Gujō (郡上市), also known as Gujo Hachiman, is a city in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Gujo is one of many cities staking claim to the "Center of Japan" designation. The city produces over 70% of the plastic food samples used across the nation.
- Former Town Office (郡上八幡旧庁舎記念館). Built in Western-style architecture, the building has been converted into a tourist information center with a souvenir shop, rentacycles, and restaurant.
By train, Gujo is served by Nagaragawa Railway, a private railway not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
There are also Highway Buses that serve Gujo. Gifu Bus operates from Gifu and Nagoya to the Gujo Hachiman Castle area. Highway Buses from Kyoto and Osaka bound for Takayama have stops in Gujo along the way.
The castle town is about a 20 minute walk from Gujo Hachiman Station and can be explored easily on foot. Bike rentals are available.
For Hiruga Kogen, there are infrequent buses during peak seasons. In general, a car will be useful for traveling outside of the castle town.
- 1 Gujo Hachiman Castle (郡上八幡城). Gujo Hachiman Castle was built by Endo Morikazu in 1559 and torn down during the Meiji Restoration. The castle was rebuilt in 1933 making it the oldest wooden reconstructed castle in the nation (2nd oldest reconstruction after Sumoto Castle). ¥320.
- 2 Gujo Hachiman Museum (郡上八幡博覧館). The local history museum with information about the town's famous water, the castle town, and the Gujo Odori. They perform demonstrations of the Gujo Odori at specified times throughout the day. ¥540.
- 3 Jionzenji Temple (慈恩禅寺). The temple was built by Endo Yoshitaka, the second lord of Gujo Hachiman Castle. It is most known for its garden. The temple will give you a free calendar upon leaving. ¥500.
- 1 Sample Village Iwasaki (サンプルビレッジ・いわさき). 10:00-16:00. Offers the opportunity to make a wide variety of food samples, including parfaits, tarts, sushi, and spaghetti. They also have some seasonal options. Reservations required. Prices vary depending on what you choose to make.
- 2 Sample Kobo (さんぷる工房). 09:30-17:00. This is one of the places where visitors can make their own food samples. They have a few different options. Reservations are required.
- 3 Kodakara no Yu (子宝の湯). Also known as the "Center of Japan Onsen" (日本まん真ん中温泉), this onsen is actually part of Minami-Kodakara Onsen Station. Gujo is one of many cities in Japan that claims to be the "true center" of Japan, so the onsen's name pays honor to that notion. The onsen itself features a handful of different indoor and outdoor baths, as well as a relaxation area outside the bath entrance. ¥600.
- Gujo Odori (郡上おどり). The Gujo Odori is one of the most famous obon dances (bon odori) in the country. It's one of the Top three dances and listed as an Intangible Cultural Folk Asset. It is unique in that there is dancing every night from mid-July to the first weekend in September. The height of the festival is over the obon holiday when they dance from dusk to dawn. There are a variety of dances, but none are overly complicated so that visitors can join in.
- 1 Ryukyo no Sato (流響の里). A large souvenir shop that also offers food sample-making. The benefit to the sample-making here is that it does not require a reservation, but they only have a couple options.
Many of Gujo's restaurants are located in its commercial district. Look for the red gate at the river.
- 1 Harokan (覇楼館). A restaurant that specializes in the area's famous Oku-Mino Curry. They also have various pork cutlet and Hida beef dishes.
- 2 Kazamidori (風見鶏). Weekdays 10:00-14:30, 17:00-20:00, Weekends and Holidays 10:00-20:00. A popular Oku-Mino Curry restaurant with its own original Oku-Mino Twin Curry which features a mound of rice flanked by two different curry varieties.
- 1 Gujo Hachiman Hotel Sekisuien (郡上八幡ホテル積翠園). Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. A hotel just below the castle. Rooms from ¥8500.
- 2 Business Hotel Gujo Hachiman Inter (ビジネスホテル郡上八幡インター). Rooms from ¥6800.
- 3 Nakashimaya (中嶋屋). Check-in: 15:30, check-out: 10:00. A traditional ryokan with a small onsen.