Getting to Ozu Castle
Ozu Castle (大洲城) is located in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture (map) on Shikoku.
You can see the castle already from within the train. From JR (Iyo) Ozu Station it’s a short (~ 20 mins) and pleasant walk towards the castle with many chances to take nice photos along the way!
History of Ozu Castle
Ozu Castle is also known as Jizougatake Castle (地蔵ヶ嶽城) and was built by Utsunomiya Toyofusa in 1331.
The current reconstruction of the castle is based on a structure that dates back to the Keicho Era (1596-1614). Among the many lords of the castle were Wakisaka Yasuharu, Kobayakawa Takakage, Todo Takatora (see also Imabari Castle) and Toda Katsutaka.
After the Meiji Restoration a fire destroyed the main turret.
The Current Main Keep (2004)
In 2004 the keep was reconstructed after old photos of the Meiji Era and wooden models have been studied carefully. These historical materials made it possible to rebuild it as precisely as possible.
They also tried to use the same material as back then such as wood and mud.
Inside the castle’s keep is a small museum. You’ll also run into “Ryoma Sakamoto” a lot who was born in Shikoku (Tosa, Kochi Prefecture to be precise).
As you can see I visited in late September 2012.
Most castles usually exhibit armor and weapons, but Ozu Castle focuses on architecture with a lot of wooden models.
This lovely done model shows the construction of Ozu Castle back in the Keicho Era.
This model of a roof section shows how complex Japan’s old building techniques were.
This is my entrance ticket to the castle.
From the castle grounds you have a great view over Ozu City. The large Hijikawa River runs through the city.
I mentioned earlier that you can see the castle from within the train, but you can – vice versa – also see the trains from up there.
The castle grounds are spacious, so there’s more to see than just the main keep.
A lot of the castle walls still remain.
And there’s also a tiny garden where you can relax and enjoy the view of the castle.
Besides the castle’s main keep and the walls, there are also some small yagura left.
Ozu City is a pleasant and quiet city that deserves to be explored. If you have the time, you should do so after visiting the castle!
Stay tuned. I’ll show you around in Ozu City next time. :D