the water city: gujo hachiman gujo hachiman, also known as the water city, is a city tucked away in the mountains of gifu prefecture. the crisp mountain water forms rivers that run through the middle of the city. here, this water is everything. the entire drive up the mountain we saw fishermen catching ayu, which are deliciously friedand salted and sold on sticks in the city. other than fishing, the city uses this waterto drink, cook, clean, swim, and even leap into as a rite of passage for young boys.
koi fish are everywhere here,even in the gutters alongside the street. is this even a real place? and after we just fed him! i wasn't expecting that. the largest river in the city is 12 meters,or 40 feet below street level. the main bridge across this river is known as the jumpingbridge, and throughout the summer you can watch young boys and men leaping into the river below. because itâ€™s so dangerous, inexperienced visitors arenâ€™t allowed to jump since they likely donâ€™t have the skill and knowledge necessary to avoid major injury.
a healthy young man has died here in the past, and around the world people die every yearleaping from this height into water, so real talk, guys, if you ever visit, donâ€™t jump. even jumps at half that height can cause concussions and injuries. itâ€™s not for tourists. however just up the river there are smallerrocks that are safer to leap from if you're an experienced swimmer. the city streets are very traditional andfilled with shops full of hand-crafted items. although not exactly a traditional japaneseitem, the most famous hand-crafted products here are fake food samples, which youâ€™llfind displayed outside of restaurants all
across japan. you can even make them yourself if you want! do you want a drink? [well water] is it okay? thank you! it's good! everyone have some! jun, you haven't had any! yum.
these vegetables are unattended. you just put money in the can and take what you want. the city also holds one of the largest andmost famous bon odori festivals in japan, lasting the entire month of august, with four days where the city dances straight through the night. gujo hachiman is an absolutely beautiful cityunlike anything iâ€™ve seen before. it was one of those rare experiences that really transported me somewhere new, and made me feel like â€œthis is japan.â€ itâ€™s my favorite place iâ€™ve been so far, and it gets the elusive rachel 10/10. if you have the chance to visit in late summer, i canâ€™t recommend it enough.
don't forget your swimsuit!