Nijojo (Nijo Castle)

Residential castle located in the city of Kyoto. Construction was begun in 1569 by the warlord Oda Nobunaga and was completed by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867). It served as a residence for shoguns during visits to Kyoto. Rectangular in layout, its main compound (hommaru) is distinctive in that it is built on a slightly raised earth bank. The main keep was brought from Fushimi Castle between 1624 and 1626, but it was destroyed by fire in 1750. The mansion-style buildings of the Ninomaru Palace in the secondary compound (ninomaru) have been designated a National Treasure. Nijo Castle is famous for its creaking floorboards, which are said to chirp like nightingales to warn of intruders. It is also known for the elegant design of its garden. In 1994 it was registered by UNESCO for inclusion on its list of World Heritage monuments.

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