Ogasawara Tadazane (former lord of Matsumoto), moved into the area in 1617. In 1619, under the orders of Tokugawa Hidetada he built Akashi Castle in just one year for the purposes of watching over the Western lords and building up the Tokugawa defenses in the region. He accomplished building this castle in so little time mainly because he used materials from castles in the area that were decomissioned under the one castle per country law of 1615. The castle deftly makes use of the natural terrain in a 3 tiered castle compound. Ogasawara's father-in-law Honda Tadamasa, who also directed the construction of Himeji Castle, assisted with the construction of Akashi castle. Even though they build a large foundation for a large main keep, no main keep was ever built. In it's place the honmaru had 4 large 3 story yagura, two of which are still standing today. Eventually, Ogasawara Tadazane was moved to Kokura Castle and the lordship of Akashi Castle changed hands several times until it was taken over by Matsudaira Naoakira in 1682. The Matsudaira continued to ruled until the coming of the Meiji Restoration.
You mostly only see pictures of the 2 main yagura for this castle, but I was also impressed by the many stone walls and well defined baileys that still exist. I didn't notice until it was dark and too late to take any pictures, but it looks like you can get some good pictures from the train station too including both yagura.
|English Name||Akashi Castle|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Tatsumi Yagura, Hitsujisaru Yagura|
|Features||gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls|
|Access||Akashi Sta (San'yo Line), 5 min walk|
|Location||Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 39' 8", 134° 59' 31"|
|Visits||November 14, 2009|