Live Like A Japanese Warlord In Japan’s First Ever Castle Hotel
I think everyone’s imagined what it would be like to live in a castle, but now that dream can become a reality as travellers in Japan can rent out a property that used to be occupied by feudal lords.
Ozu Castle is located on a hilltop in western Japan’s Ehime prefecture, and is one of the country’s few remaining castles from the Edo period.
The four-storey, wood-framed structure was built in 1331 and was home to feudal lords for 250 years beginning in the 17th century, but it was restored in 2004 and can now be your home for the night.
Naturally, the ability to live like a lord doesn’t come cheap, and rates for a stay in Ozu Castle start at 1 million yen ($9,400/£7,000) per night for two guests.
Though costly, the experience would be like no other as it includes access to the entire castle after hours, a 17th century-themed welcome ceremony, breakfast in a historic tea house villa and a moon-watching sake experience.
The castle looks much the same as it did when it was first built, though restoration has seen the addition of a few luxury elements, including a fancy bathing area.
The stay kicks off with an Edo period welcome ceremony, during which an actor playing a feudal lord from 1617 rides in on horseback, accompanied by gunshots, flag waving and conch-shell blowing. Guests can join in the fun by dressing up in warrior costumes of their own.
As well as exploring the castle, guests can venture into the surrounding town, which is home to a temple, shrine, and historic samurai residences, and enjoy one of two experiences: a theater performance or cormorant fishing demonstration.
A total of six people can stay in the castle, with each additional guest after the first two costing 100,000 yen ($940/£700). The Ozu Castle is limiting its stays to just 30 groups for 30 nights in its first year, so if you happen to have $9,400 spare, don’t miss your chance to experience the life of a lord.
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