A castle town with pristine flowing waterways
Located right in the middle of Gifu Prefecture, the castle town of Gujo Hachiman extends from the base of Gujo Hachiman Castle. The pride of the town is its extensive waterways. The town is dotted with beautiful water sources—the Yoshida River flows through the town, and fish swim along streams by the Igawa-komichi alley and the street-corner Yanaka Mizu-no-komichi alley. Boulders have been laid and willows planted along little paths, with clear water flowing beneath; even in Japan, this sort of streetscape is unique. Just walking around the area has a soothing effect.
Walking around is more fun if you know the history!
Why does the town of Gujo Hachiman have so many waterways all around? It’s because of a fire that burned down half the town in 1652. Taking advantage of lessons learned, sixth-generation castle lord Tsunetomo Endo decided to construct these waterways. In addition, some historic parts of the town still date from its castle town days, such as the artisans’ district, the blacksmiths’ district, and the Yanagimachi district. The town’s outskirts are home to electronics stores and candy stores that have been in business since the old days, and this area has many great dining options too. The famous panoramic views of the city from Gujo Hachiman Castle are also recommended.
A unique trial opportunity for building food samples!
Another Gujo Hachiman specialty is the "food sample." Placed at the storefront of Japanese restaurants, these lifelike culinary reproductions are made of plastic. Gujo Hachiman is famous for the production of these food replicas, with around 70% or more of Japan’s food samples made in this area. At the Sample Kobo workshop, you can enjoy a hands-on lesson in making food samples yourself—and there’s an endless stream of tourists making their own food samples! Why not try it out? Lifelike samples of fruit parfait, takoyaki, or tempura attached to key chains also make popular souvenirs.
Sample Kobo Workshop
- 956 Hashimoto-cho, Hachiman-cho, Gujo-shi, Gifu-ken
- Opening hours
- 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.
- Thursdays, and during the New Year holiday period (open every day in summer)
- Tempura sample-making lesson (3 items) 1,000 yen
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 1-hour flight from Haneda Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 100-minute flight from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 75-minute flight from Sendai Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 65-minute flight from Matsuyama Airport.
- Meitetsu Gifu Station is 1 hour via Kintetsu limited express train from Chubu Centrair International Airport.
- Gujo Hachiman Station is 80 minutes from Meitetsu Gifu Station via Hachiman route highway bus.
- Sample Kobo is a 20-minute walk from Gujo Hachiman Station.