Ako Castle 赤穂城
Outer Honmarumon Gate
Picture Donated by Joysakh
Founder Asano Naganao
Year 1648
Type Flatland
Condition Other Buildings
Alternate Name Kariya-jo
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Ako, Hyogo Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Banshuako Sta. (Ako Line)
Website Ako City Sightseeing
Notes This looks like a great, but not well visited castle. I really want to go here soon.
History Ukita Hideie built a branch or subordinate castle of Okayama Castle here in 1573. When Asano Naganao came in 1648 he was instructed by the Tokugawa government to build a new castle. If you look at a map of the castle you'll see that the outline looks very unique. It employs a lot of corners and these arrowhead point looking structures. This was a very modern idea to improve firing range near the castle and increase its defensive ability. You also see such structures very clearly in Goryokaku at Hakodate. There is a main keep foundation at Ako Castle but the main keep wasn't built because the Tokugawa government never granted permission to do so. Ako Castle was dismantled in 1873 under the Castle Abolishment Law.
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  • furinkazan on My Page    April 12, 2012 at 06:54 PM
    I visited this site today. It is a very nice place to be during sakura-time. The park is surrounded by a lot of ishigaki and they are still reconstructing some parts of it. It's easy accessible. From the south-exit of Banshu-Ako station it's straight ahead. There aren't alot of buildings, but they made some kind of elevated map in the honmaru, where the palace once stood. The Oishi-jinja, related to the 47 ronin, stands inside the ishigaki.
  • a22cricket on My Page    May 16, 2011 at 06:50 PM
    Went here for the 47 Ronin Festival on Dec. 14th every year. Definitely the best time to go! Castle has been filmed numerous times for movies about the 47 Ronin.
  • Eric    April 26, 2011 at 11:05 PM
    Yes, this is partially correct. The one castle per country law forced all lords to build and maintain a castle in their domain which ate up funds and resources that they may have put to military uses.
  • John    April 21, 2011 at 01:09 AM
    I've noticed that many of the castles in the other buildings category were built after the senguku period, during the reign of the tokugawa shogunate. I suppose the tokugawa were trying to limit the power of the feudal daimyos
  • RaymondW on My Page    April 02, 2011 at 03:11 PM
    I went to this castle in early March. It has been around two years since my last visit. More walls have been reconstructed. The local government is quite serious about restoring this castle with current building work focusing on fully reconstructing the Ninomaru Gardens. With work in progress, a visitor to the Ninomaru (Second Bailey) area can see a clear cross-section of how ishigaki (a Japanese stone wall) is constructed. It wasn’t the best day for taking piccies, but it was nice to walk around this quiet castle ruin. Thank goodness I finished my visit before two busloads of tourists arrived at the site.
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Ako, Hyogo Pref.
Ako Castle views
Outer Honmarumon Gate gate and yagura
Ote Sumiyagura honmaru and palace ruins
stone walls and moat stone walls and moat
main keep foundation Ote Sumiyagua
Otemon Gate Umayaguchimon Gate
pond and the base of donjon Hanebashimon Gate
Inner Honmarumon Gate Umayaguchimon Gate
Umayaguchimon Gate walls and moat
Gate of former residence of Oishi Yoshio map