Japan: Exclusive Castle Stay

Photo: Shoko Takayasu© 2019

FIRST TIME IN JAPAN!PRIVATE CASTLE STAY EXPERIENCE AT WOODEN TENSHU (CASTLE TOWER)

There are many hotels in Europe where you can stay in a renovated old castle. Here in Ozu, you can stay at the castle itself. Ozu Castle was abandoned due to it’s deterioration, leaving a part of it in the Meiji era, but it was completely restored by the conservation activities of the local residents of Ozu and the donations by the citizens.

It is a castle that could be completely restored with wooden structures because old photographs and wooden templates from that period still existed in the castle archives.

Therefore, you will experience staying in history itself, which makes you feel like you have slipped back in time.

Ozu castle is included in Japan’s Top 100 Castles list, compiled by the Japanese Castle Foundation, so their cultural and historical value is significant.

Upon arrival, you can choose to dress up in traditional kimonos and medieval warrior outfits and will be welcomed by the sound of shell trumpets, waving flags and a gunpowder squadron.

They’ll then be treated to a local kagura, a traditional dance performance that’s registered as an important intangible folk cultural property of Japan.

It is a stay and experience plan where you can experience the feeling of becoming a castle owner (since it is booked for you for 1 night exclusively, with no other guests), such as enjoying the palace set at the national important cultural property “Wolong Sanso”.

How much you pay for this exclusive experience?

It is limited to only 30 bookings for total of 30 nights (since you are allowed to stay only 1 night for each booking) in the first year (2020, now shifted to 2021)! Each booking can be upto 6 people maximum (but all part of one family or friends).

Cost: 2 people staying for 1 night will be 1,000,000 yen (USD 9600)
+100,000 yen for each additional person

* In addition to the above, a consumption tax of 10% will be charged.

Experience you get for above cost:

  • Chartered accommodation at Ozu Castle (This means full castle is exclusive to you for 1 night).
  • “1617 Sadayasu Kato’s entrance” experience Kimono / armor rental and dressing, including gun corps, nobori corps, pulling horses, etc.
  • Traditional performing arts (gagaku, etc.)
  • Supper
  • Tsukimi experience
  • Wolong Sanso’s early morning charter, lord’s set
  • Transfer to Matsuyama Airport / JR Station

ITINERARY OVERVIEW (SKETCH)

▷Day 1 

3:00 p.m.~  Welcome

4:30 p.m.~  Preparation for entering the castle (change of clothes)

5:30 p.m.~  Entry into the castle
       (Celebrating guns, banners, granting castle certificates, etc. …)

6:30 p.m.~  Traditional performing arts show

7:00 p.m.~  Dinner at castle tower of Ozu Castle

9:00 p.m.~  Moon Viewing Experience at the National Important Cultural Property
                   “Koran Yagura” 

(STAY) Ozu Castle 


▷DAY 2

7:30 a.m.~ Breakfast at Garyusanso
                  (an important cultural property of Japan)

DETAILED ITINERARY

▷Day 1 

5:30p.m.~ 
Living History
“Entry of castellan Sadayasu KATO into the castle in 1617” Experience

It reproduces the scene of the castellan Sadayasu Kato entering the castle in 1617. Guests will be able to experience the role of a body double supporting the lord of the castle on horseback. 

After entering the castle, the castellan himself will guide visitors to the castle tower and the town of Ozu.

6:30p.m.~
Traditional performing arts show

You can enjoy local traditional performing arts such as “Kawabeshime Kagura” which is a song and dance dedicated to the god in Shinto, and “Ukai” which is a traditional fishing method to catch fish with trained cormorants.

7:00 p.m.~

Dinner at the castle tower of Ozu Castle

They serve ‘Tonosama Dinner’ that uses seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, local vegetables from Ozu, Iyo beef, Ozu rice and ingredients from the “Castle stay selection” that is a certified local specialty as well as grilled dishes from the Ozu domain “Tobe ware”.

9:00 p.m.~ 
Japan’s First Castle Stay! 

Based on the historical fact that castellan Sadayasu Kato actually lived in Ozu Castle, you will experience Japan’s first castle stay where you stay in the four-story Ozu Castle.

You can also enjoy the view of the moon while relaxing with the famous sake of Ozu and Uchiko at the Koran Yagura(turret) in Ozu Castle, which used to function as a moon-viewing turret.

▷DAY 2

7:30 a.m.~

Breakfast at villa”Garyusanso”,
an important cultural property of Japan
 

We will privately reserve “Garyusanso” which was originally villa owned by Torajiro Kawachi(wealthy merchant in late 19C). The morning after you stay in the castle, you will be welcomed for breakfast at Garyusanso. With the setting of “What if Torajiro Kawachi treated the lord?”, you can enjoy a feast unique to the castle lord.

Where is Ozu Castle located?

It is located in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture.

Ozu, called the Little Kyoto of Iyo, is a city with many attractive spots, centered around Ozu Castle in the Hiji-kawa River basin. You can feel the various periods such as historical residences that retain the taste of the castle town of the Edo period(17-19C).

From Tokyo: 2 hours 30 minutes by plane
From Osaka 2 hours by plane, or 4 hours and 30 minutes by car

How to book:

You can book above experience for 2021 with their local partner agent in India, Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. based out of New Delhi. They are a boutique travel design specialising in off-beat, off-the-grid, exclusive and bespoke journeys to destinations worldwide including Japan.

– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer

Published by experientialtraveljourneys

A Private Travel Designer specialising in private, luxury, experiential, transformational, off-beat, off-the-grid, bespoke, tailor-made, bespoke, authentic, sustainable journeys to destinations worldwide.

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