Stay in an authentic Japanese castle -- if you can spare $9,000
Nikkei -- Jul 12
Japan has a new way to attract foreign tourists -- overnight castle stays.

Ozu Castle in Ehime Prefecture next April will begin allowing tourists to stay a night for 1 million yen ($9,250) per couple.

The Castle is on the Japan Castle Foundation's top 100 list, and the government lists it as an important cultural asset. First built in 1331, it has been repaired and reconstructed over the centuries, including by noted castle builder and Daimyo Takatora Todo, who died in 1630.

Japan's tourism ministry included accommodation services in historical heritage sites in its latest tourism vision realization program, drawing inspiration from Europe, where castle stays are already offered.

The Ozu municipal government is partnering with Value Management, a company that focuses on utilizing historical resources.

The tenshu, the castle's core four-story tower, about 19 meters high, will accept guests for 30 days a year, when rooms will be equipped with mats and furniture. Bathroom facilities will also be provided in ways that do not disturb the setting.

Overnight stays will include a "lord experience" service, which will allow guests to feel how daimyo lived centuries ago. Visitors will be served meals made of local ingredients and be given boat rides in the moat.

The Ozu municipal government in May set up a committee to discuss how to utilize the city's heritage sites. Political leaders want to "prepare for the population decline," one official said, "and creatively find new revenue sources."

Plans call for allowing daily tourists to visit when the castle is not acting as a hotel.

Ozu is not Japan's only castle that is moving into the lodging business. Hirado Castle in Nagasaki Prefecture is planning to do likewise next July. It is partnering with Japan Airlines and Hyakusenrenma, an Airbnb-type marketplace.

News source: Nikkei
Jun 04
Police in Aomori City have arrested a 35-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of killing his 61-year-old mother at their home last week. (Japan Today)
Jun 04
Two Yomiuri Giants players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Central League team announced Wednesday, casting a shadow over Nippon Professional Baseball's plan to start the 2020 season on June 19. (Japan Today)
Jun 04
Japan has reported 31 new confirmed COVID-19 cases with the total reaching 17,031, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities on Wednesday. (china.org.cn)
Jun 04
Tokyo has a spike yesterday of 34 infections and Gov. Koike put Tokyo on Alert. Basically Rainbow Bridge and the Metropolitan Government Building turned bright red. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Jun 04
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says he maintains the goal of raising the country's minimum wage, while taking into account the situations of small- and medium-sized companies reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Jun 04
Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo will open a new outlet Friday in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood, marking a homecoming eight years in the making to the city's vibrant hub for youth fashion. (Nikkei)
Jun 04
The Chinese government has stepped up the number of visas being issued to Japanese citizens after limiting it for months following the coronavirus pandemic, a diplomatic source familiar with bilateral ties said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Jun 03
Officials in Tokyo have issued an alert after confirming the highest daily tally of coronavirus infections in weeks. (NHK)
Jun 03
A Yokohama suburb looks to forbid people from using smartphones while walking on roads or in public spaces, in hopes of preventing accidents caused by distracted pedestrians. (Nikkei)
Jun 03
Japan's Diet on Tuesday enacted a revised road traffic law that will impose tougher penalties on drivers involved in road rage incidents. (NHK)