Gujo Hachiman offers visitors a look at the traditional, small town atmosphere of rural Japan. Best known for its summer dance festival and its historic waterways, the town has many small museums and galleries, as well as temples and shrines, including Jionzenji Temple with its beautiful Zen garden, which earn Gujo Hachiman its "Little Kyoto" nickname.

For anyone intending to see several of Gujo's attractions, a combination pass is available for 1500 yen at the tourist office and at some of the participating sights. This pass provides access to all of the following museums and temples (as well as Hachiman Castle) on two consecutive days.


Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan City Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:00 during the Gujo Odori festival)
Admission: 540 yen
Closed: December 24 to January 2
Demonstrations of Gujo's festival dances are held several times a day. The rest of the museum has displays about the town's water system, history and crafts.

Rakugeikan Medical Museum

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: 210 yen
Closed: Mondays and New Year holidays
Built in 1904, this building was the hospital of Gujo Hachiman until recently. It now houses a collection of old medical instruments and objects.

Saito Museum

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: 300 yen
Closed: January, February and Thursdays
Saito Museum has a collection of tea ceremony artifacts with explanations in Japanese only. Entrance to the museum includes a discount at the adjacent cafe.

Yudokan Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Admission: 400 yen
Closed: January, February and Thursdays
Yudokan exhibits the work of a local artist Masao Mizuno. Mizuno combines paintings, folded paper and wood carvings, as in the beautiful origami display of the town's famous dance festival.

Omodakaya Local History Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 19:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 250 yen
This private collection displays some artifacts and articles of local artist Ryujin Mizuno. Paintings and drawings of koi (carp) are predominant. The museum is located in a storehouse in the back of a souvenir shop.

Anyoji Temple Treasure House

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closed: Thursdays, New Year holidays, January and February
Admission: 300 yen
This one room building displays objects, such as Buddhist paintings and scriptures, that are important to Anyoji Temple. The Treasure House is located on the temple grounds.

Waterway Attractions

Sogisui Source

At this most famous source of Gujo's water system, pools of water are divided into four sections each for exclusive use. The first pool for drinking, the second for washing rice, the third for washing vegetables and the forth for cleaning tools.

Igawa Lane

Igawa Lane begins behind the Tourist Center and runs for about 200 meters along a small water canal through a residential neighborhood. The water runs quickly through the canal, providing an opportunity to watch the koi (carp) swimming against the current.

Yanaka Lane

Koi are also visible swimming through the canal on this small side street in the center of town. Located between the Saito, Yudokan and Omodakaya Museums, Yanaka Lane offers a nice break for tourists visiting these museums.

Temples and Shrines

Anyoji Temple

This large temple is notable for its treasure house, where artifacts important to the temple are stored. The temple itself is impressive in size, but somewhat marred by the paved parking lot extending up to the main hall steps.

Getting there and around