Ehime: Ozu Castle’s Exclusive Overnight Stay Experience Draws Visitors; Lodging Costs ¥1.1 Mil. Per Night

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ozu Castle is seen behind a sightseeing train in Ozu, Ehime Prefecture.

OZU, Ehime — A growing number of people are visiting Ozu Castle in Ozu, Ehime Prefecture due to its castle stay program, which allows visitors to stay overnight in the castle.

The four-story tower of Ozu Castle was restored in 2004 and began offering the overnight stay experience in July 2020, marking the first such experience in Japan. Despite its high price tag of ¥1.1 million for two people, the program has earned a good reputation for providing guests with an experience akin to living like a castle lord. Foreign tourists have also stayed at the castle.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A welcome ceremony for guests is held at Ozu Castle in November.

A ceremony to welcome guests as “lords of the castle” is held, with the guests dressed in armor and other costumes. Local groups also participate in the ceremony, performing the local performing art of Kagura — dancing to live music to worship Shinto deities — and demonstrating the use of firearms, among other performances.