Gujo Hachiman

An enjoyable course with much to see and do in the old town of Gujo Hachiman. The castle and the river are both beautiful. There is no shortage of food.


Gujo Hachiman is a beautiful town with the clear waters of the Nagara River and its tributary, the Yoshida River. It is known for its fresh spring water throughout the town, autumn leaves near Gujo Hachiman Castle, and the old streets of the castle town. Recently, it is also famous for food sample making. As for the castle town, not only certain streets remain, but a fairly large area of the town retains its old-fashioned atmosphere. The famous Gujo Odori dance is held for a total of 32 nights every year from mid-July to early September, culminating in the all-night dance that lasts four nights.

Since it is a small town, a walking tour is recommended. The starting point for the tour is the Gujo Hachiman Castle Town Plaza, which is a bus depot and parking lot, and is easy to find. The Nagaragawa Railway Gujo Hachiman Station is far from the town, and taking the train by train is time-consuming, so buses from Nagoya or Gifu are more convenient public transportation. Buses from Gifu and Nagoya stop at many bus stops in town in addition to Gujo Hachiman Castle Town Plaza, so it is best to start walking from wherever is convenient for you.

Course Highlights

Gujo Hachiman has roughly three parts. One is the area south of the Yoshida River. One is the castle town spreading out under the castle mountain where Gujo Hachiman Castle, one of the 100 most famous castles in Japan, is located. The last is Shiroyama (Hachiman Mountain), which includes Gujo Hachiman Castle. You can go around from any direction, but here we will start from the area south of the Yoshida River.

Jionzenji Temple and southern part of the town

The Gujo Hachiman Old Town Hall Memorial Museum, located across the Yoshida River, has a wide selection of souvenirs and a restaurant.

The garden named “Tesso-en” at Jionzenji Temple is a must-see. It is especially picturesque when the autumn leaves are in full bloom. The photo below was taken in early November, but a little too early.

Jionzenji Temple
Jionzenji Temple garden

After leaving Jionzenji Temple, the next stop is the Yanaka Water Path. It is a short distance, but well-maintained with a waterway and a cobblestone walkway that runs along the side of the waterway. There are many traditional buildings in the area, and it is a good neighborhood for buying souvenirs and eating and drinking.

Yanaka Water Path Gujo Hachiman
Yanaka Water Path

Castle town

From Yanaka Mizu no Komichi (Yanaka Water Path), cross the Yoshida River at Miyagase Bridge. Gujo Hachiman Castle can be seen on the mountain.

Yoshida River, Gujo Hachiman
Gujo Hachiman Castle can be seen on the mountain

Across the Yoshida River, there are soba noodle shops, etc., and beyond them on the left is Oumamiya, famous for its Nikki candies. It was founded in 1888. You can try a sample, so come in and try it for yourself.

Omamiya Shop
Omamiya Shop

Down in front of it to the left is Sogisui Spring. This appears to be a watering spring used by the local people. It has been selected as one of the 100 best waters in Japan.

Sogisui Spring, Gujo Hachiman
Sogisui Spring

The old streets continue along the street in front of Omamiya Shop. Just before you come to the end of the street at a temple called Chokeiji, there is a path to the left of Shokuninmachi, where a bridge crosses the Odara River, a tributary of the Yoshida River. Immediately beyond the bridge, you can see a temple gate, and this is Daijyoji Temple. The gate is an important cultural property of Gujo City. Although you may not find this temple tourist guides, it is worth visiting at that time of the year, as the autumn leaves are beautiful here as well.

Daijoji Temple
Daijoji Temple

Return to Chokeiji Temple and turn right. After passing the Gujo Hachiman Exposition Hall, turn right and continue on Yanagimachi Street. Along the street, there is a water spot where you can drink clean water.

Water point

Gujo Hachiman Castle

After passing the large main hall of Anyoji Temple, turn left. Head up the mountain. Climb the stone steps in front of you and you will see Kishitsurugijinja Shrine on your left. Go around the shrine building from the left and you will come to a corner of Shiroyama Park. From there, the path to the right is the way up to Gujo Hachiman Castle. It is a roadway, so cars will pass by. After a while, a footpath branches off to the left, but it is quite a steep climb. 20 minutes uphill will lead you to Gujo Hachiman Castle.

Gujo Hachiman Castle
Castle

The castle tower of Gujo Hachiman Castle is a reconstruction based on Ogaki Castle. But it is an unusual wooden structure. It was built in 1933 and is said to be the oldest wooden reconstruction of a castle tower in Japan.

From Gujo Hachiman Castle, go down the road you came from and the goal, Gujo Hachiman Castle Town Plaza, is just a short walk away. If you have time to spare, try your hand at making food samples.

Guided tours of Gujo Hachiman

If you are in the town, a guided tour is available. However, the local guide speaks Japanese only, so you may need an interpreter with you. Other option may be provided by Viator.com.

If you start from Nagoya and other cities, or you like to combine with Takayama and/or Shirakawago, we provide a private tour.

Contact us from here for inquiry.


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