Gifu, city located in the center of Japan, is a place full of history and natural beauty. It is most famous for the historic gassho-zukuri village of Shirakawa-go in Takayama. Many tourists come from over the world come to visit, especially during the light-up event. And Gero Onsen, one of Japan’s three best hot springs along with Arima and Kusatsu, is also a popular destination! Not just in winter, you can also enjoy the natural beauty in spring and annual festival in summer. Now, let’s see these top places you can not miss when visiting Gifu!
There's an updated version of this blog regarding information about Gero Onsen. You may view it here: Gero Onsen: How to go, Prices and all you need to know.
One of Japan’s most popular onsen along with Arima Onsen and Kusatsu Onsen, Gero Onsen is famous for its waters beneficial for beautiful skin
Gero Onsen which is located in the Hidagawa River valley is one of Japan’s most famous hot springs which has been flourishing since the Edo Era. The water is very gentle on the skin so that it feels smooth when you rise up from the bath. It is popular for its benefits for beautiful skin.
Japan’s foremost hot spring for beautiful skin with its soft water Gero Onsen is ranked alongside Hyogo Prefecture’s Arima Onsen and Gunma Prefecture’s Kusatsu Onsen as one of the Top 3 Famous Onsen in Japan. With an ancient history beginning in the Edo Era, it has gained its fame as a spa. There are many ryokan along the Hidagawa River where Funsen Pond still exists now, and the area is popular as an onsen town. The water quality of Gero Onsen is such that it is known as a pure alkaline hot spring. With water that has the sa...
The famed impregnable castle completed by the Nagara River and the steep cliffs of Mt. Kinka
Gifu Castle has been occupied by military commanders such as Dosan Saito and Nobunaga Oda. A panoramic view of the city of Gifu and Ise Bay in the distance can be seen from its keep. It is also famous for its night view.
The famous castle for Dosan Saito and Nobunaga Oda The soaring Gifu Castle is located on the top of the rocky Mt. Kinka. Once known as an impregnable fortress, Gifu Castle was the source of the saying “To control Mino Province (now Gifu Prefecture) is to control Japan”. During the Warring States Era, the castle was the home to Dosan Saito, the protagonist of the novel “Kunitori Monogatari” (The Tale of Acquiring Countries), but in 1567, Nobunaga Oda captured the castle and became its new lord. The vicinity of I-no-Kuch...
- Adult: 200 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
※On the 3rd Sunday of every month, junior high school students and younger can come in for free
An old-fashioned castle town whose culture in tandem with water continues to thrive
Gujo Hachiman which is situated in the center of Gifu Prefecture is a town which even now overflows with the spirit of a castle town. There are canals winding throughout the area where you can catch a glimpse of an original culture bred through pure water.
Take a walk through the castle town which brings the atmosphere of the Edo Era Gujo Hachiman was a prosperous castle town ruled by the Gujo branch of the Tokugawa clan. With an atmospheric townscape and 13 temples packed together within the narrow town, it has also been called the Little Kyoto of the Okumino region. The district of craftsmen and blacksmiths which includes the residences of artisans and mercantile houses has been nationally selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. Even now, signs of o...
The only surviving outpost of its kind in Japan. Experience the history and culture of Edo
Takayama Jinya served as the offices for the magistrate of the Tokugawa shogunate and regional administrator during the Edo Era. It is now the only remaining outpost surviving among the 66 administrative outposts of its kind which existed nationwide.
Takayama Jinya, Japan’s sole remaining magisterial outpost Takayama Jinya was once the villa of Lord Kanamori but with the lord’s move to Uenoyama (Yamagata Prefecture), Hida became an important territory under direct control of the Tokugawa shogun. And for the 177 years henceforth up to the Meiji Restoration, the politics of the region were controlled in this place by the shogunate magistrate and regional administrator. But by the end of the Tokugawa era, only Takayama Jinya remained among the 66 similar magisterial outposts in t...
March 1st-October 31st (except August)
August 1st-August 31st
November 1st-February 28th
- Adult: 430 JPY
High school students and younger are free
A community of naturally nestled gabled thatched-roof houses has been faithfully recreated
An open-air museum in which thatched-roof houses that were no longer being used in their original location of Shirakawa Village/Kazura District were moved to their current location. Along with sightseeing the residences, you can also try your hand at making wara-zori straw sandals and soba noodles.
The preservation and display of valuable thatched-roof houses Along with the 9 thatched-roof houses that have been designated by Gifu Prefecture as Important Cultural Properties, the museum also preserves and displays 26 other buildings which include a shrine, the main hall of a temple and a water mill. Among them, the Old Yamashita Haruro Family House is a rare 18th-century thatched-roof house from Shirakawa Village which strongly reflects an air of the Edo Era. During the fall season, it is lit up at night. You can fully enjoy the lovely co...
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 400 JPY
Head for a place above the clouds on Japan’s first double-decker ropeway!
The ropeway has a total length of 3200ｍ and crosses an altitude of 1039ｍ. From the observation platform at 2156ｍ, you can enjoy the mountains of the Northern Alps beginning with Mt. Nishi-Hotaka, Mt. Yarigatake and Mt. Kasagatake.
The incredible panorama of the Northern Alps! The Shin-Hotaka Ropeway consists of two ropeways with No. 1 starting from Shin-Hotaka Station up to Nabedaira Kogen Station and then No. 2 going from Shirakabadaira Station to Nishi-Hotakaguchi Station. At a total length of 3200m, the ropeway crosses a height of 1039m. The No. 1 ropeway is totally enclosed in glass and the No. 2 ropeway is a large double-decker gondola to be enjoyed for its journey through the sky. The greatest attraction is the ability to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the fou...
No. 1 and No. 2 ropeway together
Adults One-way 1600 yen Round-trip 2900 yen
Children One-way 800 yen Round-trip 1450 yen
No. 1 ropeway
（Shin-Hotaka Onsen-Nabedaira Kogen）
Adults One-way 400 yen Round-tr
The village of gassho-zukuri houses which has been recognized as a World Heritage site where tradition and a way of life exist
Shirakawago is nestled obscurely in the mountains. The distinctive gassho-zukuri houses are located there and even now, the villagers continue on with their lives. It is a precious area which is an unspoiled landscape reminiscent of a nostalgic Japan.
A World Heritage village where 59 gassho-zukuri houses can be seen Gassho-zukuri houses have the characteristic of solid thatched roofs that resemble hands pressed together. It’s said that these traditional houses only exist in Japan in Gifu Prefecture’s Shirakawago and in Gokayama in the adjacent Toyama Prefecture. Currently, 3 gassho-zukuri communities have been registered as World Heritage sites, and among them, Shirakawago is the largest. It has been maintained as an Important Preservation District of Historic Buildings which...
A must-see during a tour of Takayama. An old town of character with hints of the Edo Era.
Just 10 minutes on foot from Takayama Station, Furui Machinami (Old Town) which is located to the east of Miyagawa is the most popular area for Takayama tourism. On its narrow streets, famous products of Takayama are all lined up. Walking through the area while noshing on something is also part of the fun.
Furui Machinami is something that cannot be missed during a tour of Takayama! Furui Machinami was established by former samurai Nagachika Kanamori in the Edo Era and is an area adjacent to the merchant quarter of a castle town. The area’s arrangement and the width of its streets have basically remained unchanged since it was developed over 400 years ago. You can freely get a taste of Edo here. Within Furui Machinami, the Sanmachi-dori (The Three Town Streets) consisting of Kamisannomachi, Kamininomachi and Kamiichinomachi is THE sightse...
Enjoy the good old days of a rural landscape and the culture & customs of the Hida district
Constructed from the moving and restoration of the old & valuable Japanese-style houses of Minzoku Mura and the thatched-roof houses of Hida-no-Sato. You can observe the seasonal events from the Hida area as well as the way of life in a farming community.
Get a taste of the lifestyle of a traditional farm village in Hida The Hida Folk Village is a museum that recreates the lifestyle of the rural areas as well as the seasonal events from the Hida district. The village consists of old & valuable Japanese-style houses of Minzoku Mura that were transferred and restored and the steep thatched-roof houses from Hida-no-Sato. The Old Nokubi House in Minzoku Mura is the symbol of this museum. Said to be the oldest house surviving in Hida, its notable feature is its thatched roof which has been buil...
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
- Adult: 700 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
A castle town of character which is popularly known as the Little Kyoto of Hida
Takayama is also known as the largest city in Japan by surface area. In the center of the city, the castle town and the merchant quarter that have existed since the Edo Era have been preserved so that you can enjoy a stroll through history.
Enjoy the historic townscape and the grandness of nature Takayama has the largest surface area in Japan. The northern area of Takayama, which lies at the foot of the Northern Alps, has the Oku-Hida Onsen Villages which include the Hirayu Onsen and the Fukuji Onsen. The area is also known for its heavy snowfall which makes it popular for winter sports. In the southern area of the city, there is Shokawa-machi which is known for the Shokawa-zakura, an aged cherry tree which has existed for about 500 years. The most popular area which is in the c...