Gifu Prefecture is situated almost in the center of Japan and is the 7th-largest prefecture in area at 10,621km2（4,101mile2）. There is a chain of mountains which reach over 3000m in altitude in the northern Hida district while the richly natural Mino district in the south has clear streams on the Noube Plain which are so pristine that they have been selected as one of the Top 100 Waters of Japan. The historic village of Shirakawa-go in Takayama in the northwest part of Gifu has a community of gassho-zukuri houses with their steep roofs which were registered as a World Heritage site in 1995.
Shirakawa-go is a must-see site with 1.4 million people visiting annually. Japanese villages can also be seen in Hida-no-Sato. For those with an interest in history, there are places such as Sanmachi-dori within the castle town of Takayama, the post town of Magome-juku on the Nakasendo Road, and Gifu Castle. If you love a lot of nature, Shin-Hodaka, Mt. Kinka and Gero Onsen known as one of the three most famous hot springs in Japan are recommended.
The top dish in Gifu cuisine is the nationally-famous Hidagyu (Hida beef). Ayu (sweetfish) and hoba yaki (grilling on magnolia leaves) are also famous examples of the regional cuisine. Gifu, which has over 50 sake breweries, has delicious sake. In addition, Kakamigahara kimchi and kei-chan which is chicken and vegetables stir-fried on a hot plate are popular comfort food dishes.
There are 2 railway routes from Tokyo Station. Gifu Prefecture is an inland province so you can take the Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagoya Station (approx. 1 hour and 40 minutes) and then head north by JR or bus, or take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Toyama or Kanazawa Stations (approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes) and then head due south by JR or bus. Taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen for Shirakawa-go and Hida-Takayama or the Tokaido Shinkansen for Gero Onsen and Gifu City is speedy. Since Shirakawa-go cannot be accessed by train alone, it’s good to look around other spots and then take a rental car to the village.
There are many accommodations in Hida-Takayama as well as within Gifu City and Gero. Also, there are plenty of Western-style hotels and ryokan along with numerous unique inns converted from old residences including one that is over 100 years old where you can sense that Japanesque air.