Gifu has played a critical part in Japan's history. The pivotal battle that united the nation took place here at Sekigahara, and the area's fine crafts and swordmaking traditions reflect its importance to the nation's fortunes. The breathtaking towns of Takayama and Shirakawago take you back in time to simpler days, while the beauty of its mountains and pure rivers draw visitors back to Gifu time and again.
Gifu is accessible by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya as well as regular JR trains, highway bus and car. There are direct flights from Tokyo and Osaka to Nagoya Airport for easy access to southern Gifu, or Toyama Airport for the northeast.
Nagoya is the main access point for the region, with the JR Takayama Line providing service to Gifu City, Gero, Takayama and most of the 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. The Japan Rail Pass can be used on JR trains across the prefecture.
Kuri kinton is a dish of candied chestnuts combined with mashed sweet potatoes that would fit right in with a turkey ...
A simple, regional dish of chicken thighs stir-fried with cabbage and garlic soy sauce. Often served on a bed of pan-...
Fuyu persimmons have no core, seeds or tannins, a texture similar to a pear, and the subtle flavors of dates, brown s...
Hida beef is known for its marbling and a layer of fat that retains the aroma and juices of the meat when grilled. Yo...
Hida Shunkei Lacquerware
The natural beauty of wood grain is preserved using the 400-year-old technique known as Shunkei lacquer. Cypress and ...
Gifu Paper Lanterns
Paper, bamboo, wood, and patience: the materials needed to create the beautiful Gifu-chochin lanterns designated as a...
Seki hamono are forged blades produced in Seki. Bladesmithing there dates back to the 13th century, when craftsmen be...
Mino Handmade Paper
Mino washi is a traditional papercraft in Gifu. The ancient technique used produces a fine paper that balances thinne...
Boasting one of the finest displays of cherry blossoms in the country, the Takayama Festival draws visitors from across Japan and around the world.
Watch the ukai or cormorant fishing on the Nagara River, camp in Tsukechi-kyo Valley or hike through some of the most stunning mountains in Japan, including Haku-san and Mt. Norikura, where you can even ski in the summer.
Time to take in Takayama's autumn festival and the autumn leaves in the mountains, particularly around Gujo-Hachiman. October's Mino-Washi Art Expo draws artists from all over to create art using Mino’s famous handmade paper.
Winter in Gifu is all about snow sports, with Gujo and Takayama the focus points. The town of Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is especially gorgeous when the traditional thatched houses are blanketed in snow.