Gifu: 5 Things you should try in Gujo Hachiman (郡上八幡) - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Gifu: 5 Things you should try in Gujo Hachiman (郡上八幡)

A charming shop in Gujo Hachiman
Photo: Anette

Gujo is a small town in Gifu prefecture, an area most known for the historical city of Takayama and the Unesco-listed village Shirakawa-go. I recently visited Gujo Hachiman for the Gujo Odori festival, but there are many other things this little town has to offer for interested visitors. If you're looking for activities you can do while in Gujo Hachiman you can check out five of my recommendations in this post!

Gifu: 5 Things you should try in Gujo Hachiman

1. Taking a dip in the "Water City" 

Water plays an important role in the life of us all, but in Gujo Hachiman it also plays an especially important role, which you can tell from the cityscape. Throughout the town you can find small and charming canals, somewhere you can stroll along and watch the koi (Japanese carp) swimming continuously against the strong stream. There are also canals where the water is shallow enough for people to walk in it, and with aligning benches where people can sit and cool their feet in the clean water on a hot summer day.

2. Jump from the Shinkyo bridge 

One activity that many locals and visitors take part in during summer which you can do for free is to jump from the Shinkyo Bridge (新橋) in the middle of town. The bridge is 12 meters tall, and if you find the courage to fly you might just draw a crowd of excited onlookers. If you don't want to jump yourself, don't worry. The locals are experienced jumpers and during the summer season they'll jump again and again without hesitation, so you can always come here to watch them in action. Apparently, there are visitors who end up getting injured here every year, and in the past, there have even been people who even have lost their lives in the jump. If you are careful it shouldn't be a problem, but be aware that you jump at your own risk.

A local getting ready to jump!

3. Make your own food samples 

Believe it or not; Gujo Hachiman is the leading producer of food samples in Japan! You've probably noticed that many restaurants in Japan have the most beautiful displays of their dishes outside the entrance - and yes, with around 60% of the market share in Japan chances are great that these come from a Gujo Hachiman factory. In the town, you can find not only shops that sell the curiosities but also stores where you can try and make your own food sample items yourself.

Above: Above: A delicious-looking cake... Made of plastic

4. Have "morning" at a local cafe

Gujo Hachiman has a number of small charming cafes that offer a simple morning breakfast set they just call "morning" (モーニング). Morning often consists of a couple of slices of bread, along with a small salad, an egg and a cup of coffee. Prices are around 400 yen for the full set. A nice way to start your day of sightseeing perhaps? My recommendation is the cafe Kiyomizu Coffee (清水珈琲), a small cafe with a large collection of old action figures and vintage furniture.

5. Dance the night away with the Gujo Odori festival

Last but not least - Perhaps the most exciting thing you can do in Gujo is participating in the Gujo Odori dance festival that takes place annually from July 9th and September 3rd. This festival boasts of being one of Japan's three most important Obon dance festivals, and with no less than 32 days of dancing during the 2-month period, it is also Japan's longest Bon Odori.
For more info see: 7 Tips About the Gujo Odori Festival You Need To Know

Above: Dawn is drawing near, but the dancers won't stop dancing!

Gujo Hachiman is a cozy little town that still doesn't experience that much tourism. If you visit the town you'll be able to enjoy the authentic Japanese countryside atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of more famous destinations in the prefecture such as Takayama. Gujo Hachiman could be a good place to visit as a part of your trip to Gifu if you're planning on traveling around the area.

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

 ◆Basic Info

  • Gujo Hachiman (郡上八幡)
    • Take a train to the Gujo-Hachiman Station on the Etsumi-Nan Line

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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