122.Otaki Castle Part3

Otaki Town is promoting the castle with Tadakatsu Honda.

Later History

After the Meiji Restoration, Otaki Castle was abandoned and all the buildings of the castle were demolished. The land of the castle was turned into fields, with a school and a residential area. The Imitation Main Tower was built in 1975 after the excavation in 1973. Otaki Town has been promoting this castle as being built by the famous general, Tadakatsu Honda.

The Imitation Tower of Otaki Castle
The illustration of Tadakatsu’s helmet, exhibited by Otaki Castle Museum

My Impression

The Main Tower of Otaki Castle is temporarily closed (as of Oct22) as it needs repairs such as earthquake proofing. Otaki Town will operate it following Chiba Prefecture after the repairs. Castles that include Main Towers are indispensable to local cities or towns because they serve as symbol and facilities for tourism. I also recommend seeing the castle town street near Otaki Station, where some old merchant houses remain.

The Imitation Tower of Otaki Castle
Old merchant houses of the old castle town

How to get There

I recommend using a car when you visit the castle.
It is about a 30-minute drive away from Ichihara-Maizuru IC on the Ken-odo Expressway. You can park at the parking lot located under the Main Enclosure.
If you want to use public transportation, it takes about 15 minutes on foot from Otaki Station.
To get to Otaki Station from Tokyo: Take the Wakashio limited express and get off at Ohara Station and transfer to the Isumi Railway.

Otaki Station
The parking lot under the Main Enclosure

Links and References

Otaki Castle Museum

That’s all. Thank you.
Back to “Otaki Castle Part1”
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122.大多喜城 その3














122.Otaki Castle Part2

Was there the Main Tower in the castle?


Main Tower as Museum

The map around the castle

Today, there are a few remaining items of the original Otaki Castle. However, Chiba Prefecture rebuilt a historical museum that looks like the Main Tower called Otaki Castle on the Main Enclosure.

Otaki Castle Museum
The entrance of the museum

Going to Main Enclosure along Isumi-gawa River

If you want to visit the current Otaki Castle, there are two main routes you can take to visit from Otaki Station. One is for drivers, which starts from the front of the station to the south through the Imitation Main Gate. The route turns right to the west along the Isumi-gawa River. This part is named Mexico Street from the relationship with the country, which was derived from the episode of Rodrigo de Vivero.

The Imitation Main Gate near the station
The Mexico Street

You can see the route was built on the mid slope of the steep cliff with the hill on the right and the river on the left, which were a natural hazard for the castle. The parking lot is located under the Main Enclosure.

The steep cliff of the hill where the castle was built
Looking down the Isumi-gawa River
Looking down the Mexico Street from the Main Enclosure

Going to Main Enclosure through Second Enclosure

The other route is for people on foot, which starts from the back of the station. The ruins of the real Main Gate is nearby. However, there is only one signpost because the area around has become a residential area. After going along the route, you will reach the second enclosure which is now used as a high school. The route goes up on the earthen walls to the enclosure where the Main Hall for the lord was built in the past.

The route going to the Second Enclosure
The Second Enclosure

There are two remaining items of the castle. One of them is the Back Gate of the hall, which was once sold, but later restored at its present location. The other is the Large Well which has a perimeter of 17meters. you can see the Main Tower at the highest point on the Main Enclosure from there.

The former Back Gate of the Main Hall called Yakui-mon
The Large Well
The Large Well seen from the Main Enclosure
The Main Tower on the Main Enclosure seen from the Second Enclosure

Old castle traces and New Imitation Main Tower on the Main Enclosure

You can climb up to the Main Enclosure from the front (the Second Enclosure) or the back (the parking lot). On the way to the enclosure, you can see old earthen walls, dry moats, and artificial steep cliffs which probably originated from the first stage of the castle. Indeed, the traces of the castle being called Odaki Castle were discovered during the excavation.

The route to the Main Enclosure from the Second Enclosure
The remaining earthen walls at the Main Enclosure
The route to the Main Enclosure from the parking lot
A dry moat can be seen on the way
The artificial steep cliff of an enclosure in the back of the Main Enclosure

However, those of the original Main Tower or its stone wall base have not been found at all. The present Main Tower and its stone wall base were built in the present time, based on a drawing of the original three-level Main Tower which was found at an old merchant house in the castle town. However, since the only item can not be seen as real evidence. It can only be called the Imitation Main Tower.

The Imitation Tower on the Main Enclosure
The stone wall base for the Main Tower, built in the present time

To be continued in “Otaki Castle Part3”
Back to “Otaki Castle Part1”