What to Expect
You will enjoy one-day excursion visiting both a castle town ‘Inuyama’ in Aichi and a local capital city 'Gifu'.
First you will visit a National Treasure Inuyama Castle which is said to be the oldest castle in Japan. You can touch and feel the authentic wooden Japanese castle, climbing steep and narrow steps toward the upper floor. On each floor, you will see some antiques, maps and documents to learn stories about the castle. From the top, you will have a panoramic view while strolling along the outside balcony.
Secondly you will visit another National Treasure, tea-house ‘Joan’ in Inuyama. It is located in a beautiful Japanese garden near the castle, You will find a simple aesthetic value based on Zen Buddhism in it. You can also drink matcha-tea in an adjacent tea-house in the same garden. Once,matcha-tea tasting gave samurai a moment of relief between battles. You might feel it,too.
After lunch, you will move to Gifu city and go up to Gifu Castle standing on Mt Kinka (329m high) by ropeway, where you will have a nice view again and enjoy seeing many antiques,pictures and documents.You can also enjoy feeding squirrels near the ropeway terminal.
Next, you will visit an old temple 'Shoboji' which accommodates a golden Great Buddha statue which is one of the three most famous Buddha-statues in Japan.
Then you will stroll around the street,'Kawara-machi',with many old wooden buildings where you will find some unique souvenir shops,cafes and fancy restaurants.
Finally, you will visit 'Ukaiya' area that is the home town of cormorants 'U' which are birds used for traditional fishing event on the Nagara River. Visiting Nagaragawa Ukai Museum, you can learn everything about cormorant fishing. You can also visit one of the fishing master cafe 'U-no-Iori U' where you can see and come close to cormorants while drinking coffee.
*an attached video is the view from the ropeway connecting Gifu Castle and Gifu Park