Hotta no Saku

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Hotta no Saku 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. The outer fence was made of cut logs 30cm in width and over 3m tall. It extended a total of 3.6 km to enclose 87.8 hectares of land. There was also an outer wall between the outer wooden fence and the inner compound. The outer wall was a tuijibei of compacted sand and clay. Hotta no Saku was located roughly in the middle between Shiwa Castle and Akita Castle. Despite it's vast size and strategic location there are no historical records that name a castle on this site. It obviously existed from archeological excavations but is somewhat of a mystery in the historical records.

Visit Notes

See also Taga Castle, Shiwa Castle, and Akita Castle for similar fortifications.

  • Reconstructed South Gate and outer fence
  • Reconstructed South Gate and outer fence
  • Reconstructed South Gate and outer fence
  • Remains of the outer wall and south gate.
  • Looking from the outer wall towards the outer fence
  • Inner compound remains
  • Map of the grounds

Castle Profile
English Name Hotta no Saku
Japanese Name 払田柵
Founder Yamato Court
Year Founded c. 801
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, walls
Visitor Information
Access Omagari (Akita Shinkansen), taxi 10 mins
Visitor Information Museum is open by apppointment form Dec to March. Open every day from April to November from 9am to 4pm
Time Required 45 mins
Location Daisen, Akita Prefecture
Coordinates 39° 27' 55.15" N, 140° 32' 51.90" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(3 votes)
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93 months ago
Score 0++
I was reading a school history book today and the furigana for 払田柵 was written as hottanoki and other jousaku 城柵 forts where similarly suffixed -noki for 柵. To be specific 柵 may be read ki with the silent no that they sometimes slip into names like in Yashima no Ki 屋島城 and Taira no Masakado 平将門. Thought I mention this alternative reading should anyone come across it.


111 months ago
Score 0++
Today i did 3 sites, but the 2nd isn't on this site. It isn't a castle, just a fenced off settlement of the end of the Jomon period and early Yayoi period. So i began my day with Hotta no Saku. I took the train to Omagari and then a taxi to the site. The drive is 2610¥. On the other side of the street is a small museum containing almost only Jomon pottery. They accepted to take my backpack untill i had visited the castle. I went to the small information building, where you can see a short film about the site. There are small bikes to use freely on the site. You receive a map with the roads where you may ride and where you have to walk with the bike. On the castle-site were a group of about 20 elderly people playing some kind of mini-golf. There is a rebuild storehouse where they put their stuff. After going around with the bike i returned to the museum to get my backpack. They friendly called for a taxi. All the facilities are free of charge.