Akita Castle

From Jcastle.info



Akita Castle is one of a series of the josaku fortifications built in the Tohoku region by the Yamato Court to help bring the northeast region under their control. Akita Castle was the location of the Dewa provincial government and was an important point for trade between the interior settlements and those of the coast and even trade with Russia. It was abandoned in 1050 after the Former Nine Year's War.

Visit Notes

This is quite an interesting castle to visit. I was pleasantly surprised. There are plenty of signs and maps to describe the site. There are foundation stones were different buildings stood and you get a good feel for what the site was like. I would not have wnated to be the poor souls living near the toilet, however, no matter how unique it was!

There are a few different busses from Akita Station that will take you near the castle. It's best to ask at the station which is best based on the time. You can easily visit Akita Castle, Kubota Castle and the nearby Kurosawa Residence in a day.

See also Taga Castle, Shiwa Castle, and Hotta no Saku for similar josaku fortifications.

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Castle Profile
English Name Akita Castle
Japanese Name 秋田城
Alternate Names Dewa-saku
Founder Yamato Court
Year Founded c. 733
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features gates, walls
Visitor Information
Access Akita Sta. (Oou Line); 20 min bus
Visitor Information museum open 9am to 4pm; closed Dec 1 to March 31
Time Required 90 mins
Website http://www.city.akita.akita.jp/city/ed/ac/Default.htm
Location Akita City, Akita Prefecture
Coordinates 39° 44' 25.40" N, 140° 4' 46.88" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Admin Year Visited 2018
Admin Visits May 10, 2018

(4 votes)
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54 months ago
Score 0++
I'm making a list of the castles i visited. By reading the pamphlet i got at Akitajô it reads : 'Akita castle was originally called Ideha no Ki (Fort Ideha) when it was built in 733 in Takashimizuoka, Akita. It came to be called Akita Castle around 760.'


58 months ago
Score 0++
I have seen Akita-no-ki given as an alternate name. I haven't seen 秋田柵, but it's not something I've really looked into either.


58 months ago
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The character for castle is almost always 城. The reading is usually \-jō except in the case of very ancient castles built in the Yamato period then the reading is "ki \"" such as Yashima no Ki built in 667 (the oldest castle site I've visited). However a type of fortified administrative center built in frontier regions during the Nara period is sometimes suffixed with 柵 this Kanji looks like a fence next to a tree. An example of this is Hotta no Saku which has been partially reconstructed today. However 柵 may also be read \""Ki\"" too so you could also say Hotta no Ki. Akitajō is usually written 秋田城 but because this is the same type of castle as Hotta no Saku I wonder if it can't also be written as 秋田柵 Akita no Ki"


76 months ago
Score 0++
Furinkazan, sure I could always use pictures of things not documented on the site already. As for your bus situation, I have run into that many times on the rural busses. Recently they changed the route of one of the busses I took and the only sign was INSIDE the bus (which I failed to notice). I was happily riding along waiting for my stop when suddenly no one was left and the driver asked me where I was going. It turns out the bus didn't go that far anymore ! We were at the last stop and he was going to turn around. Anyway, It sounds like you're having an awesome Tohoku trip. Perfect weather and a good time to travel the area!


77 months ago
Score 0++
I went with a bus to this site this morning. Any bus from busstop #5 at the west exit of the Akita station are passing near the site. You need to get off at Gokukojinja'iriguchi. It's a 360¥ ride and is about 20min. Be aware, the busstop-name doesn't appear on the bill-board. You have to be very attentive to the little voice telling the next stop. I found this weird. I never experienced this in Japan. The site is about 700m from the busstop. There are several explanation boards on the site. Even in english. There are 3 reconstructed buildings. The outer eastern gate with a part of its wall. The inner eastern gate with also a part of its wall(here are no photos of this, do you need some Eric?). And the last rebuilt structure is a flush lavatory. It's the first time i saw such a structure on castle grounds. I found it interesting. In the museum i saw a little video of the history of the castle, only in japanese. There are some artifacts found during the excavations. The structures changed six times when the site was used and some models show these changes. The site is completely free to visit.