Gujo Hachiman Castle




This castle was founded by Endo Morikazu after he won the battle of Mt. Todo and became lord over this area. He was only able to build up the stone walls of the castle before passed away and the castle passed to his son Yoshitaka. While Yoshitaka served as a retainer of Nobunaga Inaba Sadamichi was placed as the lord of the castle. Inaba built up the main keep and most of the supporting structures of the castle.

After the battle of Sekigahara, Yoshitaka returned to Gujo Hachiman. Endo Tsunetomo renovated much of the castle and fortified the castle town after he became lord in 1646. In 1870 the castle and all supporting structures were torn down except for some of the stone walls. The castle was rebuilt in wood in 1933.

Visit Notes

The reconstruction of this castle is done very well in wood. The interior is still a typical resonstruction museum and not in the style of an original castle but it has an old feeling and is well done. The surrounding castle town and mountains are also very picturesque, but the weather this day was snowy/rainy and not good.

  • castle town and river
  • main keep
  • walls and yagura
  • gate, walls and bailey
  • stone walls
  • donjon and wall

Castle Profile
English Name Gujo Hachiman Castle
Japanese Name 郡上八幡城
Founder Endo Morikazu
Year Founded 1559
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Next 100 Castles, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 4 levels, 5 stories
Year Reconstructed 1933 (wood)
Features main keep, gates, turrets, stone walls, walls, castle town
Visitor Information
Access Gujo Hachiman Station, Nagaragawa Line
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Gujo Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 45' 11.09" N, 136° 57' 40.90" E
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Added to Jcastle 2004
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2004
Admin Visits February 22, 2004

(15 votes)
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Anonymous user #1

8 months ago
Score 0 You
Interesting... I didn't know that there were any pre-war wood main keep reconstructions other than Iga Ueno castle... and that one is a total mogi, though an attractive one (in my opinion at least). This one sounds fairly attractive too, and likely more accurate.


54 months ago
Score 0++

Gujō-Hachimanjō is a fantastic castle site. For me its most interesting features are the extensive ishigaki (stone ramparts) and the old fashioned castle town at its base. Of course there are reconstructed buildings. The tenshu (main keep) at Hachimanjō represents an early attempt by modern builders to reconstruct a castle keep. Overall I would say the tower looks pretty, but it's a little unusual. I think it's that the gables are too slender, or maybe it's the windows, or the four tiers with the tall initial tier... something's off. It does look nice on the mountain though. Unfortunately I can't say the same for all structures at Hachimanjō. The gate to the honmaru (main bailey) is particularly egregious and is possibly intended as some kind of forced perspective. The rebuilt yagura (turrets) also have a flimsy, western movie set style feel to them. By the way, there are also ramparts furter down the castle mount, where there are temples and shrines now, but the ishigaki is quite overgrown.


Construction was started on Gujō-Hachimanjō by Endō Morikazu in 1559 and largely completed by his son, Endō Yoshitaka. An interregnum in lordship of the castle came with Inaba Sadamichi who built up many structures of the castle, including the tenshu. The present layout of the castle was accomplished by Endō Tsunetomo who ruled from 1646. Gujō-Hachimanjō has had various dynasties of castellans. I list them here: Endō Clan, 1559 - 1692 (Inaba Interregnum 1588 - 1600) Inōe Clan, 1693 - 1697 Kanamori Clan, 1697 - 1758 Aoyama Clan, 1758 - 1869

All buildings were demolished in the Meiji Period but castle structures have been reconstructed at Hachimanjō in modern times. The tenshu was reconstructed in 1933 out of wood, although the joinery and carpentry is not historically accurate, which is similar to Iga-Uenojō's wooden keep built around the same time. The castle bills itself as the first castle to be reconstructed from wood in modern times. Later on this trip I learnt that Gifujō also had an early wooden reconstruction, but it does not seem like that structure was intended as a permament feature or serious reconstruction attempt.


80 months ago
Score 1++
From Gujo-Hachiman I hitched a ride to Gero, to the east (road 256). Near Gujo-Hachiman, there are a few hairpin bends in the road up the mountain. From here, you can get one of the most dramatic far-away views of a Japanese castle. Because I was hitchhiking, I wasn't able to take a picture, but the posters of the castle dotted around the town are a good indication of the spectacular view.


162 months ago
Score 0++
Could be wood, but it liked as being concrete, espescially when looking at the firing windows. But again i can be wrong.


162 months ago
Score 0++

I went to this castle last year. The inside was all wood with lots of supporting columns in wood. The inside was not set out like a regular castle. Instead, it has a central staircase like in a normal building with lots of open spaces and the narrow floors hugging the sides and an open space around the staircase, more akin to atrium. However, the walls could be built from concrete, but I had no way of knowing just by looking at it.

As Furinkazan said, it has a very nice view of the surrounding town from the top. Getting there by train is very time-consuming.


162 months ago
Score 0++
Funrinkazan, are you sure it's concrete? My books and the website say wood. Perhaps the wood is covered by plaster which looks like concrete? I thought the inside also showed several of the wooden support beams? http://www.k...s/gujyo.html


162 months ago
Score 0++
Yesterday i went to this castle. The castle(=concrete)is not that nice, but the location on the hill is splendid. The lookout is marvelous and there are alot of things to see in the little town.