Gifu 岐阜

View over Gifu City in Gifu Prefecture

Gifu is a large landlocked prefecture in the center of Honshu, Japan's main island. The prefectural capital is Gifu City and has a population of about 412,000 people. The prefecture's central position have historically been an important route for connecting the east and west parts of Japan. And during the Sengoku period (1467 to 1603) Gifu was often referred by the saying "Control Gifu and you control Japan".

Things to see in Gifu

Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Gifu.

  1. Takayama

    Floats parading during the Takayama Festival

    Takayama is a city located in the mountainous Hida Region of Gifu Prefecture. To differentiate the city from other cities with the same name, the city is often referred to as Hida-Takayama. The city's main attraction is the well preserved old town area. Takayama is also the home of the Takayama Festival, considered to be one of Japan's top 3 most beautiful festivals. The festival is held twice a year in spring and autumn, and takes place in the city's old town area. The popular festival attracts a large group of visitors and hotels are often booked several months in advance.

    Karakuri Doll as seen under the Takayama Festival

    How to get there

    From Tokyo, ride the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya, taking about 2 hours. Then from Nagoya transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama. The ride takes about 140 minutes.

  2. Okuhida

    snow covered Onsen in the Okuhira region of Gifu Prefecture

    Okuhida is an area located in the mountains of the Northern Japan Alps, about a one hour bus ride outside of Takayama city in the Hida Region. Okuhida is famous for its many outdoor hot springs with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. There are five onsen towns in the area, each with their own type of spring water, with Hirayu Onsen being the oldest and largest of them all.

    outdoor hot springs at Hirayu Onsen

    How to get there

    Buses run from Takayama to all the hot spring towns in Okuhida. The ride takes about 60 minute to Hirayu Onsen and about 80 minutes for Tochio Onsen.