If you’re looking for a more unique place to stay than a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) or capsule hotel in Tokyo, make a trip to Hirado, a port city in Nagasaki prefecture in southwest Japan. From summer 2020, you can book an overnight stay at the city’s picture-perfect castle and experience the lifestyle of former Japanese feudal lords. This castle experience will be the first in Japan.
Until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the historic Hirado Castle was home to the Matsura clan, the rulers of the Hirado Province. Later, towards the end of the 19th century, most of the castle buildings were dismantled due to an Imperial decree, before restoration projects brought back the historic site in the second half of the 20th century. In 2006, Hirado Castle was designated one of Japan's Top 100 Castles by the Japanese Castle Foundation.
The main building serves as a museum and you won’t be able to stay there. However, you can spend the night at the Kaiju Yagura, one of the castle’s five turrets that’s as elegant as the feudal fortress itself.
Rebuilt in 1977 as an exhibition venue spanning 127 square metres, the structure was recently renovated. Overnight guests can look forward to a luxurious interior design, complete with splendid views of the Hirado Strait and Hirado Ohashi bridge.
Prices have not been announced yet but we expect lofty rates befitting former castle lords. However, five pairs of travellers will have the chance to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience much earlier, as the operator is looking to host them for free in spring 2020, in exchange for social media posts.
For more details, check Stay Japan’s official site – and good luck!