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Photo By: PIXTA/TOSHI.K
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Fukuoka
Population
5,015,666

Akizuki Castle Town

A historical getaway for people wanting castle ruins, a good hike and seasonal flora.

By Elizabeth Sok

Often called Chikuzen’s Little Kyoto, the Akizuki Castle Town area is a historical getaway for people wanting castle ruins, a good hike and seasonal flora. If you’re in Fukuoka, make some time to get back to nature in Akizuki.

Town Background

Akizuki Castle Town

Photo by: PIXTA/撮るねっと A historical samurai village outside of Asakura City.

Akizuki Castle Town is a historical samurai village that sits just outside of Asakura City in the south of Fukuoka prefecture. Our understanding of the early part of Akizuki’s history is shrouded in myth and comes down to us via Japan’s oldest texts, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. While these eighth-century writings describe legendary emperors and trickster spirits roaming the area, the beginning of the thirteenth century brings the small town into a larger political landscape filled with feudal lords and shoguns including Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. By 1600, the area changed hands from the Akizuki to the Kuroda clan who were responsible for several of the historical landmarks you can visit today. As the samurai era helped to build this town up over the centuries, it is perhaps fitting that one of the final samurai rebellions against the newly created Imperial Japanese Army took place here in 1876.

Town Highlights

Akizuki Castle Town

Photo by: PIXTA/ TOSHI.K Much of the castle was destroyed after the 1876 rebellion.

Today, several remnants of Akizuki’s samurai past are on display for visitors to enjoy. The most popular site is the Akizuki Castle Ruins. Although the foundations of the castle were first laid in the early 1200s by the Akizuki clan, it would only become a fully-fledged castle under the first generation of Kuroda rule and was completed in 1624.

Much of the castle was destroyed after the 1876 rebellion, but you can still visit a section of the moat, many watchtowers and walls as well as restored castle gates. Visitors will also be able to find several shrines, including Akizuki Hachimangu, a 10th-century shrine dedicated to the god of war and archery. For a great panoramic view of the town, check out Miyajidake Shrine hidden on a hill above Akizuki.

Seasonal Delights

Akizuki Castle Town

Photo by: PIXTA/ w_stock Cherry blossoms aplenty.

One of the highlights of the year for flower lovers comes at the end of March and the beginning of April. On the town’s main strip, Akizuki Sugi no Baba, you’ll find a street measuring half a kilometer flanked by cherry trees planted in the early 1900s. For even more cherry blossoms, head over to the Kusaba River where you’ll be treated to almost two kilometers of beautiful blooms. In May and June, the area around Meganebashi Bridge explodes in fresh hydrangeas.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

Hours: Many of the outdoor sites are open every day, 24 hours a day. 

Admission: While many sites are free, some may require a small entrance fee. 

How To Get There

Address

A historical samurai village that sits outside of Asakura City in the south of Fukuoka

By train

From JR Hakata station, take a train on the Kagoshima Line to Kiyama station. Switch to the Amagi Railway and get off at Amagi station. Next, take any bus heading in the direction of Akizuki and get off at the Kyodokan Mae bus stop.

By car

Take the Oita Expressway and get off at the Amagi IC. Follow signs for Akizuki.


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