Starting next year, Ozu Castle in Ehime Prefecture will open its doors to tourists willing to cough up a cool 1 million yen ($9,250) per couple for a night’s stay. This is not the only castle in Japan that will begin offering accommodations next year.
Ozu Castle was originally built in 1331. According to Nikkei, the castle’s main four-story structure will accept overnighters for 30 days during the year. During this time, rooms will be equipped with furniture, places to sleep, and bathrooms that, as Nikkei writes, don’t interrupt the ambiance. There is a special “lord experience” plan that allows includes boat rides in the castle’s moat and meals made from local ingredients.
The other castle offering stays starting next year is Hirado Castle in Nagasaki Prefecture. The lodging will be in the castle’s Kaiju Yagura turret. The castle has five turrets, and the two-story Kaiju Yagura was built in 1977 as an exhibition space.
In recent years, it was turned into a storage space, but it will be completely renovated into a luxury guest room.
As Asahi points out, the original Hirado Castle was dismantled during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) due to an Imperial decree, but locals called for the castle to be rebuilt. The main keep and several of the turrets were reconstructed in 1962. Since the Kaiju Yagura is not a cultural property, it can be fully converted into a guest room. There was a contest to win free overnights at the castle, but the nightly rate has yet to be announced.
Ozu and Hirado Castle are listed in Japan’s top 100 castles. They are the first castles in Japan to offer stays of this sort. Doubt they will be the last.