Ozu Castle 大洲城
Founder Utsunomiya Toyofusa
Year 1331
Type Hilltop
Condition Reconstructed
Alternate Name Jizogatake-jo
Reconstructed 2004 (wood)
Structure 4 levels, 4 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Sannomaru South Sumi Yagura, Owata Yagura, Daidokoro Yagura, Koran Yagura
Location Ozu, Ehime Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Iyo Ozu Sta. (Yosan Line), taxi
Website Ozu City Sightseeing - Ozu Castle
Visited Feb. 27, 2016
Visitor Info. open 9am-5pm year round; 500 yen | Time Required: 120 mins
Notes 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。
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.
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  • ART    November 06, 2016 at 01:22 PM
    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.
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    April 04, 2014 at 11:09 PM
    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.
  • RaymondW on My Page    August 28, 2013 at 09:50 AM
    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.
  • furinkazan on My Page    April 22, 2012 at 04:56 PM
    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.
  • Frank T. on My Page    September 21, 2011 at 08:00 PM
    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.
  • Rheagan_Greene    April 16, 2010 at 09:50 PM
    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.
  • MM    March 16, 2008 at 07:02 AM
    This Shiro is worth going to as the interior looks as all japanese castles did shortly after construction.
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Ozu, Ehime Pref.
Ozu Castle views
Main keep, Koran Yagura, Daidokoro Yagura Main keep and Koran Yagura
Main keep and Koran Yagura. main keep and Daidokoro yagura
Ozu Castle as seen from the train Gomonban Guardhouse
Honmaru Stone Walls Honmaru Stone Walls
Ninomaru Bailey Covered loopholes of the Sannomaru South Corner Yagura
Main keep and honmaru stone walls Honmaru stone walls
Ninomaru Honmaru stone walls
Looking out over the Hijikawa River Honmaru and stone walls
Honmaru and stone walls Inside the Daidokoro Yagura
Inside the main keep Inside the main keep
Model of roof structures A view of the honmaru
Interior of the Koran Yagura Inside the main keep
Koran Yagura Inside the main keep
Inside the main keep Inside the connecting yagura
Karamete entrance Main keep and inner moat stone walls
Honmaru stone walls Honmaru stone walls
Site of the Mizunote Yagura Stone walls by the river
Honmaru stone walls Honmaru stone walls
Honmaru stone walls Honmaru stone walls
Honmaru stone walls Honmaru stone walls
Honmaru stone walls Ninomaru bailey
Ninomaru Okugoten stone walls Ninomaru Main Palace stone walls
Ninomaru Bailey Shimo Daidokoro Yagura.
Base structure of the Shimo Daidokoro Yagura. Site of the Yagurashita Gomon Gate
Yagura foundation stone walls Sannomaru South Corner Yagura
Sannomaru South Corner Yagura Sannomaru South Corner Yagura
Loopholes of the Sannomaru South Yagura Covered loophole of the Sannomaru South Yagura
Owata Yagura