Gujo is not on my radar, but it is amazing and possibly my favourite. Thanks to my friend Yuka, and the extended friends K, K and A for taking me there and being my translators.
First we visit a limestone cave, near Gujo.
A Busty Limestone Cave
My new friends claim it is very cold inside, but I think it is the perfect temperature, especially when it feels like 30ºC outside.
It is customary for the Japanese to worship the deities in these caves– to promote love, marriage and child birth. There are also 3 bulging limestones stacked up on top of each other that pregnant women are suggested to touch for good luck (or something like that). Didn’t snap a photo of that.
Inedible Food?! Food Replicas
Japanese restaurants are famous for displaying food replicas by their windows. Many of these are produced in Gujo Hachiman for no other reason than the first workshop opened here.
We visit Sample Kobo, one of these workshops.
Some of them look so real, it almost feels cruel for them not to be edible.
Dancing the Night Away, Gujo Odori
Around the time that I visit, Gujo celebrates their biggest festival, Gujo Odori festival. It is a dance festival that spans over 2 months, where – at its most intense– is 4 nights straight of non-stop dancing, from 8pm-4am. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to witness it.
Stepping into a River, Fisherman’s Life
And when the dancing does not take your breath away, the serenity and beauty of this place will.