ENA (Gifu prefecture)
Welcome to Ena
Ena-city located in the southeastern corner of Gifu Prefecture.
Ena is a popular town in the area, with two interesting museums : the Hiroshige Museum of Art, offering woodblock prints from the master and others, and the Hishiya Museum, the restored house of a village headman.
The mountains around Ena are another attraction. THe Tokai Nature Path leads south through beautiful scenery, including Mt.Ena. The hike up the stepp 600-meter trail to the summit is no casual stroll, but the panoramic views from the top are worth the effort.
Iwamura Castle in Ena, one of Japan’s three major mountain castles located in Ena City, Gifu
Iwamura Castle is the highest castle in Japan built atop a 717-meter-high peak by taking advantage of the steepness of the mountain that has a 180-meter altitude difference. The castle has survived 700 years, which is unparalleled in Japan’s history. It is also known as the “Misty Castle” because even the climate worked in favor of the castle by hiding it from enemies with a blanket of fog.
Iwamura Castle is also renowned for the female lord Lady Otsuya, the aunt of the famous samurai Nobunaga Oda. She was set to marry the castle lord Kageto Toyama by Nobunaga for political reasons. Legend has it that when Nobunaga’s rival Shingen Takeda attacked the castle, Otsuya’s husband Kageto had already died from illness and their son was still very young; therefore, Otsuya defended the castle wearing armor.
The castle town of Iwamura still retains remnants of the old merchant town and is designated as important preservation districts for groups of historic buildings in Japan. You can enjoy strolling through the streets of the 1.3-kilometer-long old town.