Akabira Tokugawa Castle - Hokkaido

Akabira Tokugawa Castle (赤平徳川城) is a replica castle located along National Route 38 at 174 Horookacho, Akabira City in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle

Akabira Tokugawa Castle details

Akabira Tokugawa Castle may not be a real historical site, but its story is just as fascinating. Built in 1991 by Matsuzawa Yoroi Co., Ltd, a manufacturer of festival dolls, Akabira Tokugawa Castle has served as a showroom and manufacturing factory. It boasts four floors of unique and interesting attractions, including a souvenir and doll-making demonstration area on the first floor, an impressive doll display and sales area on the second and third floors, a Hina doll display and Japanese restaurant on the fourth floor, and an armored helmet exhibit on the fifth floor. The castle also has a sixth floor, which once served as an observatory tower.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle - Akabira City, Hokkaido Prefecture

Although the castle is currently closed to the public, it remains a symbol of the town, and one can still see it from Route 38. As one can imagine, taking photographs inside the castle was not allowed then, which makes the mere existence of the castle even more elusive and intriguing. To add to the mystery, the castle was reportedly open all year round, with no winter holidays. Admission and tours were even free.

The Parking area near Akabira Tokugawa Castle

Akabira Tokugawa Castle as seen from the parking area

Despite its initial success, the business eventually began to deteriorate, leading to the closure of Matsuzawa Yoroi Co., Ltd. However, the legacy of Akabira Tokugawa Castle lives on. In 2007, Kei Matsuzawa, the fourth generation owner, opened a store in Sapporo as the headquarters of "Festival Dolls and Wooden Toys Tokugawa Castle" and went on to open stores on Yahoo Shop and Rakuten Ichiba. Yet by 2011, the company went bankrupt, and the fate of Akabira Tokugawa Castle remains a mystery.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle facade

According to the website Japan Property Central, the castle was up for bidding in 2011 but it did not attract any bids. If you are interested, the last price was around 17 million yen. Maybe it's your opportunity to own your own castle in Japan

Flower Hills Community Square (フラワーヒルズ・コミュニティ広場)

Today, although the castle is foreclosed and is no longer maintained, despite that, it continues to mesmerize and intrigue visitors from all around the world. Its story, along with its unique features, makes it a must-see site for any daring traveler looking for something extraordinary.

Team Nicerio visits Akabira Tokugawa Castle

My family and I visited Akabira Tokugawa Castle for the first time last September 10, 2022, as part of our September 9-11 Road Trip. It was my 313th day in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. Just like many of those who drive along National Route 38, we were also intrigued by the castle that’s why we didn’t miss the opportunity to check it out. However, like everyone else who didn’t know the story of the castle, we were disappointed to see that it was closed and no longer maintained. Hopefully, this castle will be given new life in the future. If you’d ask me it could be transformed into a roadside station or local history museum.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle Fees

It’s FREE to enter and explore Akabira Tokugawa Castle grounds but you won't be able to enter the castle.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle Operating Hours

Akabira Tokugawa Castle is closed to the public but visitors can explore the castle grounds at their own risk anytime. However, you would notice that there would be police patrol cars parked nearby in the afternoon. 

Why visit Akabira Tokugawa Castle?

There is nothing to do in Akabira Tokugawa Castle grounds but just satisfy your curiosity on how it looks up close. For me, it is one of those places that you only visit once.

Getting to Akabira Tokugawa Castle

You have a few economical choices for getting to Akabira Tokugawa Castle from Asahikawa City, but here's the most budget-friendly option:

  • Begin at Asahikawa Station and catch the Hakodate Line Local Takikawa train. Disembark at Takikawa Station.
  • Upon arrival, take a leisurely stroll to the nearby Takikawa Eki Mae bus stop.
  • Next, hop aboard the Takiashi Sen route bus operated by Chuo Bus Company.
  • Alight at Elm Kogen Onsen Irikuchi bus stop, just a short distance away from Akabira Shrine

This route not only offers an affordable solution but also ensures a seamless journey from Asahikawa City to Akabira Tokugawa Castle

Travel time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Fare: 1740 yen




Overall rating


  1. 17 million yen for a castle? Sounds like a good deal. Hahahahaha.


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