15 Things to Do and Enjoy in Gifu | FAST JAPAN

15 Things to Do and Enjoy in Gifu

Located in the mountainous areas of Japan, Gifu is one of the best tourist destinations with many World Heritage Sites, local restaurants, souviner shops, and other must-see attractions.

#1. Shirakawa-go


Shirakawa-go is a village located deep in the mountains and is famous for the gassho-zukuri houses, the grand roofs resemble hands clasped together in prayer. Many of the houses are still inhabited to this day. The oldest and largest remaining gassho-zukuri house in the village is the Wada House, it is still used as a private residence, but part of it is also open to the public for viewing.
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Address: 702 Ogimachi, Shirakawa-mura, Ono-gun, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 50 minute bus ride from Takayama Bus Center platform 4

Phone: 05769-6-1013

Website: Shirakawa-go (Japanese)


#2. Hida Takayama

Hida Takayama
Photo Credit: Yusuke Kawasaki@Flickr

Hida Takayama is located near Gifu Castle. The town was as a bustling merchant town in the past.  The old architecture and shops remain to this day. Among these stores, there is old-fashioned Japanese sweet shops, and traditional crafts. Some local specialties are mitarashi dango and Hida beef. Mitarashi dango is rice balls on a stick covered with with a sweet soy sauce glaze.
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Takayama Tourist Information Center

Address: 1-1-1 Showamachi, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 1 minute walk from Takayama Station

Phone: 0577-32-5328


#3. Gero Onsen

Gero Onsen - Gifu

Gero Onsen is one of the most popular spa resort in Gifu since the Edo period. A Confucian teacher from the Edo period wrote that Gero, together with Kusatsu, and Arima is the best of all the onsens in Japan. If you go to Gero Onsen, the Onsen Passport is a must buy. You can try three onsen resorts that are registered as Gero Onsen Ryokan. The passport is a good souvenir too.
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Gero Spa Yamagataya Gifu Hotel

Address: 260-1 Yunoshima, Gero City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 10 minute walk from Gero Station

Phone: 0576-25-2601

Website: Gero Spa Yamagataya Gifu Hotel (Japanese)


#4. Hida Beef

Hida Beef

This brand-name beef is highly regarded because of the tenderness, smoothness, and texture that almost melts in your mouth. Try it cooked as a steak, in hot pot, grilled on a skewer, or even as sushi!


#5. Gujo Dance

Gujo Dance
Photo Credit: gujohachiman.com

Gujo Dance is a summer dance festival in Gujo. Every year, more than 300,000 people join the festival from all over the country, dressed in traditional summer kimonos. It takes place over 30 nights from mid-July to early September. The climax, between August 13th and 16th, is a four all-day, all-night dance event.


#6. The Takayama Festival

takayama festival

Thought to be around 400 years old, the Takayama Festival is counted as one of the three most beautiful festivals in Japan. It is held every spring and autumn, and it shows-off what is great about the Hida region. Some must-see attractions of the festival are the beautiful festival floats with elaborate and artistic ornaments.


#7. Gifu Castle

gifu castle

Standing at the summit of Mt. Kinka, Gifu Castle was the home base to one of Japan’s greatest military commanders, Nobunaga Oda. The Japanese armor and swords on display in the castle are very impressive as well. See the panoramic view of the city from the upper room of the castle.
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Gifu Castle

Address: 18 Tenshukaku, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Sancho Station, Gifu Kinkazan Ropeway

Phone: 058-263-4853

Website: Gifu Castle (Japanese)


#8. Mt. Kinka

Mt. Kinka

Mt. Kinka, the area around Gifu castle, is famous for the beautiful autumn scenery, and the best time to visit is in November if you want to see the autumn foliage.
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Mt. Kinka

Address: 18 Tenshukaku, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Sancho Station, Gifu Kinkazan Ropeway

Website: Mt. Kinka Ropeway


#9. Watanabe Sake Brewery

Watanabe Sake Brewery
Photo Credit: kikuchikanko.ne.jp

Watanabe is a reputable and established sake brewery, said to have been founded in the Meiji period (1868-1912). The brewery is a historic building itself is also registered as an Important Tangible Cultural Property by the nation.
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Watanabe Sake Brewery

Address: 7-7 Furukawacho Ichinomachi, Hida City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Hida-Furukawa Station

Phone: 0577-73-3311

Website: Watanabe Sake Brewery (Japanese)


#10. Gifu Great Buddha


Gifu Great Buddha was completed in 1832 after 38 years of construction. The statue is 13.7 meters tall and is counted among Japan’s Three Great Buddha Statues, and is the largest in Japan made of lacquer. The statue’s kind and solemn expression combined with the calming nature of the temple creates a soothing and comfortable atmosphere.
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Gifu Great Buddha

Address: 8 Daibutsucho, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 17 minutes by car from Gifu Station

Phone: 058-264-2760

Website: Gifu Great Buddha


#11. Shinhodaka Ropeway

Shinhodaka Ropeway

The double-deck gondola will take you 2,156 meters above sea level. From the observation deck at the top of the mountain, there is a grand panoramic view of the Northern Japan Alps.


#12. Daiyata Shrine near Oyada Maple Valley


Located in one of the most mountainous areas in Japan, Gifu is one of the best locations to view autumn leaves.  Oyada Momijidani meaning Maple Valley is especially beautiful during autumn when the leaves turn colors on the big maple trees. The valley is designated as a National Natural Monument.
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Daiyata Shrine near Oyada Maple Valley

Address: 2596 Oyada, Mino City, Gifu Prefecture

Access: Gifu Bus (Takami Line) from Gifu Station to Oyada Jinja-mae, then 30-minute walk

Website: –


#13. Magomejuku

Photo Credit: DavideGorla@Flickr

The Nakasendo is an old highway between Tokyo and Kyoto, along the way there used to be many post towns where travelers would spend the night. Among these is Magomejuku. The cobblestone streets in this town are lined with old, lattice-windowed residential houses, museums, tea houses, and souvenir shops on both sides. It resembles how post towns looked in the Edo period.
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Magomejuku Tourist Information Center

Address: 4300-1 Magome, Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 15 minutes by car from Ochiaigawa Station

Phone: 0573-69-2336

Website: Magome-juku (Japanese)

Also Check: Magomejuku Village – A Hidden Gem in Japan’s Mountain Range


#14. Yoro Falls


Yoro Falls has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Waterfalls and one of the 100 Best Spring Water Sites in Japan. The waterfall is in Yoro Park, there is over 3,000 cherry trees and just as many maple trees, they attract many tourists during the spring and fall.
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Yoro Falls

Address: 1298−2 Takabayashi, Yoro District, Gifu Prefecture

Access: 14 minutes by car from Yoro Station

Phone: 0584-32-0501

Website: Yoro Falls (Japanese)


#15. Goheimochi


Goheimochi is a grilled rice cake that is skewered and covered in a thick sauce. They are shaped in many ways, small balls or long flat ovals. They are coated in a rich sauce made of soy, miso, or sesame. Its the ideal snack for active tourists.


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