Gifu Prefecture is located in the center of Japan, and while it does not face the sea, it has plenty of rivers. Ever since being featured as the setting of the movie “Your Name” (jap. Kimi no Na wa), the number of tourists visiting the prefecture from aboard has been increasing.
In this article, we will divide Gifu Prefecture into two areas, and introduce them separately.
The Mino region is filled with history
Located in the southern part of Gifu Prefecture is the Mino region, where you can find Gifu Castle, which was the place where the feudal lord Oda Nobunaga unified the whole country. You can ride a ropeway to the top of Mount Kinku where Gifu Castle is located. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy the view of the same Gifu that Oda Nobunaga used to overlook back in the day.
The shining golden statue of Oda Nobunaga, located in the front of JR Gifu Station, is a great place to take photos, and it will leave you with a great impression.
Every year from May 11 until October 15 you can enjoy watching Ukai (traditional cormorant fishing) on the Nagano River. There is a sightseeing boat from where you can watch up close workmen yelling “Ho ho!” as they make cormorants catch sweetfish. This Ukai tradition has over 1300 years of history.
The Hida region is famous among foreign tourists
Many foreigners visit the morning market in the Hida region, which has plenty of old townscape.
You can buy vegetables, fruits, and folk craft from the Hida region, and there are even coffee shops that are set up in tents. It is a place where you can see all the lovely things from the Hida region in one place.
There are plenty of shops where you can easily try some delicious dishes, such as sushi that uses the famous Hida beef, and Kushiyaki (grilled and skewered food).
It is said that Hida-Furukawa Station and Takayama Station were used as models in the movie “Your Name”. Gohei Mochi, which also appeared in the movie, is a local cuisine from Gifu. It is made of rice that is wrapped around a skewer with sweet sauce on top, and cooked over a flame.
Must-buy souvenirs in Gifu!
You can buy Oda Nobunaga-related goods at Gifu Castle. Besides sweets, playing cards with pictures of the Sengoku period feudal lords are also popular.
Sarubobo is an old traditional round puppet from Gifu, which has no face, and a hood on its head. It is sold as a charm for pregnancy or for warding off evil. There are various sizes available, so it will make a great present.
Ayugashi is an old local favorite, which is made of sponge cake with chewy gyuhi (a soft Japanese confectionery made with rice flour) inside, and is shaped like a sweetfish.
Why not visit Gifu to eat delicious food and wander around the beautiful streets?