Ozu: Castle Town Looking to the Future
Ozu lies in the heart of Ehime Prefecture surrounded by unspoiled forested mountains. Ozu Castle stands in the center of the old town, overlooking the Hijikawa River in a district of traditional residences and other historical buildings. This time on Journeys in Japan, American actor Charles Glover visits Ozu and discovers that it is possible to stay the night inside the castle donjon (main keep) — the only place in Japan where this is possible.

Ozu Castle

It was first erected some 400 years ago. Work to rebuild the main castle keep was completed in 2004. The overnight "castle stay" program began in 2020.

Garyu Sanso Villa

The villa was constructed by master artisans about 130 years ago in the sukiya style. The Japanese garden dates from the 17th century, and is laid out so that it reveals its beauty to visitors in every season.

Hostel

A former stationery shop has been refurbished and converted into a guest house with a café-bar.

Access

To reach Ozu from Tokyo, flights take an hour and a half to Matsuyama Airport. From there, it's a 20-minute bus ride to JR Matsuyama Station, where a local train will carry you to Iyo-Ozu Station in 30 minutes.