S H I N C H O U - Oda Nobunaga Fixation



Our third day was completely dedicated to Gifu, the city that probably saw the best of Nobunaga's adult glory.

Once at the station we went to the touristic information office; we were keen on visiting the city the best we could, expecially because the weekend we were supposed to attend the Nobunaga Matsuri, and we knew that we were going to have very little time to look around after the festival...

So, we were greeted by Nobunaga's golden statue, right in front to the exit from the station.
Quite the sturdy and fiery pose, don't you think?

So, Gifu is famous because of ukai, a peculiar fishing style using cormorants.

Since we were there, we decided to book our ukai experience.
Here's a view of the fishing boat's terminal of Nagara river.

Once we were done with our reservation, we reached for the Gifu park.
Here's another statue of Nobunaga, this time practicing his favourite feat, archery while riding (yes, there's a proper English word for this, I know, but right now I can't really remember it XD).
Many people don't like this statue because they say that it doesn't resemble Nobunaga, but I like its wild dynamism.

Once we reached the entrance we walked quickly to reach the ropeway.
At first we wanted to walk up to Kinka mount, but after we saw it and I checked the status of my feet, we decided to take the ropeway XD Those were well-spent money!

Here you can spot this stupa popping out of the forest... No idea about what temple is there, if there's one...

Once you get off the ropeway, you have to walk quite a bit to reach the castle, but it's an interesting walk!
It's filled with details about the battle of Inabayama that saw Nobunaga against Saito Tatsuoki for the control over Mino.

Once Nobunaga won his battle, succesfully conquering the castle, he renamed the castle from "Inabayama" to Gifu.
Gifu will be the main castle of Nobunaga's "realm" for quite a long time.

Finally we can spot the castle :D

As usual, the castle hosts a museum showing a collection of reproductions and original items; the selection of portraits was quite interesting:

Here's a project of Gifu castle, according to Nobunaga's renovations:

And other interesting Nobunaga's possessions:

The armoir reproductions were stunning!

Once on top of the castle we could savor a bit of Nobunaga's "Tenka"!

Around the same space there's another little museum available; it contains another set of interesting items:

Once we were done with the museums, we decided to fill our tummies.
I had a delicious "Nobunaga Curry Rice"...!

...As I kept contemplating the Tenka.

Once we got back from the ropeway we could waste our time in the souvenir shop there.
I took pictures of the most interesting items:

We decided that the pretty boy above is Ranmaru.
Ranmaru was native of Mino; his father served Saito Dosan, Nobunaga's father-in-law.

Again, ridiculous pictures where we show our acting skills XD

A monument in Gifu park dedicated to Yamanouchi Kazutoyo (one of Nobunaga's vassals) and his wife Chiyo; apparently they got married here.

We kept walking 'til we reached the Gifu City Museum of History.
During our visit a special exhibition about Nobunaga's "Tenka Fubu" seals was held.
As you can tell, pictures were forbidden in the museum, but we can show you something--

Again, Sengoku acting!

I'm obviously getting better and better at playing as Nobunaga XD

A typical meal set during Nobunaga's times.

The hands-on activities were quite fun.
Here I am showing Teap my puzzle skills...

And here I made my perfect ukyo-e, shocking the museum staff with my arrogance x'DDD

Once we were done with Gifu castle, we went around for further sightseeing; those are not Nobunaga-related stops, but I feel like they are worth mentioning anyway.

Of course we paid a visit to the Gifu Great Buddha of Shōhō-ji:
The place looked a bit run-down ;_; but the statues and paintings into the temple were quite impressive.
we were told that this Buddha was created approximately during the reigns of both Dosan and Nobunaga.

We ended our day with the ukai!
We had dinner with bento and beer on the boat and then rushed after the fishermen and their birdies-- It was quite cool :D
...So cool that apparently I got myself a nice cold! ...But that's another story...

The following days of our tour were dedicated to the Nobunaga Matsuri in Gifu; we stayed the whole time in Gifu checking out the various attractions; the evening we went back to our hotel in Nagoya and tried out more "Nagoya meshi" ^_^;

Anyway, on the first day of the matsuri we managed to visit a Nobunaga-relevant place, Sofukuji (崇福寺):

This temple was Nobunaga's personal chapel when he moved to Gifu; during the matsuri, in the morning a funeral ceremony was held here in memory of Nobunaga.
Me and Teap tried to attend, but since we were late we decided to wait for it to be over before going to visit the temple.

Here are a few pictures of the temple grounds:

The back of the temple hosted the Oda Nobunaga Father and Son Monument (織田信長父子廟), a stone dedicated to the memory of Nobunaga and Nobutada.

The ceremony was over, and we could finally enter the main temple to pay our homages to Nobunaga's memory.
It was a bit disturbing to see that the attendees were actually dressed in mourning clothes... Fortunately we didn't enter during the ceremony, our typical "Western tourist clothes" would have been a pitiful sight...

Once inside I managed to take a pic of the altar:

For what counted, I gave him a little offer (among which I threw 50 eurocents; quite useless for the temple, but I'm sure that Nobunaga may have liked to see Western money) and a prayer in his memory.

I also took a pic of the Blood Ceiling (血天井); the boards used for this part of the ceiling were originally placed in Gifu castle; it's said that they were sprayed with the blood of Oda retainers after the siege of the castle in 1600: