Test your Level B2 reading skills with this text. Read the article then answer the 10 questions that follow.
Gifu Castle is one of the most beautiful sight-seeing attractions in central Japan. The closest township is Gifu, which has a population of approximately four hundred thousand people and is the prefectural capital. There are several noteworthy places in the region, including Ozaki castle and Sekigahara, the site of Japan’s most famous battle, the Battle of Sekigahara (1603) a monumental victory for Ieyasu Tokugawa, the renowned warlord of Edo, now Japan’s capital city, Tokyo.
In order to ascend to Gifu castle, which is perched atop the seventy metre high Mount Kinka, there is a cable car or for the more athletic sight-seer there are many trails to the castle and museum. The shortest of these trails takes around one hour to reach the castle, at a steady pace. Walking the trails is not recommended during the winter months as the tracks can become slippery and dangerous.
The present day castle which was built with concrete and timber in the 1950’s, is based upon the 16th century building. It was governed and inhabited by the notorious warlord Oda Nobunaga, the most feared of all Japanese warlords who met a treacherous death near the modern day city of Kyoto in 1582, after one of his most trusted generals, Akechi Mitsuhide turned against him. Mitsuhide ordered the buildings of Honno-ji temple be set alight, forcing the great warlord Nobunaga to commit seppuku, the samurai form of suicide.
The castle consists of three levels and contains many displays of weapons, maps, military equipment, portraits of Nobunaga and other artifacts from the period. On the third level, for those without any fear of heights, there is an observation platform from which viewers can look out across the Nagara river valley towards the city of Nagoya.
There is a small cafe and restaurant providing light refreshments near the cable car entrance, a five minute walk from the castle.
Comprehension Questions (True or False)
1/. The present day castle was built in the sixteenth century.
2/. Akechi Mitsuhide governed Gifu castle.
3/. It takes about one hour to reach the castle on foot.
4/. Oda Nobunaga was killed in the Battle of Sekigahara.
5/. The population of Gifu is approximately 400,000 people.
Comprehension Questions (short answer – use no more than 3 words and/or a number)
6/. Who betrayed Oda Nobunaga, forcing his death?
7/. When did Oda Nobunaga die?
8/. When was the modern day castle built?
9/. What is the capital of Gifu prefecture?
10/. What can visitors see from the third floor beyond the river?