Ozu Castle

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Ozu24.jpg

History

The first fortifications on this site were constructed in 1331 by Utsunomiya Toyofusa. From 1585-1617 the castle was ruled by a quick succession of lords including Kobayakawa Takakage, Toda Katsutaka, Todo Takatora and Wakisaka Yasuharu. The castle you see today was most likely built up during this time. Kato Sadayasu arrived in 1617 and his descendents ruled until the Meiji Restoration. The main keep was destroyed in 1888. The reconstruction was completed in 2004 using wood and traditional methods. It also connects 2 of the original yagura.

Visit Notes

This castle is a must see. Besides the 4 original yagura designated Important Cultural Properties, the reconstructed wooden main keep is beautiful. I've heard it said that in 100 years this would be Important Cultural Property quality. The castle is so picturesque in the valley along that river that you could probably spend a whole day moving around the town to take photos from many locations. It started to rain in the afternoon and I had to cut my visit shorter than I would have liked.
大洲城は必見です。四棟の重要文化財の櫓の他に天守も見事に復元されています。100年が経ったらこれも重要分解財級ではないかと聞いたこともある位です。谷に川辺の天守と連結する櫓がとても美しいです。1日かけて街の中からいろいろな角度と風景で撮ってみたいです。私が登城した日は途中から雨が降り出しましたので、思うように時間をゆっくり過ごすことができませんでした。

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Castle Profile
English Name Ozu Castle
Japanese Name 大洲城
Alternate Names Jizogatake-jo
Founder Utsunomiya Toyofusa
Year Founded 1331
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 4 levels, 4 stories
Year Reconstructed 2004 (wood)
Artifacts Sannomaru South Sumi Yagura, Owata Yagura, Daidokoro Yagura, Koran Yagura
Features main keep, gates, turrets, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Iyo Ozu Sta. (Yosan Line), taxi
Visitor Information open 9am-5pm year round; 500 yen
Time Required 120 mins
Website http://www.city.ozu.ehime.jp/site/kanko/1223.html
Location Ozu, Ehime Prefecture
Coordinates 33° 30' 34", 132° 32' 28"
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Admin
Year Visited 2016
Visits Feb. 27, 2016
Added to Jcastle 2006


3.80
(15 votes)
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Anonymous user #2

9 months ago
Score 1++
One of the best castle sites I’ve been to, great reconstruction, beautiful buildings, lovely old town, helpful information. I first noticed this castle from the train window three years ago and had wanted to go ever since.
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ARTHatamoto

25 months ago
Score 0++
I vividly remember the very intriguing spectacle of the dark old wood and bright new wood contrasting sharply as I moved between the reconstructed tenshukaku (main keep) and adjoining yagura (turret) at Ōzu Castle. The tenshukaku was reconstructed in 2004 using historical materials and principles of construction. This is what a freshly built castle looked like in feudal Japan and it presents a rare opportunity for seeing a reconstructed castle interior at such scale. The reconstructed tower is attacked to two adjoining yagura – or wings as they’re on either side- the Daidokoro-yagura (Kitchen turret) to the right and the Kōran-yagura to the left. The tower complex forms an “L” shape. There are a further two original yagura away from the main site: Owata-yagura (1843) downhill on the Hiji River, and the Sannomaru Minami Yagura (1766) (south corner turret in the third bailey) located on the grounds of a high school, which I could not see. Finally there is an old raised floor storehouse still standing too. Exhibits inside the tenshukaku mostly show how castles were built, including the resources for them gathered, which is a very interesting topic for me.
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Kiddus i2003Gunshi

57 months ago
Score 0++
What an incredible job done to rebuild this. The displays inside alone were a wealth of knowledge , I had no real idea how these castles were constructed till I came here.
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RaymondWHatamoto

64 months ago
Score 0++
I went to this castle on the same day that I visited Uwajima Castle in mid-August. Ozu Castle is sited on a small hill overlooking the Hiji River. As other JCastle users have mentioned below, it is an easy 2km walk from the JR station and a very good one to visit. Ozu Castle keep is reconstructed from wood, but unlike other reconstructions, it sourced most of its wood from the local region. When I asked the castle staff about the materials used in the reconstruction, he mentioned that they wanted to rebuild the keep using Hinoki (Japanese Cyprus), but because that was too expensive the builders decided to go with mostly Matsu (Pine) and Tsuga (Japanese Hemlock). The latter was used for the columns. Apart from the reconstructed keep, Ozu Castle has four original yaguras (turrets). Two of them, the Daidokoro Yagura and the Kouran Yagura are connected to the castle keep located in the Honmaru (Main Bailey). At one stage, the whole of the Honmaru was ringed by a tamon yagura called the Honmaru Mawari Yagura. The other two original yaguras are the Owata Yagura located down the hill and on the bank of the Hiji River (about 200 metres from the road bridge), and the Sannomaru Minami Sumi Yagura (Third Bailey South Sumi Yagura), located near Ozu High School, around a 5 minute walk from the castle keep. Below the Sannomaru Minami Sumi Yagura are some tennis courts, which used to be part of a water moat protecting the eastern side of the Third Bailey during the Edo Period. This is a well signposted castle with many baileys, structures, and sites of structures that existed in the Edo Period clearly explained. Some of the signs are also bilingual in Japanese (more detailed) and English (basic details). This castle is definitely worthy of a four star rating.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

81 months ago
Score 0++
Went this morning to this castle. It's a nice reconstructed one. It's easy to access from the JR-station. Just turn right on the exit and follow the small green flower-shaped indication-panels. The castle is about 2km. When you leave the station and go for Uwajima, you are able to take a nice picture of the castle.
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Frank T.Gunshi

88 months ago
Score 0++
There's not much to see here aside from the keep, but this is the way reconstructions should be done: in the traditional way with wood. It's nice to see more castles and palaces being rebuilt with traditional methods and materials.
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Anonymous user #1

105 months ago
Score 0++
I would strongly recommend visiting this Castle. I was there on 7th April 2010. Yes, it is reconstructed, but using the same techniques and materials as would have been employed during the Edo period. The craftsmanship is breathtaking. Iyo Ozu village is also well worth walking round. Iyo Ozu is easy to get to, take the JR line south for about 45 minutes from Matsuyama. The Castle is visible from the train, slightly further south from the station. It’s easily walkable, but I took a taxi there (to find the way) and walked back.
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Anonymous user #1

130 months ago
Score 0++
This Shiro is worth going to as the interior looks as all japanese castles did shortly after construction.