- Gifu Castle
Infobox Military Structure
name = Gifu Castle
location = Gifu,
Gifu Prefecture, Japan
coordinates = coord|35|26|02|N|136|46|56|E|type:mountain|display=inline,title
caption = Gifu Castle
type = Mountaintop castle
materials = "unknown" (original) reinforced concrete (current)
used = 12th–16th centuries
condition = Reconstruction
Saitō clan, Oda clan
Gifu Castle was first built by the
Nikaidō clanbetween 1201 and 1204 during the Kamakura Period. [http://www.city.gifu.gifu.jp/kankou/rekishi_01.html Gifu Castle Official Page] . ja icon Gifu City Hall. Accessed January 11, 2008.] [http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/attractions/facilities/castles/83dn3a000000ecow.html Gifu Castle] . Japan National Tourist Organization. Accessed May 7, 2008.]
Originally called Inabayama Castle (稲葉山城 "Inabayama-jō"), Gifu Castle has gone through many numbers of repairs over the course of several generations. Even though it was famous as a physically powerful castle, it was once taken over by a mere sixteen men.
It is known that at one time a man by the name of
Takenaka Hanbeiwent to the castle to visit his sick brother, Saitō Tatsuoki. In reality, he went to the castle not to visit his brother, but to kill him. When Hanbei struck at him, Tatsuoki was very confused—believing an enemy army had come to attack him—and fled. Thus, Hanbei obtained Inabayama Castle with relative ease.
Later, Hanbei returned the castle to his brother, but Tatsuoki had lost an immeasurable amount of reputation and honor due to his perceived cowardly flight from the castle. When
Oda Nobunagaattacked Inabayama Castle, many men under Tatsuoki remembered this event and defected. After easily defeating Tatsuoki, Nobunaga claimed the castle and made it his primary base-of-operations.
Nobunaga renamed the stronghold "Gifu Castle," following an example set by an ancient Chinese practice. Nobunaga then proceeded to renovate the castle into a far more impressive and grandiose structure than its previous incarnation.
Luis Frois, a renowned Jesuit Missionary from Portugal, was personally invited by Nobunaga to visit the castle. After a short stay in Gifu, Frois praised the castle's extraordinary beauty.
Battle of Gifu Castlein 1600served as a prelude to both the Battle of Sekigaharaand the destruction of Gifu Castle in the same year. After the demolition of the castle, part of the structure was brough to Kanō Castleto the south to fortify its position.
also provides panoramic views of the city and is open late year-round; however, its views are limited to only a few compass directions.
A short walk from the castle is a small archives museum, containing more artifacts from Gifu Castle. Also in this museum are pictures from major castles throughout Japan. Entry into this museum is included in the price to visit Gifu Castle, making it a worthwhile stop for visitors to Gifu Castle. Lights, walkways and signs that were added during 2005's beautification campaign make visiting the castle even more convenient and informative. "Outline of Gifu City 2005". Gifu City Hall, April 2005.]
Gifu Castle Archives Museum
When visitors pay the entrance fee to Gifu Castle, they also receive entrance to the Gifu Castle Archives Museum, located approximately Convert|70|m|ft|0|abbr=on from the entrance to Gifu Castle. Inside the museum, visitors will find more archives related to Gifu Castle and its past residents. The second floor focuses on musical instruments from Japan's past and present. Additionally, there are pictures of castles throughout Japan adorning the walls of the museum.
Castle operating hours
March 16– May 11: 9:30am to 5:30pm: May 12– October 16: 8:30am to 5:30pm: October 17– March 15: 9:30am to 4:30pm
April 28– May 6: until 9:30pm: July 14– August 31: until 10:00pm: September 1– October 14: until 9:30pm (Sat., Sun., and holidays only): October 15– November 30: until 6:30pm
Mount Kinka offers hiking trails of varying difficulty to Gifu Castle and take approximately one hour. [http://www.city.gifu.gifu.jp/kankou/miru_03.html Mt. Kinka Hiking Trails] . ja icon Gifu City Hall. Accessed June 12, 2007.] Visitors can also take the
Mt. Kinka Ropewaythat originates in Gifu Parkto the mountain's summit, from which Gifu Castle is just a short walk away. [http://www.kinkazan.co.jp/ Mt. Kinka Ropeway Homepage] . ja icon Kinkazan Co. Access June 12, 2007]
To get to Gifu Park, you can board buses operated by
Gifu Busat either JR Gifu Station(Bus Platform 11 or 12) or Meitetsu Gifu Station (Bus Platform 4). The bus takes approximately 15 minutes to get to the bus stop for Gifu Parkand the Museum of History ("Gifu Kōen, Rekishi Hakubutsukan-mae"). [http://www.gifubus.co.jp/noriai/index.html Gifu Bus (Noriai Jigyō-bu)] . ja icon Gifu Bus Co., Ltd. Accessed May 7, 2008.]
*cite book | title=Castles in Japan| last=Schmorleitz| first=Morton S.| date=1974| pages= pg. 117| publisher=Charles E. Tuttle Co.| location=Tokyo| id=ISBN 0-8084-1102-4
* [http://www.gifucvb.or.jp/sightseeing/detail_kankou.php?eid=00001 Gifu Castle Homepage] ja icon
* [http://www.iloveshiro.com/shiro/gifu/index.htm Gifu Castle (moving image)]
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