The oldest castle in Japan is called “Jōsaku”

Akita castle was built in 733 in Akita Prefecture, close to the Sea of Japan. It is the oldest castle in Japan. These old castles are called Jōsaku. This castle features a King and queen who did not actually live there.

Most of the people who visited were government officials, like the people who worked for city councils and ward offices. High-ranking officials who came to Japan for the trade and import business visited as well.
During their visit, these high-ranking officials and ambassadors were provided with hospitality and exchanged products imported from Hokkaido, Aomori and Akita Prefectures.

A 1300 year-old flushing toilet was on the cutting edge of technology at the time!

There’s one thing I’d like you to take a look if you visit Akita castle. It’s the oldest Japanese flushing toilet! Isn’t it surprising to see that Japan had flushing toilets 1300 years ago!
If you look beneath the bathroom, you’ll see a cave where the septic tank used to be. It shows how wise people were in those days.



Time travel from a colorful mud wall!

Akita castle was not only meant to be a guesthouse, but also a public agency that regulated hunting in the Northern part of Japan. At the time, Aomori and Hokkaido were undeveloped lands, so the people who lived there had never seen these buildings built by the government. They would be so overwhelmed if they saw the long yellow mud walls and a large building structure with a gate composed of red pillars, black tiles and white ceramics. Please take a look of this beautiful public agency building and try to imagine that you are back in the early 8th Century!



Japan’s reconstructed buildings that’ll spark your imagination!

The Akita castle is a reconstructed building achieved researching it’s history. The color of the mud walls and pillars are reproduced exactly to the specifications of the originals. It feels like a government official might pop out out from the gate when you stand in front of the building. The ambassador who used the flushing toilet would be very surprised at how Japanese people are living nowdays! The Akita castle is built, reproducing the same old atmosphere of the 8th century and it really sparks my imagination. Please try to visit Akita castle if you are visiting Akita Prefecture.


9-6 Terauchiyakeyama, Akita city, Akita Pref.

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miki iwai

miki iwai


I love Japanese traditional culture and travelling all over Japan. I also like to see Noh performances, doing calligraphy, and reading/making Japanese poems called “Tanka.” Through writing, I’d like to introduce a unique culture that only exists in Japan.