Top 30 things to do in Gifu

Gifu, located in the middle of the Honshu main island, also the centre of Japan, is well known for its beautiful nature along with its history. Its location contributed to the rich history that the place has, as its position in the middle of Japan has made it a strategic place to rule japan. Also, it was the place of many battles in the past. Now, its history and nature have made it one of the most popular places for travelers to visit in Japan. Places like Gifu Castle, Furui Machinami, Hida Folk Village and many more will show you just how mesmerizing the combination of history and nature that Gifu has to offer is.

Gero Onsen
Gero Onsen
Gero Onsen, located in the Hidagawa River valley, is one of Japan’s most famous hot springs. It has been flourishing since the Edo Era. The water is very gentle on the skin, so your skin feels smooth when you rise up from the bath. It is popular for its benefits for beautiful skin.
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Gifu Castle (Mt. Kinka Ropeway)
Gifu Castle (Mt. Kinka Ropeway)
Gifu Castle has been occupied by military commanders such as Dosan Saito and Nobunaga Oda. From the castle keep, a panoramic view of the city of Gifu and Ise Bay can be seen in the distance. It is also famous for its night view.
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Gujo Hachiman
Gujo Hachiman
Gujo Hachiman is situated in the center of Gifu Prefecture. It is a town which even now has the atmosphere of an ancient castle town. There are canals winding throughout the town, and you can catch a glimpse of the unique culture of a town boasting the purest of waters.
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Takayama Jinya
Takayama Jinya
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 in that Edo Era.
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Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum
Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum
An open-air museum of thatched roof houses. They were no longer being used in their original location of Shirakawa Village/Kazura District, and were moved to their current location. Along with seeing the residences, you can also experience the making “wara-zori” straw sandals and “soba” noodles.
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Shin-Hotaka Ropeway
Shin-Hotaka Ropeway
The ropeway has a total length of 3200m and spans an altitude of 1039m. From the observation platform at 2156m, you can enjoy the mountains of the Northern Alps like Mount Nishi-Hotaka, Mount Yarigatake and Mount Kasagatake.
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Furui Machinami(Sanmachi-dori)
Furui Machinami(Sanmachi-dori)
Furui Machinami (Old Town), located to the east of Miyagawa river, is the most popular area in Takayama. It’s just 10 minutes on foot from Takayama Station. Stores selling famous products of Takayama stand in a row on the narrow streets. Walking through the area while eating something delicious is also part of the fun.
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Shirakawago
Shirakawago
Shirakawago is nestled obscurely in the mountains. The villagers continue on with their old style of life in their distinctive “gassho-zukuri” houses. It is a precious area, an unspoiled landscape reminiscent of a nostalgic Japan.
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Hida Folk Village
Hida Folk Village
Hida Folk Village is made up of Minzoku Mura with its valuable relocated or restored Japanese-style houses, and Hida-no-Sato with its thatched roof houses. You can observe the seasonal events in the Hida area as well as the way of life in this farming community.
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Takayama City
Takayama City
Takayama is also known as the city with the largest surface area, in Japan. In the center of the city, the castle town and the merchant quarter, existing since the Edo Era, have been preserved so you can enjoy a stroll through history.
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Oku-Hida Onsen Village
Oku-Hida Onsen Village
Oku-Hida Onsen Village is the collective name for the 5 hot springs located in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture. The 5 hot springs, each with their unique characteristics, are Hirayu Onsen, Fukuji Onsen, Shin-Hirayu Onsen, Tochio Onsen, and Shin-Hotaka Onsen.
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Ena Valley
Ena Valley
The Ena Valley has a man-made lake which was created by the Oi Dam built 80 years ago. Along the shores of the lake, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the cherry blossoms, fall colors, seasonal flowers and trees, and strangely-shaped rocks.
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Akechi Railway
Akechi Railway
A local railway connecting Ena and Akechi Stations. Outside of the windows, there is a view of the quiet countryside so you can enjoy a relaxing train ride. The express train is also popular for offering local cuisine.
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Hida Furukawa
Hida Furukawa
Even now, Hida Furukawa is a castle town of old residences that are lined up in rows like a checkerboard. There are many things to see and do in this small town, such as taking a stroll along the Seto River where the white-walled storehouses are located and observing traditional handicrafts.
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Natural Onsen – Shirakawa-go no Yu
Natural Onsen – Shirakawa-go no Yu
The sole natural hot spring within a district that has been registered as a World Heritage site, you can enjoy lodgings as well as a day trip at the onsen. The Hakusan Mountains that can be seen from the open-air bath and the murmuring of the clear waters of the Sho River provide a pleasant experience.
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Nagara River Cormorant Fishing (Ukai)
Nagara River Cormorant Fishing (Ukai)
Cormorant fishing, or “ukai”, on the Nagara River has been designated nationally as an Important Intangible Cultural Property. dressed in traditional attire, the cormorant fishing master known as an “usho” yells out “Ho, ho” as he handles the cormorants to catch “ayu” (sweetfish).
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Sakurayama Hachiman-gu Shrine/Takayama Festival Yatai Kaikan (Exhibition Hall)
Sakurayama Hachiman-gu Shrine/Takayama Festival Yatai Kaikan (Exhibition Hall)
Sakurayama Hachiman-gu Shrine is where the grand procession of the autumn Takayama Festival is held; the festival itself is held twice a year in spring and fall. The adjacent Takayama Festival Yatai Kaikan exhibits the floats used in the festival. You can get an up-close-and-personal look at these gorgeous floats which have been handcrafted by the artisans of Hida. *The autumn grand procession is held every year on September 9th and 10th.
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Takayama Morning Market
Takayama Morning Market
The Takayama Morning Market is held daily at the plaza at two places in front of Takayama Jinya and along the Miyagawa River. A traditional market that has been continuing since 1820, seasonal fruits and vegetables and local handicrafts, and other special Takayama products are sold here.
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Magome-juku
Magome-juku
Magome-juku is the 43rd one out of the 69 post stations on the Nakasendo road. Along the 600m stretch of cobblestone slopes, there are buildings from the past which evoke a nostalgic atmosphere. It is also known as the birthplace of author Touson Shimazaki.
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Hida Kokubun-ji Temple
Hida Kokubun-ji Temple
Hida Kokubun-ji Temple has a long history since its construction during the Nara Era in the year 746. The temple has undergone various crises such as destruction but the Main Hall is said to have been built in the Muromachi Era. It has that ambiance of an ancient temple with features such as a three-floor pagoda that is estimated to be 1250 years old and a huge gingko tree.
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Hida no Takumi Bunkakan (Takumikan Craft Museum)
Hida no Takumi Bunkakan (Takumikan Craft Museum)
Hida no Takumi Bunkakan is a facility that was built by carpenters who have been called “The Master Builders of Hida” who have perfected their art and technique. Learn about the architectural culture that remains in Hida-Furukawa while observing and feeling the excellent building techniques and traditions.
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Kirie Craft Studio Fushigi
Kirie Craft Studio Fushigi
Scenes traced out on black paper are painstakingly cut out to create beautiful and delicate works of art. The creations of Hida-Furukawa born-and-raised kirie artist Mamoru Suganuma are displayed and sold here.
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Ogi-machi Castle Ruin Observation Area
Ogi-machi Castle Ruin Observation Area
An observation area now exists on a plateau where a mountain castle of the Middle Ages used to stand. This is a popular spot where you can take in a panoramic view of Shirakawa-go. You can reach the observation point by a shuttle bus which stops in front of Wada House or walk up the gentle slope in about 20 minutes.
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Kaba Sake Brewery
Kaba Sake Brewery
The old brewery seems to melt into the old townscape. Created from the water and rice of Hida, the many famous brands of sake continue to be admired by the locals. In addition to sampling, tours are also possible with prior reservations.
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Wada House
Wada House
The largest gassho-zukuri house in Shirakawa Village, it is estimated to have been built about 300 years ago in the later years of the Edo Era. It is currently being used as a residence and in the rooms, there are various articles on display that were used in daily life back then.
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Myozen-ji Temple Museum
Myozen-ji Temple Museum
Myozen-ji Temple was built in 1748 as a facility representing the Otani sect of Shinshu Buddhism. The architecture is unique in that not only the main hall but buildings such as the temple kitchen and the bell tower were built with thatched roofs, a distinct feature in Shirakawa-go. At the museum, old everyday articles and documents are on display.
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Shirakabe Dozogai (Town of White-Walled Storehouses)
Shirakabe Dozogai (Town of White-Walled Storehouses)
The white mortar walls run for about 500m and along the bottom where the Seto River flows, 1000 brilliantly-colored carp swim. Located close to Enko-ji Temple and Ichinomachi, the area is known for its symbolic scenery of Hida-Furukawa.
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Mishima Japanese Candle  Shop
Mishima Japanese Candle Shop
Mishima Japanese Candle Shop is the only store that has continued to make completely handmade warosoku (Japanese candles) from 100% vegetable matter with the help of the few craftsmen able to make them in Japan. In the store that has a sense of history, you can also observe those craftsmen at work.
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Sakurayama Nikkokan
Sakurayama Nikkokan
This is a recreation of the stylish and dazzling Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine built at 1/10th scale. Not only the architecture but the ornamentation, carvings and paintings have been painstakingly copied. Famed carpenters from the Taisho Era at the beginning of the 20th century took 15 years to complete this extremely elaborate model for all to see.
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Hida-Furukawa Festival Exhibition Hall
Hida-Furukawa Festival Exhibition Hall
This is a museum where you can experience the Furukawa Festival which has 400 years of tradition. You can get a taste of the ambiance of the festival by boarding the gorgeous festival floats, controlling the mechanical dolls, and viewing the festival itself in the Hi-Vision Hall.
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