is also the greatest Buke-shoin-zukuri style architecture. In the beginning of the Tokugawa period, the palace was rebuilt as the place for the Tokugawa-ke family to stay in when they came to Kyoto. In 1611, the meeting with Toyotomi Hideyori was held here. In Ieyasu's time, the whole palace was only the size of the Ni no Maru, however, in Iemitsu's time, the palace was enlarged into the size we see today. On the south-west of the Honmaru, there used to be a five-storied Tenshu. This building was moved from the Fushimi palace.
In 1867, Tokugawa Yoshinobu gathered feudal lords from many areas, and held the Restoration of the Imperial rule in this Nijo Palace. From the Meiji era, the palace was used as a detached palace. This fact can be proven from the design on the bargeboard; the design is not of a mallow symbolizing the Tokugawa-ke family, but a chrysanthemum.
From today's Nijo Palace, which white walls reflect on the surface of the moat's water, the Kara-mon gate and the Ni no Maru palace are designated as national treasures. On the Kara-mon gate, built in the Kirizuma-zukuri style, are beautiful carvings. The Ni no Maru palace, built by Ieyasu, has five buildings, all in the Dai-shoin-zukuri style. The Shogun's room used for both sitting and sleeping, and the Shogun's room for visitors are both absolutely gorgeous. Honmaru Palace is a building which moved here in 1893, and it is built in the Sukiya style.