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Tom's Unforgettable Journey

As an avid traveler with a passion for history and culture, Japan has always been a dream destination for me. This autumn, I finally fulfilled this dream, and one of the highlights I eagerly anticipated was visiting Gifu Castle.

Arriving at Gifu Castle

Early in the morning, I set off from Nagoya, taking the train and bus to reach Gifu Castle. Upon arrival, I was immediately captivated by the majestic mountaintop fortress. Originally named Inabayama Castle, it was renamed Gifu Castle by Oda Nobunaga in 1567 and served as a crucial base for his control over Mino Province. Standing at the foot of the castle, I marveled at how this fortress played such a vital role during the turbulent Sengoku period.

Exploring the Castle

Inside Gifu Castle, my first stop was the tenshukaku, the main keep. This tall structure is the symbol of Gifu Castle, and from its top, you can overlook the entire city of Gifu, offering a breathtaking view. Our tour concierge, Mr. Pierre, greeted us warmly at the entrance. Fluent in English and passionate about Gifu Castle’s history, he provided us with detailed maps and pointed out key sites and important information.

Echoes of History

Gifu Castle is not just a military stronghold; it has witnessed numerous significant historical events. Oda Nobunaga planned many crucial campaigns here, gradually expanding his influence. Mr. Pierre led us to a large ancient map, explaining in detail how Nobunaga used Gifu Castle to control the entire Mino Province strategically. He also showed us various well-preserved artifacts, such as weapons and armor used during that era, each piece telling a story of the past.

Thoughtful Service

Throughout the tour, Mr. Pierre was incredibly attentive. He provided foldable chairs for us to rest when we got tired and handed out bottles of refreshing mineral water on this warm day. Whenever we had questions, he patiently and thoroughly answered them, often offering additional information based on our interests. At one point, I showed particular interest in an ancient map on display. Not only did Mr. Pierre explain its historical background in detail, but he also took me to an interactive exhibit where digital screens provided in-depth stories about each location on the map.

Cuisine and Culture

After touring the tenshukaku, I followed Mr. Pierre's recommendation and visited a traditional Japanese restaurant near the castle to sample local cuisine. The restaurant was elegantly decorated, exuding a rich Japanese ambiance. I tasted Gifu's famous Hida beef, which was tender and flavorful. Mr. Pierre also arranged a tea ceremony experience for us, giving us deeper insight into Japanese tea culture. He carefully explained each step and its significance, and this thoughtful service allowed us to appreciate the profound heritage of Japanese culture.


As the sun set, I reluctantly left Gifu Castle. This trip not only allowed me to witness Japan’s history firsthand but also to experience the unique charm of Gifu. From the magnificent architecture of Gifu Castle to its historical stories, and the attentive service of Mr. Pierre, everything deepened my appreciation of Japanese culture.

Back at my hotel, I eagerly wrote down the day’s experiences in my travel journal. Gifu Castle, with its legendary aura, will always hold a special place in my memories. I look forward to the day I can return to this land and uncover more of its mysteries.


As an American tourist, my visit to Gifu Castle not only satisfied my thirst for history but also allowed me to deeply experience the unique charm of Japanese culture. Whether you are a history enthusiast or a casual visitor, Gifu Castle is a must-see destination that will provide you with an unforgettable journey. The thoughtful service of our guide, Mr. Pierre, made this trip truly perfect.

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