If you know anything about Japanese history then you have probably heard the name of Oda Nobunaga, one of the country’s most famous warlords. Gifu castle, located atop Mount Kinka was at the centre of his campaign for power in Japan. If you find yourself staying in Gifu city it’s definitely worth your time to head up to the top of Mount Kinka to see it for yourself!
The first view most visitors to Gifu will have of the Castle itself will be from the city looking up to the mountain. The castle is visible from many places in the city due to its position. When we went to Gifu we arrived at night and saw the castle all lit up in blue, looking quite ominous and spooky!
The current incarnation of the castle, unfortunately, isn’t the original and is a concrete reconstruction that was built in the 1950’s after the Second World War. The old castle was destroyed during the bombing of Gifu city.
Depending on how much exercise you want you can either hike up the mountain or take the cable car up from the bottom of the mountain. When we went we chose to take the cable and from the top, it’s a short, pleasant walk along the path to reach the castle.
The reconstruction of the outside of the castle is as faithful to the original castle as it can be and inside is a museum which tells the history of the castle and its surroundings as well as Oda Nobunaga, the famous warlord. You’ll find weapons such as spears, traditional Japanese longbows and of course, samurai swords alongside full suits of armour and portraits of the different lords of the castle through the ages.
From the top of the castle, there are fantastic views across Gifu city and the surrounding countryside, especially on a clear day.
If you’re in Gifu, heading up to the castle is definitely worth your time and you shouldn’t miss the chance to see it for yourself!