Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan
The Hakurankan Museum in Gujo Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture, showcases the town's history, arts and crafts and has demonstrations of the Gujo Odori dance.
Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan (City Museum) 郡上八幡博覧館
Stepping off the bus at Jokamachi Plaza in Gujo Hachiman visitors to this pleasant town in Gifu Prefecture should first head a few meters north to visit the Hakurankan Museum to get an idea of what Gujo Hachiman is really all about.
Gujo Hachiman's Hakurankan Museum was initially constructed as a tax office in 1920 in the Taisho period of Japanese history.
The building has subsequently been transformed into a celebration of Gujo's Hachiman's culture with exhibits on the famous Gujo Odori, performed from mid-July to early September, the town's rich history as an important Edo period castle town, its fast flowing water and stand out arts and crafts.
Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan Museum, Gifu Prefecture
Koinobori carp streamers, Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan Museum, Gifu Prefecture
The Hakurankan has demonstrations of the Gujo Odori Dance Festival four times a day held at 11am, 1pm, 2 pm and 3pm. Visitors are actively encouraged to join in the dancing as a pair of yukata-clad dancers talk you through the steps.
The museum also showcases the arts and crafts of the area including plastic food samples, which are a signature industry of the town supplying the vast majority of Japan's food models, indigo dying, which has a long history in Gujo, due to its rich resource of fresh water and also the history of Gujo Hachiman as an Edo period castle town, with the only recorded successful peasant revolt in the country's history.
One caveat, however, is the lack of explanation in English, with the majority of exhibits described only in Japanese.
On your way out of the museum, take five minutes to browse the shop which has a variety of Gujo crafts on sale including indigo fabrics, food replicas as well as sake and dried goods including candy, curry and ham.
Gujo-Hachiman Hakurankan (City Museum)50 Hachiman-choTonomachiGifu 501-4213Tel: 0575 65 3215
Hours: 9 am-5 pm (On the Gujo-odori dance days closed at 6 pm)
Admission: 520 yen; or buy a combined ticket for 650 yen with entry to Gujo Hachiman Castle.
Food replicas, Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan Museum, Gifu
Access - how to get to Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan Museum
Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan is a short walk north from the Jokamachi Plaza bus station.
There are express Meitetsu buses from Gifu Meitetsu Station via Gifu JR Station and Mino to Jokamachi Plaza and Gujo Station. Buses leave Gifu Meitetsu Station at 7.38 am, 8.52 am, 10.22 am, 11.52 pm, 1.32 pm, 3.02 pm, 4.42 pm, 6.02 pm, 7.07 pm, 8.07 pm, and 9.07 pm. Journey time to Jokamachi Plaza is 1 hour and 10 minutes.
From Nagoya Station there is 1 bus a day which leaves at 9 am from Meitetsu Bus Station which takes 1 hour, 40 minutes (depending on traffic) and arrives at Jokamachi Plaza in Gujo Hachiman at 10.40 am. This is the bus for Shirakawa-go, where it arrives at 11.53 am. The 11 am bus from Meitetsu Bus Station to Shirakawa-go does not stop at Jokamachi Plaza. The fare from Nagoya to Gujo Hachiman is 2,060 yen (2014). The return bus from Jokamachi Plaza leaves at 4.41 pm and arrives in Nagoya at 6.01 pm.
pm (depending on traffic).
Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan Museum, Gifu