Culture & History
Gujo Hachiman Castle
A panoramic view from the “Castle in the Sky”
This castle commands a panoramic view from a hilltop on the edge of Gujo City. In winter, thick snow settles on the castle and the trees in its terraced hillside gardens, creating a blanket of fluffy white color referred to as the castle’s “snow makeup." Originally built in 1559 and later reconstructed in 1933, Gujo Hachiman Castle is also Japan’s oldest reconstructed castle made of wood, rather than concrete.
In the early morning, a soft mist settles on the valley around Gujo City, and the castle appears to float like an island in a cloudy ocean. This breathtaking view has earned it the nickname of “Castle in the Sky” and earned it media coverage.
Gujo hosts a variety of exciting winter events, such as the winter dyeing festival, held in mid-January in the Kodara River near the castle. Indigo-dyed carp streamers, made by local craftsmen to celebrate Children's Day, are soaked in the icy cold river overnight to lock in their vibrant colors. The river is illuminated after dark during this event, so you can enjoy the colorful streamers during day or night.
How to get there
The castle is about 10 minutes by car or taxi from Gujo Hachiman station.