Akō, Hyōgo

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Flag of Akō
Official seal of Akō
Location of Akō in Hyōgo Prefecture
Location of Akō in Hyōgo Prefecture
Akō is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 34°45′06″N 134°23′35″E / 34.75167°N 134.39306°E / 34.75167; 134.39306Coordinates: 34°45′06″N 134°23′35″E / 34.75167°N 134.39306°E / 34.75167; 134.39306
PrefectureHyōgo Prefecture
 • MayorMasatoshi Murei (since 2019)[1]
 • Total126.88 km2 (48.99 sq mi)
 (March 31, 2017)
 • Total48,788
 • Density380/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
 • TreeCherry blossom
 • FlowerAzalea
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
City hall addressKariya 81, Akō City, Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県赤穂市加里屋81)
Main street in Sakoshi
Remnants of Akō Castle
Akō Chūshingura Festival in December 14, 2009

Akō (赤穂市, Akō-shi) is a city located in southwestern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

As of March 31, 2017, the city had an estimated population of 48,788, with 20,427 households,[1] and a population density of 380 persons per km². The total area is 126.88 km².

The city was officially founded on September 1, 1951. The city faces the Inland Sea and salt production was its main industry during the feudal period. Other industries are fishery, and tourism thanks to a famous act of vengeance by the forty-seven rōnin in 1703, featured in the Chūshingura.


During the Edo period, Akō was a capital of Akō han. Akō was a small han of 50,000 koku but rich thanks to salt production. Akō salt is famous for its high quality. Among the former daimyō of Akō was Asano Naganori, the master of the forty-seven rōnin. In memory of the forty-seven ronin, who finally accomplished the vengeance against Kira Yoshihisa for their master after hardship on January 30, 1703 (December 14, Genroku 15), the city has held a festival (gish-sai) on December 14, every year in the last hundred years. On the day of the festival, all the elementary and middle schools in the city are off, and the students and pupils are encouraged to participate in one of the sports and art competitions including those in kendo, judo, and shodō, or one of the parades, including the one re-enacting the victory of the forty-seven rōnin and another one exhibiting the cultural features of the Edo period, such as sankin-kotai.

Akō's castle, originally built by the grandfather of Asano Naganori, Naganao, stands in the center of the city today.


The city is bordered with the following cities and towns:

Chikusa river goes through the center of the city, providing the moat of Akō Castle with water through a branch, Kariya river. The central part of the city around the castle has been built on the alluvial plain of Chikusa river.

The city is on the border of the Hyōgo and Okayama prefectures, which also divides the Kinki and Chūgoku areas. On each side of the border, ancient Harima and Bizen provinces, which are now Akō and Bizen cities, respectively, have cultivated their own cultures. Therefore, even at the present days, dialects are vastly different on the sides of the border. A traveller from west to east on the JR San'yō Main Line will notice that the dialect of passengers suddenly changes between Kamigori station in Hyogo prefecture and Mitsuishi station in Okayama prefecture. In Akō, people speak a type of the Kansai dialect whose intonation is however of the Tokyo type. The superset of the dialect spoken in Akō, called Banshu-ben, is known as one of the harshest-sounding dialects.




  • Akō Kaihin Koen (赤穂海浜公園) located on the east bank of the Chikusa river at its junction with Setonaikai is a complex of a facility which offers an experience of old-style salt production, camping sites, tennis courts, play grounds, ponds where rental boats are available, and a small zoo.

Things to buy[edit]

  • Shiomi Manjū is a Japanese sweet. The outside shell is a little salty while the inside made of azuki paste is very sweet. It goes very well with (strong/bitter) green tea or coffee.

Sister City[edit]


  1. ^ "Population of Akō City" (in Japanese). Japan: Akō City. Retrieved May 13, 2017.

External links[edit]