The Nijo-jo Castle was built in 1603 by order of the Shogun Tokugawa and served as his residence in Kyōto when he was rarely present there (His residence city was Edo, nowadays Tokyō). In this castle he also announced his appointment as shogun, as well as his descendant the end of the shogunate in 1867. Later the castle became a villa of the emperor, until it was bequeathed to the city Kyōto in 1939.
Unfortunately, the Honmaru-goten Palace, the gardens and the base wall of the keep were closed due to restoration work. So mainly only the Ninomaru-goten Palace was open to visitors, which is a national cultural treasure, as it is the only preserved example of a fortified palace complex.