The charms of sightseeing in Gujo

Where to walk in the castle town Gujo-Hachiman

View of the surrounding castle town The performances of Gujo Odori dance

Gujo-Hachiman is a castle town that preserves unique traditional Japanese culture. From the tower of Gujo-Hachiman Castle, you can get a spectacular view of the surrounding castle town [1] .
Gujo Hachiman Hakuran-kan museum is a good place to begin a walking tour of the town. It provides a good introduction to Gujo, with exhibits divided into the themes of “water”,“traditional arts and craft”, and “Gujo Odori Dance Festival”.
Since the performances of Gujo Odori dance [2] at the museum by dancers wearing authentic yukata take place year round, you can watch the real Gujo Odori dance even during the dancing offseason.
In the area around the Hakuran-kan museum, you can see old streets and a way of life very close to the way it was centuries ago in the Edo period. On both sides of the town streets, there are channels carrying water down from the surrounding mountain, as well as the nearby Sogi-sui spring. You can hear water running everywhere in town.

Also, the town is home to many temples and shrines. The Jion Zen Ji Temple Tesso En Garden [3] , made in the Muromachi period, is a place where you can have special pleasure in enjoying seasonal flavors in a tranquil atmosphere.
If you need information assistance during your walk, drop by the Kyuchosya-Kinenkan(Gujo Hachiman Former Government House) [4] . It has a tourist information center, souvenir shops, and a lounge.

Jion Zen Temple Tesso Garden The Kyuchosya-Kinenkan

Tips for walking in the castle town

Pocket parks Yanaka Mizu no Komichi

You will see mizubunes when walking in the castle town.
It is a facility where potable water is provided free. As for pocket parks [5] , there are many mini parks in various styles. Among others, popular spots include Yanaka Mizu no Komichi canal [6] where art museums are located, and the Igawa Komichi canal [7] where carps and fishes swim around in water from a spring-fed creek.
There are also many gourmet spots in the town. It is nice to use “a map for walking and dining”. It contains coupons which can be used at various restaurants and food outlets, and is sold at the Kyuchosya-Kinenkan.

Igawa Komichi canal

Experience Japanese culture in the castle town

The old town streets Daily life water

The old town streets [8] of Gujo-Hachiman are still in use as a residential area. Traditional fire walls called sodekabe still remain on the second floor of the townhouses.
Those townhouses were made in a unique architectural style whose frontage was narrow and whose depth was long as a clever way of avoiding higher property taxes at the time.
The canals are used for daily life water [9] by using segi-ita, a type of wooden water barrier. You can encounter people washing their laundries and vegetables there. Along the river flowing in the center of the town, you can see people fishing for Ayu sweetfish and other fishes in the spring-fed creek. In summer, you can see children playing in the water and jumping into the river from the bridges.
Regardless of age and sex, people in Gujo naturally come to learn how to live in harmony with the natural environment.
Close by Yanaka Mizu no Komichi, there is the house of the Saito family, which has been designated a national cultural asset. Entering from the front, you can enjoy Matcha, powdered green tea, viewing the garden from the Japanese style tearoom.

In the beginning of winter, a green sugidama – a ball of cedar leaves – is hung from the eaves of the local sake brewery. It is for telling passersby that fresh sake has been brewed.
Around the same time, you can see The Nantendama (red nandina balls)[10] hung from the eaves of the local stores. A nandina is a lucky charm for turning hardship into good fortune.
In summer, many tourists wearing yukata and geta [11] walk around the town. Yukata is a traditional casual summer kimono . The wearing of yukata and geta is getting more popular year by year as a way of enjoying Japanese culture. The geta make a charming sound like“ karan-koron” as their wearer walks in them. After taking a walk with yukata and geta, you can go enjoy the Gujo Odori dance at night without having to change clothes. That's really the way to walk around Gujo-Hachiman. Give it a try and enjoy the fashion!

SightseeingMap
The Nantendama(red nandina balls) Many tourists wearing yukata and geta

Gujo Tourism Federation

130-1 Shimadani, Hachiman-cho, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture
TEL: 0575-67-1808 E-mail:renmei@gujokankou.com