|English Name||Aki Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Features||samurai homes, water moats, stone walls, castle town|
|Access||Aki Sta, (Tosa Kuroshio Line); 30 min walk|
|Location||Aki City, Kochi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||33° 31' 10", 133° 54' 45"|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
Aki Chikauji founded this castle in a well defended position between two rivers in 1309. The Aki was one of the strongest families in the area and ruled over the eastern part of Tosa until the Sengoku Period. In 1569, Aki Kunitora attacked Chosakabe several times but eventually found himself under attack at Aki Castle. As supplies ran low and the castle defenders took ill from a poisoned well, Kunitora offered to surrender and take his own life if his people were saved. After the fall of the Aki, Chosakabe's younger brother Kosakabe Chikayasu became the new lord of Aki Castle. Aki Castle served as an important staging area for Chosakabe's incursions into the Awa region.
After the Battle of Sekigahara, the province was awarded to Yamanouchi Kazutoyo who stationed his retainer Goto Tameshige as the new lord of Aki Castle. The castle was decommissioned in 1615 under the One Castle per Province law, but the grounds and fortifications stayed in use until the Meiji Period as a local earthwork fortification.
The best way to reach the castle is by renting a bike from Aki Station (rentals are free). It takes about 10-15 minutes to reach. If you prefer walking, it's also possible from the station. Within the castle grounds are the History Museum and the Calligraphy Museum. The Calligraphy Museum building is not an authentic reconstruction of any of Aki Castle's actual structures, but the top was designed to look like a castle structure. Outside the castle grounds are remnants of the castle town, like a samurai residence and other structures.
Profile by BrandonS with photos contributed by BrandonS and RaymondW.