Sunomata Castle, also known as Ichiya-jo is a Japanese castle located in Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture. The castle is a replica of the famous original, which according to legend is said to have been built in one night. “Ichiya” literally means “one night” and hence the name “One Night Castle”. The original was constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the generals of the famous warlord Oda Nobunaga during the build-up to the siege of Gifu Castle in 1566.
The successful construction of the castle lead to Nobunaga defeating the garrisons within Gifu and becoming the lord of the Mino Domain.
The present construction of Sunomata Castle is nothing like the original built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which consisted of a wooden walled fortress with lookout towers. The current castle tower is a reconstruction and serves as a local history museum, highlighting the history of the castle, and conflict between Nobunaga and the Saito Clan.
Sunomata Castle is situated on the banks of the Sai River and Nagara River, and is one of the best spots in Gifu for hanami or cherry blossom viewing. The area has around 1000 cherry trees with the area around the castle illuminated at night making it very spectacular. The cherry blossoms are best from late March to early April.
The castle is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and entry is 200 yen.
Tip: There is not a lot of parking available if you come by car, so if you don’t mind a bit of a walk, park at the nearby Plant 6 Supermarket.
Access: JR Tokaido Line to Ogaki, meihan Kintetsu Bus to Sunomata, and a 5 minute walk to the castle.