Hi, How are you? I’ve been traveling in Gifu area these days!
This time I wrote about a relatively unknown area to tourists, Gujo Hachiman. It is a small, riverside town which was founded in the 16th century as a castle town.
Gujo is known for clear water, Ayu river fish, and Gujo dance festival.
Below are the 5 major places I visited and things you should check in Gujo Hachiman.
Located on top of a hill, it is one of the oldest reconstructed wooden castles in Japan.
It was founded in 1559, destroyed in the early Meiji period(1868-1912) during Japan’s attempts to modernize called the Meiji Restoration, and was reconstructed in 1933.
There is a museum inside of it, displaying a lot of materials from samurai era including the samurai armors, the heirloom of Aoyama clan, and samurai swords.
The castle keep is an important cultural property, and it was listed as one of the 100 Japanese castles in 2017. You can enjoy a panoramic view from there.During Autumn leaf season, the maple trees surrounding the area attract visitors.
You can get to the castle by car or taxi. Or, if you like hiking, you can get there on foot. It takes about 20 min to get to the top.
Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm (Mar to May, Sep to Oct)
8:00am to 6:00pm (June to Aug)
9:00am to 4:30pm (Nov to Feb)
*Closed from Dec 20th to Jan 10th
Price: 310yen (650yen for a ticket that includes the visit to the Hakurankan Museum)
It is a museum located near Hachiman castle.
It includes an exhibition, Gujo Odori demonstration, and Museum gift shop. You can learn about History and culture of Gujo-Hachiman here.
Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm (During Gujo-Odori event, it is open until 6:00pm)
Price: 540yen to enter. *Closed from Dec 24th to Jan 2nd
3.Gujo-Otori (Dance festival)
It is held from mid-July to early Sep (over 30 nights every day) every year.
It is designated as a significant intangible cultural folk asset by the Japanese government.
It was originally started to encourage the town’s citizens to get together, and it has a history of over 400 years.
Dancers make a big circle and perform to the traditional music of Shamisen, Bamboo flute, and Taiko Drums.
During Obon season in the summer, the festival continues all night and over 30,000 people gather.
There is a small canal called Igawa Komochi located near the river (Yoshida river) close to Hachiman castle.
Big Koi fish swim there peacefully and it really is a beautiful canal.
Although it is small and short, the canal is very unique and worth visiting to take pictures!
Gujo hachiman is known as the home town of food replicas.
You can not only enjoy watching very realistic food replicas, but also make them and take home as souveniors!
Samples are from Japanese food like temple and sushi to other kinds like pizza, curry, cake, etc.
There are many places where you can make your own, but one of the most popular is Sample Kobo. The main shop (Honkon) is open from 9:00am to 17:00pm (closed on Tuesdays).
Take JR Tokaido Line or Meitetsu Konsen Line to Gifu station.
Then, take JR Takayama Line to Mino Ota Station, and use Nagaragawa Railway to Gujo Hachiman Station.
(It is about 2 hours and 50 min travel)
Take Nohi express bus to Gujo-Hachiman station.
(It is about 1 hour and 45 min travel)
The city is very compact and rural, so you can see things just walking around. If you would like to enjoy a quiet, country side of Japan (and less touristy area), Gujo Hachiman is a great place to visit!
See you next time!