Marugane Castle’s Castle Experience is a package fit, and priced, for a samurai lord.

Located in Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Marugame is a little off the standard path for tourists in Japan. As such, it doesn’t have quite the range of upscale hotels that you’ll find in Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka.

However, visitors to Marugame have a new luxurious accommodation package that Japan’s major metropolises can’t match, with the opportunity to stay on the grounds of a castle.

Marugame Castle was built in 1660. Like many fortresses in Japan, sections of the structure were destroyed over the years, but it still has its original keep, one of only twelve castles built in the samurai era that can boast that status.

As part of the Castle Experience accommodation package, you and your traveling companions will be met at the train station and transported to the castle by rickshaw.

After passing through the castle gates, you’ll go through check-in procedures…

…which include a taiko drum performance.

As alluded to by the “Castle Experience” name, the package includes a number of cultural activities, starting with a private guided tour of the grounds and keep.

Instead of the keep itself, you’ll be sleeping in more luxuriously appointed Enjukaku. This was originally the villa that Kyogoku Takaaki, the sixth lord of the Kyogoku samurai clan who ruled the domain around Marugame, retired to in the 1800s. A portion of Enjukaku was then relocated to the Marugame Castle grounds in 1933.

Enjukaku is also where dinner will be served…

after which you’ll return to the castle keep for after-dinner drinks and a live flute performance.

The next morning, you’ll enjoy breakfast at Nakazubanshoen, the castle’s garden which was once exclusively for members of the Kyogoku clan

…followed by a lesson in how to make an uchiwa (a traditional non-folding Japanese fan)…

…and a tea ceremony in the Kanchoro, the garden’s tea room.

As you can probably guess, all of this luxury doesn’t come cheap. The price for a one-night stary for two guests comes to 1,265,000 yen, which works out a little over US$8,000 yen at the current very-favorable-to-inbound-overseas rate. If you’ve got more than two people in your party, there’s a supplementary charge of 132,000 yen for each additional person, discounted to 66,000 for elementary school-age children.

Reservations can be made starting March 1 through the Castle Experience website here for dates from July 1.

Source, images: PR Times
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