Gifu is a beautiful prefecture located in the heart of Japan, offering visitors a diverse range of experiences to explore. Whether you’re interested in history, natural scenery, unique cultures or delicious cuisine, Gifu has plenty to offer. Here are 25 exciting things to do and see during your trip to Gifu!
Explore Gifu’s Rich History
Gifu is a city with a rich history that dates back centuries. The city is located in the heart of Japan and is known for its stunning landscapes, ancient temples, and historic landmarks.
Gifu Castle: A Historic Landmark
One of Gifu’s most iconic landmarks is the Gifu Castle, a stunning fortress that sits atop Mount Kinka, with breathtaking views of the surrounding city. The castle dates back to the 13th century, and you can explore its ancient history by walking through the castle’s ruins and admiring the exhibits of samurai armor, weapons, and artifacts.
The castle is a symbol of Gifu’s rich history and has played an important role in the city’s development. It was once the residence of the powerful daimyo, Oda Nobunaga, who ruled over the region during the Sengoku period. The castle was also the site of many battles during this time, and its strategic location made it an important stronghold.
Today, visitors can explore the castle grounds and take in the stunning views of the city below. The castle is also a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, when the castle grounds are covered in a sea of pink.
The Ancient Village of Shirakawa-go
Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the mountains of Gifu. This quaint village is famous for its traditional thatched-roof houses, which have been preserved since the Edo period. Take a stroll through the village and learn about its rich history and traditional customs.
The village is a living museum, where visitors can experience what life was like in rural Japan during the Edo period. The houses are made of wood and straw, and their unique architecture has been preserved for centuries. The village is also home to several museums, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of the region.
Shirakawa-go is particularly beautiful in the winter, when the village is covered in a blanket of snow. The thatched-roof houses are illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.
Takayama Old Town: A Step Back in Time
Takayama Old Town will transport you back in time to Japan’s Edo period. The streets are lined with beautifully preserved houses, shops and temples. Take a leisurely walk through town, where you’ll find charming cafes, boutiques, and sake breweries.
The town is known for its traditional crafts, such as woodworking and lacquerware, which have been passed down for generations. Visitors can watch artisans at work and even try their hand at making their own crafts.
Takayama is also famous for its delicious cuisine, which includes local specialties such as Hida beef and sake. The town is home to several sake breweries, where visitors can sample the local brews and learn about the brewing process.
Overall, Gifu is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many fascinating landmarks and attractions to explore. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Gifu.
Discover Gifu’s Stunning Natural Beauty
Gifu is a prefecture located in the heart of Japan, known for its beautiful natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a history buff, Gifu has something for everyone. Here are some of the best ways to experience the stunning natural beauty of Gifu:
Hike the Scenic Hida Mountains
The Hida Mountains are a must-see destination for anyone visiting Gifu. These rugged peaks offer some of the most picturesque scenery in Japan, with dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. The mountains are also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, deer, and bears. Hiking trails range from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone. Along the way, you’ll encounter beautiful temples and shrines, such as the famous Zenko-ji Temple, which dates back to the 7th century.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, consider climbing Mount Ontake, one of Japan’s most sacred peaks. At 3,067 meters, it’s the second highest volcano in Japan and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. However, it’s important to note that the climb can be dangerous, especially during the winter months, so be sure to check the weather conditions and plan accordingly.
Visit the Enchanting Nagaragawa River
The Nagaragawa River is another must-visit destination in Gifu. This beautiful river stretches over 100 kilometers and is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and charming towns. One of the best ways to experience the river is by taking a boat ride. You can choose from a variety of boats, including traditional Japanese boats called “yakatabune,” which offer a unique and authentic experience. As you float down the river, you can stop at local restaurants and cafes to sample some of Gifu’s traditional delicacies, such as “saba-zushi,” a type of sushi made with mackerel.
If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the Nagaragawa Ukai Museum, which showcases the traditional fishing method of “ukai.” This method involves using trained cormorant birds to catch fish, and has been practiced on the Nagaragawa River for over 1,300 years.
Explore the Breathtaking Gifu Park
Gifu Park is a stunning oasis in the heart of the city. This beautiful park covers over 16 hectares and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. You can take a leisurely stroll through the park and enjoy the beautiful lush scenery, or relax on the grass for a picnic. The park is also home to the Gifu City Museum of History, which displays artifacts and exhibits detailing the rich history of Gifu prefecture.
If you’re visiting Gifu in the spring, be sure to check out the park’s cherry blossom trees, which bloom in late March to early April. The park is also home to a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the Gifu Matsuri, a traditional festival held in October that features parades, music, and food.
Overall, Gifu is a beautiful and unique destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Gifu has it all. So why not plan your next trip to Gifu and discover its stunning natural beauty for yourself?
Experience Gifu’s Unique Culture
Gifu is a city that is rich in tradition and culture, and there are many unique experiences to be had here. From watching traditional cormorant fishing to attending the famous Takayama Festival, there is something for everyone.
Witness the Traditional Cormorant Fishing
Cormorant fishing is an ancient fishing method that has been practiced in Gifu for centuries. In the evening, local fishermen take their trained cormorants out onto the river to catch fish. Watching this fascinating spectacle is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Gifu. You can book a boat tour to get up close to the action and learn about the history and customs of cormorant fishing. You’ll be amazed at the skill of the fishermen and their cormorants as they work together to catch fish.
As you watch the cormorants dive into the water and emerge with fish in their beaks, you’ll gain a new appreciation for this traditional fishing method. The fishermen will be happy to answer any questions you have and share their knowledge with you.
Attend the Takayama Festival
The Takayama Festival is one of Japan’s most famous festivals, and it’s held in Gifu twice a year. The festival takes place on April 14th and October 9th, and it attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. The festival is known for its elaborate floats adorned with traditional flowers, lanterns, and artwork.
As you wander through the streets of Gifu during the festival, you’ll be transported back in time to a world of ancient Japanese traditions. The festival is a celebration of the city’s rich cultural heritage, and it’s a great opportunity to experience Japanese culture up close.
Be sure to book your accommodation early if you plan to attend the festival, as it draws large crowds.
Learn the Art of Japanese Pottery
Gifu is famous for its high-quality ceramics and pottery. If you’re interested in learning about the history and techniques of Japanese pottery, taking a pottery class is a must-do activity. You’ll have the opportunity to create your unique masterpiece to bring home as a souvenir.
During the class, you’ll learn about the different types of clay used in Japanese pottery, as well as the various techniques used to shape and glaze the pottery. You’ll have the chance to try your hand at these techniques and create a piece of pottery that is truly one-of-a-kind.
At the end of the class, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the art of Japanese pottery and a beautiful souvenir to take home with you.
Overall, Gifu is a city that is steeped in tradition and culture, and there are many unique experiences to be had here. Whether you’re watching cormorant fishing, attending the Takayama Festival, or learning the art of Japanese pottery, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in Gifu.
Indulge in Gifu’s Local Cuisine
Gifu is a food lover’s paradise, offering a variety of local delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From savory to sweet, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some must-try dishes to add to your list:
Savor the Delicious Hida Beef
Hida beef is considered one of the finest types of beef in Japan, known for its tender texture and rich flavor. The cattle are raised in the Gifu prefecture, where they are fed a special diet and given plenty of space to roam. The result is a meat that is marbled and succulent, perfect for grilling or cooking in a hotpot. Many local restaurants serve Hida beef, and it is often paired with fresh vegetables and mushrooms for a truly unforgettable meal.
Taste the Unique Gohei Mochi
Gohei mochi is a unique snack that is popular in Gifu. It is made by grilling mochi, a type of glutinous rice cake, and then coating it with a sweet and savory miso or sesame sauce. The result is a chewy, flavorful treat that is perfect for snacking on-the-go. You can find Gohei mochi at street vendors and souvenir shops throughout Gifu, and it is a must-try for anyone visiting the area.
Sample the Delightful Mitarashi Dango
Mitarashi Dango is a sweet snack that is popular throughout Japan, but it has a special connection to Gifu. The snack is made from mochi balls that are skewered and then drizzled with a syrup made from soy sauce and sugar. It is said to have originated in the ancient forest temples of Gifu, where it was a favorite food of the monks. Today, you can find Mitarashi Dango at local cafes and shops, and it is a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
In addition to these local specialties, Gifu offers a wide range of other delicious dishes that are sure to please. Be sure to try the local sake, which is made from rice that is grown in the region. You can also sample fresh seafood from the nearby Sea of Japan, or indulge in a bowl of steaming hot ramen. Whatever you choose, you are sure to have a memorable culinary experience in Gifu.
From exploring the rich history, stunning natural beauty to indulging in the unique cuisine, Gifu has something exciting for every traveler. Don’t miss out on these 25 exciting things to do on your trip to Gifu, Japan. Plan your adventure today!