Gifu Castle

Gifu Castle: The Aerie where Warlord Oda Nobunaga Planned the Unification of japan in the 16th Century


Gifu Castle, located high on Mt. Kinka on the banks of the Nagara River, is a historic landmark in Japan. It offers one of the most impressive views among all the castles in the country. The castle holds great significance in Japanese history, as it was the site where warlord Oda Nobunaga planned the unification of Japan in the 16th century. In this article, we will explore the history of Gifu Castle, its stunning views, and the various attractions it offers to visitors.

Don’t Miss: Stunning Views from the Observation Deck

One of the main highlights of Gifu Castle is its observation deck, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area. From this vantage point, visitors can marvel at the scenic beauty of the Nagara River and the surrounding landscape. The castle’s strategic location on Mt. Kinka made it an ideal spot for Oda Nobunaga to keep an eye on any approaching enemy armies. The observation deck allows visitors to experience the same panoramic views that Nobunaga once enjoyed.

Exhibitions of Armor and Weapons

Gifu Castle also houses exhibitions of armor and weapons, giving visitors a glimpse into the military history of Japan. The displays showcase various types of samurai armor, swords, and other traditional weapons used during the feudal era. These exhibitions provide valuable insights into the warfare tactics and strategies employed by the samurai warriors of that time. For history enthusiasts, these exhibits offer a unique opportunity to learn about Japan’s rich military heritage.

The Gifu Castle Archives Museum

In addition to the exhibitions of armor and weapons, Gifu Castle is also home to the Gifu Castle Archives Museum. This museum provides a deeper understanding of the castle’s history and its role in shaping Japan’s past. The museum displays historical documents, artifacts, and photographs that shed light on the castle’s significance during various periods of Japanese history. It offers a comprehensive overview of the castle’s cultural and historical importance.

How to Get There

To reach Gifu Castle, visitors can take a 15-minute bus ride from Gifu Station. Buses run frequently from Gifu Station to Gifukoen-mae bus stop, which is located at the base of Mount Kinka. From there, visitors can either hike up the mountain or take the ropeway, a cable car system that runs up the side of Mt. Kinka. The ropeway offers a convenient and scenic way to reach the castle.

The History of Gifu Castle

Gifu Castle has a rich and complex history. It is the third recorded castle to be built on the site. The original castle was constructed in the 13th century but was destroyed around 1600 during the leadup to the Battle of Sekigahara. This battle marked a turning point in Japanese history, as it led to the reunification of the country under the Tokugawa regime.

The Tokugawa regime considered Gifu Castle a major threat and was determined to remove it. After its destruction, the castle was repaired and remained in private hands until it was destroyed by fire. The current castle, built in 1956 with cement, is a reconstruction of the original structure. Although it is not an original castle, it still offers a glimpse into the architectural style and design of the past.

Inside the castle, visitors can explore an exhibition about the castle town and the castle building that Oda Nobunaga worked on. This exhibition provides insights into the construction techniques and materials used during that time. It also highlights the importance of Gifu Castle in Nobunaga’s plans for the unification of Japan.

Other Attractions in the Area

In addition to Gifu Castle, there are several other attractions in the vicinity that are worth visiting. One of these is the Gifu City Museum of History, which offers a comprehensive overview of the castle’s history and the city’s development. It provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical significance of Gifu.

Another unique attraction in the area is the Nawa Insect Museum, built by a man known as The Insect Man. This museum houses over 300,000 beautiful insect specimens, making it a popular destination for children and nature enthusiasts alike. It offers a fascinating insight into the world of insects and their importance in the ecosystem.

Nearby Shohoji is home to a 14-meter tall lacquered Buddha, which is one of the three great Buddhas of Japan. This iconic statue is a testament to the religious and cultural heritage of the region. Additionally, the Nagaragawa Ukai Fishing tradition, which has been practiced for over 1,300 years, is just a short walk away from Gifu Castle. Visitors can witness this traditional fishing method, which involves the use of cormorants, between May 11 and October 15 each year.


Gifu Castle is a remarkable historical site that offers visitors a unique insight into Japan’s feudal past. Its strategic location, stunning views, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you are interested in the military history of Japan, the architectural wonders of the past, or simply want to enjoy the panoramic views, Gifu Castle has something to offer everyone. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Gifu Castle.

Address And Maps Location:

18 Tenshukaku, Gifu-shi, Gifu-ken

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