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  • 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 fried and salted and sold on sticks in the city.

  • Other than fishing, the city uses this water to 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 jumping bridge,

  • and throughout the summer you can watch young boys and men leaping into the river below.

  • Because it's so dangerous, inexperienced visitors aren't allowed to jump

  • since they likely don'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 year leaping from this height into water,

  • so real talk, guys, if you ever visit, don't jump.

  • Even jumps at half that height can cause concussions and injuries. It's not for tourists.

  • However just up the river there are smaller rocks that are safer to leap from

  • if you're an experienced swimmer.

  • The city streets are very traditional and filled with shops full of hand-crafted items.

  • Although not exactly a traditional Japanese item, the most famous hand-crafted products

  • here are fake food samples, which you'll find 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.

  • Thank you!

  • These vegetables are unattended. You just put money in the can and take what you want.

  • The city also holds one of the largest and most 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 city unlike anything I've seen before.

  • It was one of those rare experiences that really transported me somewhere new,

  • and made me feel likeThis is Japan.”

  • It's my favorite place I've been so far, and it gets the elusive Rachel 10/10.

  • If you have the chance to visit in late summer, I can't recommend it enough.

  • Don't forget your swimsuit!

The Water City: Gujo Hachiman

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The Water City | Gujo Hachiman 

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    Sophie posted on 2019/11/08
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