Japanese Castles: Gujo Hachiman Castle
Gujo Hachiman Castle 郡上八幡城
Gujo Hachiman Castle is perched on top of the steep hill of Mount Hachiman, overlooking the delightful town of Gujo Hachiman below.
The castle was initially constructed by Endo Morikazu in 1559, though control of the fortress later passed to Inaba Sadamichi and then back to Endo's son Yoshitaka following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. The castle was further renovated in 1646 by Endo Tsunetomo.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the castle was demolished three years later in 1871, leaving only the impressive, moss-covered stone walls and the foundation stones.
A wooden reconstruction, on a much grander scale, was completed in 1933, the first such rebuilding of a previously demolished Edo Period castle.
There are fantastic views of the surrounding countryside from the castle, the interior of which is now a musem with displays of samurai armor, swords and ornate byobu (folding screens). The grounds of the castle are a popular cherry-blossom (sakura) viewing spot in spring and also attract visitors for their fiery maples in the fall.
Access - how to get to Gujo Hachiman Castle
Gujo Hachiman Castle is a short (20 minute), steep walk from the Jokamachi Plaza bus station past the Anyo, Zenkoji and Gochikuin temples and the Hotel Sekisuien. Alternatively walk up the steps from the Kahi Poem Stone over the bridge from the tourist office. The castle is easily visible from most parts of town. There is a road leading up to the castle, a car park and souvenir / snack shop at the top of the hill near the castle entrance.
Books on Japanese Castles
Recommended books on Japanese castles are the beautifully illustrated hardcover Castles of the Samurai by Jennifer Mitchelhill and the knowledgeable paperback Japanese Castles 1540-1640 by Stephen Turnbull.
Gujo Hachiman Castle Video
Book Hotel Accommodation in Japan in Gujo