You Can Now Stay In Japan’s Ozu Castle For $13,000/Night

You can only stay at so many Airbnbs and hotels before you start craving something a little bit more left of field. In Japan, one such option currently on offer includes Ozu Castle – a historic site once inhabited by feudal warlords hundreds of years ago.

Constructed in 1331, abandoned during the Meiji era sometime in the early 17th century, and later restored in 2004, this is one of the last remaining castles of its kind in the country (“if its kind” referring to being from the Edo period). Which only makes a night’s stay here that much more momentous. Naturally, authenticity is the key attraction… and not just in the architecture. As outlined by the official site, a stay encompasses the following:

  • “The sounds of the trumpet (horagai) signals the commencement of the warlord welcoming reception. The flag-waving squadron awaits the arrival of the warlord. Guests are greeted by a strictly codified waving procedure.”

  • “Gunners and wavers – including officers – are positioned to welcome the new lord arriving.”

  • “The castle lord – Kato Sadayasu – enters the castle on horse. Guests are awarded aa shadow warrior certificate handed out by the lord himself.”

  • “Guests tour the Ozu domain and the main features of the castle, with the aid of old maps.”
  • “Choose between Yamatozaka Shime Kagura (rural noh performance) or Ukai (cormorant fishing).”

  • “A full course dinner utilising carefully selected local ingredients.”

  • “Enjoy the moon from the Koran turret the way the Kato lords did.”

  • “Indulge in a bath at a tailor-made bathhouse on the castle grounds while enjoying a completely lit Ozu Castle.”
  • “On the following morning, transfer to the Garyu Sanso – a beautifully designed tea house by the Hiji River banks. All to yourselves!”

  • “Breakfast is served at Garyu Inn Kyōō-style (the exclusive dining cuisine and manner reserved for warlords of ancient Japan).”

As for the physical structure, much of the original architecture has been preserved with just the basic modern upgrades. A night’s stay for two guests starts at ¥1,000,000 (plus tax) – that roughly converts to AU$12,918.



Photo: Shoko Takayasu© 2019

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