Translated by Hilary Keyes
The Rare Wooden Tower Of Ozu Castle: Access, Highlights And More
Written by Mayu
Ozu Castle, located in Ozu, Ehime prefecture, is unusual in that it has a wooden castle tower and part of an existing guard tower, which have made it one of Japan's top 100 castles. Here are the highlights and access routes to this unique castle.
Seasonal Events at Ozu Castle
Every Third Saturday of the Month: Ozu Teppotai Formal Rubber Band Matchlock Practice
On the third Saturday of every month at 14:00, men dressed as samurai give a performance using replica matchlock guns. Although live ammunition is not used in this performance, visitors can still enjoy the thrill of these weapons. From 14:30, there is a rubber band matchlock gun experience for children, where they can learn to fire rubber band shooting replicas of these historical arms.
In addition, for 500 yen, there is the popular Narikiri Pack, an event where visitors can dress up and cosplay as Japanese warlords of old. Visitors will be helped into these costumes, so those who have never worn a kimono before need not worry.
Sightseeing Spots Around Ozu Castle
Garyu Sanso is a Japanese garden in the mountains that was constructed in 1907. Within the grounds of this park are several historical buildings which have been designated as Important Cultural assets of Japan as well. On weekends and national holidays from April to October there are tea ceremonies held in the garden, which are a must if you visit during this time. These tea ceremonies take place from 9:30-15:30, and cost 400 yen per person to participate.
Address: Ehime, Ozu, Ozu 411-2
Entry Fee: Adults 500 yen, junior high students and under 200 yen
Website: http://www.garyusanso.jp/ (Japanese)
Ukai on the Hijikawa River
Ukai is a traditional type of fishing using a cormorant, a member of the pelican family, native to Japan. This type of fishing, which takes place on the Hijikawa river, is included as being part of the top three cormorant fishing areas in Japan, the others being on the Nagaragawa in Gifu prefecture, and the Misumigawa in Oita prefecture. The Ujio (cormorant fishermen) perform ukai on the Hijikawa river every year from June to September. Those who wish to view this traditional practice, please get in touch with the Ozu Tourism Information Center at Asamoya in the Ozu Machi Station.
Ozu Machi Station Asamoya Ozu Tourism Information Center
Address: Ehime, Ozu, Ozu 649-1
Website: http://www.kurarinet.jp/ (Japanese)
** The information contained in this article was taken from official sources and is current as of April 2017. This information is subject to change.