Gujo Hachiman

An old fashioned castle town whose culture continues to thrive like the waters of the nearby river

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Gujo Hachiman is situated in the center of Gifu Prefecture. It is a town which even now has the atmosphere of an ancient castle town. There are canals winding throughout the town, and you can catch a glimpse of the unique culture of a town boasting the purest of waters.
Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture
(0575) 67-1808

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Take a walk through the castle town which brings the atmosphere of the Edo Era

Gujo Hachiman was a prosperous castle town ruled by the Gujo branch of the Tokugawa clan. With an atmospheric townscape and 13 temples packed together within the narrow town, it has also been called the Little Kyoto of the Okumino region. The district of craftsmen and blacksmiths which includes the residences of artisans and mercantile houses has been nationally selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. Even now, signs of old Edo can be felt all throughout the streets. If you feel tired from walking through the town, head for Gujo Hachiman Old Government Memorial Hall. A Western-style building which had been erected in 1936, it was used as the town hall until 1994. If you are sightseeing through Gujo, then this is a must-visit place for its tourist information office and souvenir shop on the 1st floor, and also for its small restaurant where you can catch a light meal and a rest area. You can also try out the Gujo Dance on the 2nd floor. Rental bicycles are also available.

Encounter a lifestyle of a town of water

The town is at the nexus of 3 rivers: upstream on the Nagara River with the Yoshida River coming down from the mountains of Okumino and the Kodara River; as such, Gujo Hachiman has also been called the Town of Water. In the center of the beautiful canals flowing through the town, there is the famous Yanakamizu-no-Komichi. Lined with stones transported from the Yoshida and Nagara Rivers, this quiet canal which runs along a street of willow trees is popular with the tourists. In addition, along the Igawa Komichi which is beside the Old Government Memorial Hall, there are 3 spots which are places to wash laundry so that you can see the daily lives of the residents there.

See signs of pioneers who knew how to use water efficiently all around town

When you walk around the town, you will most likely see water tanks built from wood and stone everywhere. These are called mizufune which make up a water usage system characteristic of Gujo Hachiman. Among the groupings of 2-3 tanks each which carry spring water, the first tank is used for drinking and washing food while the other tanks are used to wash items such as dirty dishes. Any remaining food is washed down into the pond to become food for the fish as the water is naturally purified and flows into the river. Even now, the system is used by many households within the town. Part of the system has been open to tourists to quench their thirst.

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8 years ago
The water city
Traveling to Gujo Hachiman from Nagoya was quiet an adventure. I took the bus (which is faster) and ended up at the bus stop just next to the highway. Together with 2 nice japanese ladies we made across the bridge towards the city on a rainy day. Many people recommend to visit this city during summer, on a lovely sunny day. I can imagine that it looks pretty, but I went on a cold, rainy day in autumn and I fell in love with the mysteric atmosphere. It's calm here and you feel more like being in the real Japan than in Tokyo for example. It takes some time to get up the castle and you share the way with cars, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s not an original castles, but a really pretty one for sure and the view from up there is amazing! Mountains, the city and… Clouds, many clouds. Gujo is also famous for its food replicas. Luckily I found a shop and could buy some nice gifts for my friends back home and watch other visitors doing workshops.
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