Otaki : The Town of A Castle and Hot Springs Nearest to the Narita Airport

Otakijo Castle ◇

● History

Its origin is back in the Middle Ages. In 1590, Tadakatsu Honda constructed the original of the current castle by permission from Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of Tokugawa Shogunate. The Honda clan was transferred in three generations to another district by Tokugawa Shognate. There were several lords before haihan-chiken (abolishment of the feudal domain system and introduction of the prefectural system) in 1871. All the buildings including the castle within the castle walls were burned down in 1842.  The castle was abandoned then. The current castle was rebuilt in 1975 with a multi-storied museum inside.

● Museum Inside

Inside the castle is a multistoried museum. It has been the Otakijo castle branch of Chiba Prefectural Central Museum since April 2006. In the Edo period, there were four social classes: shi (samurai warriors), no (farmers), ko (craftsmen), and sho (merchants), The exhibition shows us the real life of all four classes of the period..


● Armor Try-on Experience.

Try to be a samurai warrior wearing the armor. Reservation is necessary. Admission is 200 yen for the ages between 65 and 15. 100 yen for junior high school student and free for others as September 2014. It is subject to change without notice. Please call 82-3007 for more information.

Oido Large Well

There used to be 25 wells in Ni-no-maru, the second bailey and San-no-maru, the third bailey of Otakijo Castle. The well in Ni-no-maru is the largest, 17 meters around. It was dug when Tadakatsu Honda built the castle in 1590. During the Edo period, it was an azumaya (square gazebo) style building with cedar bark roofing and octagon pillars arranged in parallel crosses. Attached to the beam are 8 pulleys and 16 tsurube buckets to draw water from below.It shows how high the fortification technology of the time was. 

Yakuimon Gate

It is the only gate that survived abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures in 1871, and was relocated and restored by the entrance of Otaki High School which was built in the secondary enclosure of the castle. The original of the current gate was likely rebuilt in 1844.

Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Otaki has been a sister city of the city of Cuernavaca since August 3, 1978. In 1609 on the way from the Philippines back to Mexico, Governor-General Don Rodrigo and company were aground wrecked on Onjuku coast not far from Otaki because of a large storm. Local fishermen rescued them. Otaki lord Yoritomo Honda (the second son of Tadakatsu Honda) gave them a warm welcome. The Edo shogunate provided a new sailing ship with them so that they could arrive in Mexico safely. It is the start of cultural interchanges between Japan and Mexico. Even now, mutual participation to various events is increasing.  The town invites Mexican counterparts to Otakijo Castle festival.

Mexico-dori Street

What happened in 1609 still remains in the name of Mexico-dori Street here.

Otakijo Castle Walk Route Recommendations

(30-minute Route)

Otakijo Castle Parking ⇔ Otakijo Castle Oido Well ⇔ Yakuimon Gate


(1-hour Route)

Otakijo Castle Parking Yakusoen Herb Garden → Otakijo Castle Oido Well Yakuimon Gate Otaki Castle Parking Lot

(90 minute Route)

Kanko-honjin  Yakuimon Gate Oido Well Otakijojo Castle Kanko-honjin Tourist Center

(2-hour Route)

Otaki Kanko-honjin → Yakuimon Gate Oido Well Otakijo Castle Yakuso-en herb garden (admission free, totally 16,000) Chiba Residents' Forest → Otaki Kanko-honjin Tourist Center