Ogaki Castle is said to have been built in 1535 by Lord Miyagawa Yasusada. It served as the base for the Ishida Mitsunari's western forces during the Sekigahara War in 1600. The original castle was a National Treasure until it was destroyed during the war in 1945. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1959. Very pretty during cherry blossom season. Near JR Ogaki Station.
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This promenade is a 2.2 km walking path from Ogaki Station to Matsuo Basho's final point in his Oku-no-Hosomichi journey. It follows along the Suimon River and is especially pretty during cherry blossom season when rides on wooden tub boats (tarai-bune) are offered.
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Ogaki's biggest festival held on May 9-10 features eleven ornate floats called "yama." They are paraded along the streets in central Ogaki. Highlights include karakuri mechanical doll performances atop the floats and the floats lit up at night with paper lanterns. Held by Hachiman Jinja Shrine. On Dec. 1, 2016 (JST), Ogaki Matsuri Festival was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of 33 "Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan." Also see my YouTube video of karakuri puppets here and of children's dances here.
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According to legend, Sunomata Castle was built overnight by Toyotomi Hideyoshi while he was still an lowly samurai. Sunomata Ichiya Castle was reconstructed in April 1991. Now a local history museum. Accessible by Gifu Bus (W65 on Obusa Sunomata Route) from JR Gifu Station and Ogaki Station. Get off at Sunomata bus stop.
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