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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

TOKAI Gifu Ancient thatched-roof houses and centuries-old artisanal crafts

Gifu is Japan's literal and figurative heart, with untouched traditional villages nestled in picturesque mountain ranges

Gifu Prefecture is steeped in history, and its significance shines through to this day. The pivotal battle that united the nation took place at Sekigahara, and you can visit the battlefield today. Swordsmiths practice their craft in Seki, and traditional cormorant fishing is still alive along the Nagara River. The town of Takayama has gone mostly untouched by time, while the nearby villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are one of the few places where thatched-roof houses remain in Japan. The dramatic mountains, pure rivers and snowy winters create a remarkably picturesque setting.

How to Get There

Gifu is easily accessible by JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. The prefecture is served by local JR trains and highway buses as well. There are many domestic and international flights to Chubu Centrair International Airport for easy access to southern Gifu, and some domestic flights to Toyama Airport for service to the northeast.

Nagoya is the main jump-off point for Gifu Prefecture, with the JR Takayama Line providing service to Gifu City, Gero, Takayama and most of the other key places in Gifu. Southern Gifu is centered around Gifu City, a 30-minute train ride from Nagoya. Trains and buses connect to Sekigahara in the east and Tajimi in the west. An excellent bus network loops to smaller sites outside the city as well as Gifu Castle and other regional attractions, all from JR Gifu Station. Hida in Northern Gifu is on the JR Takayama Line. The main hub is Takayama, and buses run from here to local towns and onsen resorts, as well as into the mountains. Highway buses run from Tokyo and Osaka to Takayama Bus Center.

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Don't Miss

    The riot of color and music during Takayama's spring and autumn festivals
    Thatched-roof houses in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
    The soothing waters of Gero Onsen, considered one of Japan's best
    The world-renowned swordsmiths of Seki and the ancient tradition of cormorant fishing on the Nagara River

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Boasting one of the finest displays of cherry blossoms in the country and a spectacular spring festival, Takayama attracts visitors from across Japan and around the world during springtime.

  • Summer

    Watch ukai or cormorant fishing on the Nagara River, camp at the Tsukechi Gorge or hike through some of the most stunning mountains in Japan, including Mt. Hakusan and Mt. Norikura.

  • Autumn

    Take in Takayama's autumn festival and the autumn leaves in the mountains, particularly around Gujo Hachiman. October's Mino Washi Akari Exhibition draws artists from all over to create art using Mino’s famous handmade paper.

  • Winter

    Winter in Gifu is all about snow sports, with Gujo and Takayama the main destinations. Shirakawa-go is especially gorgeous when the traditional thatched houses are blanketed in snow.

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