Gifu Castle

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 castle with a rich history and breathtaking views. It is known as the aerie where warlord Oda Nobunaga planned the unification of Japan in the 16th century. Today, it stands as a testament to the power and ambition of one of Japan’s most influential figures.

Historical Significance

Gifu Castle holds great historical significance in Japan. It was during the 16th century that warlord Oda Nobunaga rose to power and began his campaign to unify Japan. Gifu Castle served as his strategic stronghold and a symbol of his authority. From its vantage point on Mt. Kinka, Nobunaga could oversee his territories and spot any potential threats. This castle played a crucial role in his plans for conquest and control.

Construction and Destruction

The current Gifu Castle is not the original structure that stood on the site. In fact, it is the third recorded castle built on Mt. Kinka. The first castle was constructed in the 13th century but was destroyed around 1600 during the leadup to the Battle of Sekigahara. The Tokugawa regime, seeking to eliminate any potential threats, ordered the destruction of Gifu Castle. It was later rebuilt but fell into private hands before being destroyed by fire.

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The castle that stands today was constructed in 1956 using cement. While it may not be an original castle structure, it still offers visitors a glimpse into the past and a chance to experience the history of Oda Nobunaga and his ambitions.

Exploring Gifu Castle

Visitors to Gifu Castle can expect to be captivated by its stunning views and exhibits. The observation deck provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, allowing visitors to appreciate the strategic advantage this castle provided. The castle also houses exhibitions of armor and weapons, giving visitors a glimpse into the military prowess of Oda Nobunaga and his samurai warriors.

Inside the castle, there is an exhibition that focuses on the castle town and the building of Gifu Castle itself. Visitors can learn about the architectural techniques and challenges faced during its construction. This exhibition offers valuable insights into the history and significance of the castle.

Getting There

To reach Gifu Castle, visitors can take a 15-minute bus ride from Gifu Station to Gifukoen-mae bus stop at the base of Mt. Kinka. Buses run frequently from Gifu Station, making it convenient for travelers to reach this historical site.

Other Attractions

While Gifu Castle is undoubtedly the main attraction in the area, there are other notable sights to explore. One such attraction is the ropeway that runs up the side of Mt. Kinka. This scenic route offers a satisfying hike and allows visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Along the way, there are shrines, the Gifu Castle Archives Museum, and even a squirrel petting zoo.

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For those interested in history, the Gifu City Museum of History is a must-visit. This museum provides a comprehensive overview of the castle’s history, as well as the city and the Gifu area. Temporary exhibitions are also held here, offering visitors a chance to delve deeper into specific aspects of the castle’s past.

Nearby, visitors can also explore the Nawa Insect Museum, which houses over 300,000 beautiful specimens. This unique museum is a hit with children and offers a fascinating insight into the world of insects.

Another attraction in the vicinity is Shohoji, home to a 14-meter tall lacquered Buddha. This Buddha is one of the three great Buddhas of Japan and is an impressive sight to behold. Additionally, visitors can witness the Nagaragawa Ukai Fishing, a tradition that has been carried out for over 1,300 years. This fishing technique, which utilizes cormorants, can be observed between May 11 and October 15 each year.


Gifu Castle stands as a testament to Japan’s rich history and the ambition of warlord Oda Nobunaga. Its strategic location and breathtaking views make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From the observation deck, visitors can imagine the samurai armies that once roamed the area and appreciate the efforts of those who sought to unify Japan.

Whether it’s exploring the exhibits inside the castle, hiking up Mt. Kinka, or visiting the neighboring attractions, a trip to Gifu Castle offers a unique and immersive experience. It is a chance to step back in time and appreciate the legacy of Oda Nobunaga and the impact he had on shaping Japan’s history.

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So, if you find yourself in Japan, make sure to visit Gifu Castle and immerse yourself in the history and beauty that this iconic landmark has to offer.

Address And Maps Location:

18 Tenshukaku, Gifu-shi, Gifu-ken

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