GUJO HACHIMAN IS home to a fine feudal castle that sits on a hill overlooking the valley and the town. The original castle, which has since been rebuilt, was built in 1559 by feudal lord Endo Morikazu.
A short hike up to the castle gives visitors a spectacular view of the town and surrounding valley, and is a pleasant, quiet place to sit and relax.
The location on Mount Hachiman was chosen as the rivers surrounding the town formed a natural moat protecting both the castle and a small area at the foot of the mountain below the castle where the town is.
For three hundred years the castle served as a lookout and home to 19 generations of feudal lords and their families.
Most castles in Japan are surrounded by cherry trees and are especially beautiful in the Spring. Gujo Hachiman castle is surrounded by maple trees, which make Autumn the best season in which to visit.
The Maple Leaf Festival held in November includes tea ceremony and koto demonstrations in a colourful setting overlooking the town.