On the first Sunday of my time on the farm, the couple I was staying with had to visit the city of Gujo Hachiman, where they’ll be moving in a couple of years. Gujo is a very old and traditional city, with delightful historical streets, wide and deep rivers, all overlooked by a gorgeous castle.
In the summer, it’s tradition for young boys to jump for the bridges into the water as a right of passage. Gujo Hachiman is also home to one of Japan’s biggest dance festivals, including a stretch of several days in the summer when people dance all night long.
After walking up and down the river, and also stopping at a convenience store to make use of their wifi and let my family know I was doing okay, I headed for the castle, the obvious highlight for me.
The winding walk up the mountain was beautiful, with nice temples and statues surrounded by gorgeous views of the city and surrounding countryside.
The castle at the top was a classic example, although I reached it only just in time to head back down again so I wasn’t able to go inside and see any exhibits or anything.
I didn’t get to stop and experience a great deal of life in this quaint, historic city, but it is a genuinely beautiful place and I am very intrigued to return in the summer and strut my funky stuff.