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    Sightseeing

    Main Tourism Spots

    Ozu Castle

    Ozu Castle, located on the riverside of Hijikawa River, was first constructed by Toyofusa Utsunomiya who enter here as a guardian in 1331, and later innovated largely by Takatora Todo and other lords. The Castle town developed as political and economic center of Ozu Feudal Clan.
    After Meiji Restoration, almost all the buildings were destroyed, but the great efforts of local people enabled keep some parts of main castle building and turret. In 1888, unfortunately because of aging, the buildings were dismantled.
    Finally in 2004 the reconstruction of the Castle was completed by the enthusiastic activities and donations of the citizens.
    When reproducing the Castle, four layer and four story main castle building was reconstructed as exactly as possible to the original historic building using some important material such as old photos taken in Meiji era and “small pattern of castle tower” made in Edo era. Those old materials enabled the reproduction of the Castle as the symbol of desire of citizens and efforts of historic researches.
    Now, four turrets such as Daidokoro turret and Mimamisumi turret, which are surviving from Edo era, are designated as National important cultural properties and the entire Castle site is designated as Prefectural historic site.

    Garyu Sanso (mountain villa)

    This mountain villa, facing a beautiful spot called “Garyu-buchi” along the river of Hijikawa, boasts 10000m2 consisting of three traditionally artistic architectures Garyu-in, Furo-an and Chishi-an.
    Surrounded by mountains, Kagura-yama in back, Tomisu-yama and Yamase-yama in Southeast, also borrowing landscape of Hijikawa River and Nyohoji Temple, Garyu Sanso shows different beauty and charm with harmonious atmosphere of nature and art in each season.
    Tranquil sceneries from the garden or the mountain villa retain pretty much “mind of tea ceremony” or “philosophy of Japan”. On Sundays and National holidays from April to October, you can enjoy attending tea ceremony here by 400 yen per person. Then, you will have comfortable and relaxing flow of time to your heart’s content appreciating beautiful landscape and Japanese tea.
    The origin of the name “Garyu” is said that the third Lord of Ozu Feudal Clan, Yasutsune Kato, referred the nearby Horai Mountain to a lying dragon.

    Ukai (cormorant fishing)

    Ukai for tourism started on the clear stream of Hijikawa River in 1957. Ukai is a traditional method of Ayu (sweet fish) fishing using birds, tamed cormorants and has 1300-year history.
    At present, there are 46 house boats and 3 fishing boats in Ozu. This is one of three major Ukai in Japan with in Nagaragawa River, Gifu prefecture and in Misumigawa River, Oita prefecture. During the season, lots of people enjoy atmosphere of the riverside district having fresh fish dishes on the sightseeing boats.
    After dark, together with fishing boat and house boat, Ukai will start. You can witness an exciting sight, how cormorants catch Ayu closely! Sometimes you will be given Ayu thrown from the fishing boat. Ukai is a special summer event only you can enjoy in Ozu.
    Appreciating its scenic nature fully by boat tour of 2.7km, you will enjoy the art of Ukai by cormorants and masters at a short distance. Since 2010, Ukai in daytime has started for having more people to come in and has had good reputation.

    Ohana-han Street

    This street is located on the Eastern edge of Southern downtown and near Hijikawa River, and the houses here retain the atmosphere of Edo and Meiji era.

    Rows of old houses of Meiji era

    This street faces the border between merchants and Samurai residences making interesting a marked contrast. You will see some traditional architectures and feel the taste of ‘Little Kyoto’ everywhere in the street.

    Ozu Akarenga-kan (Red Brick Building)

    This building was built as Ozu Commercial Bank in December, 1901.
    The outer walls which have color variation by using dark bricks and red bricks and decorative spire make us feel the area of Meiji when people aimed at modernization.
    At the first floor of the main building, you can buy some Ozu specialties and local hand crafts such as pottery, country goods, etc. At the second floor, there is a gallery and sitting area, please relax and have comfortable time here.