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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Gifu Area

  • Shirakawa-go
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    4.5
    2117 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Onogunshirakawamura Ogimachi
    A village located in Ogi-machi, Shirakawa Village, Ono County, Gifu Prefecture where many old-fashioned “gassho-zukuri” style homes, distinguished by their steep thatched roofs, can still be found. Still used as living spaces today, this rare collection of buildings has been designated a National Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the picturesque scenery of these traditional homes backed by mountains in the distance, visitors can catch a glimpse of the lifestyle and ingenious measures of a Japanese mountain village living in harmony with nature. There are also numerous souvenir shops and restaurants, and this popular destination is visited by great numbers of people from around the country and the world.

    Gasho styled building theme for these nice cottage houses that stood the test of time! Very interesting as they depict the rich cultural and historical aspect of the area dated centuries ago. This is...

  • Chiyobo Inari Shrine (Ochobo-san)
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    4.0
    133 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Kaidushi Hiratachousangou 1980
    The main enshrined deities are Taiso-no-Okami, Inari-no-Okami, and Oyagami. Yoshitaka, the sixth son of Minamoto-no-Hachimantaro Yoshiie, at the time of establishing a branch family was granted by Yoshiie that the ancestral spirits be protected forever. After that, their descendant Mori Hakkai opened the village of Suwaki. It was these gods that became the origin of the shrine. It is one of the three major Inari (god of harvest) in Japan, and two million people come to worship here every year. The shrine is said to generate business prosperity. Worshipers purchase sake and fried tofu at a shop near the entrance of the shrine and make offerings to the gods. Along the road leading up to the shrine you’ll find many shops.

    This is a nice small market walk through Kaizu city. It is very intimate with a lot of food markets, small souvenir shops, restaurants, plant shops, clothing shops, arare shops, snack shops, Kushi...

  • Gujo Hachiman Castle
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    4.0
    281 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Gujoushi Hachimanchouyanagimachi One flat 659
    Gujo Hachiman Castle is Japan’s oldest castle reconstructed out of wood. Building of the fort began in 1559 by Endo Morikazu and by 1667 the shogunate government recognized it as a castle. In 1933 the current castle tower was rebuilt with reference to Ogaki Castle at that time. The sight of the castle appearing to float in the morning mist is a spectacle to behold and is why the castle is also known as the castle in the sky. The four layered wooden castle tower with five floors has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Gujo City.

    Originally built in 1559, this castle was torn down in 1870 during the Meiji Restoration and recostructed back in 1933. Autumn is the best season to visit this castle as the autumn leaves...

  • Takayama Jinya
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    4.0
    1082 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Hachikenmachi 1-5
    Takayama Jinya was where prefectural governors and deputies exercised government since Hida was put under direct control of the Shogunate in 1692. The purpose of direct jurisdiction was access to the abundant timber and underground resources. After the Meiji Restoration, this building was also used as the Takayama prefectural government building. In order to conserve Takayama Jinya, 16 years of repair and reconstruction work were undertaken and were completed in 1996. There were 60 regional headquarters and sub-headquarters nationwide at the end of the Edo period, but the Takayama Jinya is the only building left in existence today. Takayama Jinya has been certified with two stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.

    We were on a day tour and Takayama was our 2nd stop for the day. We had about 1.5 hr to explore this place and so it was quite a rushing visit, simply touch and go mode. The buildings here have...

  • Tanigumisan Kegonji Temple
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    4.0
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Ibigunibigawachou Tanigumitokudumi 23
    Tanigumisan Kegonji Temple located at the end of Prefectural Route 251, Tanigumitokuzumi, Ibigawa Town is a temple which was established in 798. It is the 33rd pilgrim stamp office for the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Since being granted names for a mountain and a temple by Emperor Daigo, it has attracted worshippers for about 1,200 years, and has been affectionately called Tanigumisan as a temple for fulfilling and completing a goal. It is also known as a famous place for cherry blossoms and fall foliage.

    滋賀と岐阜の寺と城巡りの旅の最終日に華厳寺を参拝しました。西国三十三所第33番札所で満願結願のお寺です。豪壮な仁王門をくぐると本堂までは石畳の長い参道となります。紅葉、黄葉が息を吞むような美しさです。参道の突き当りの長く急な石段を上りきると本堂があります。本堂に参拝し御朱印を頂いた後、本堂裏手の笈摺堂、子安観音堂に参拝しました。最後に満願堂に参拝します。満願堂は本堂、笈摺堂、子安観音堂の奥の高みに...

  • The Gifu Great Buddha (in the Shoho-ji Temple)
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    4.0
    141 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Daibutsuchou 8
    Also known as the Kago Daibutsu, the Gifu Great Buddha (Gifu Daibutsu) is located in the Kinpo-zan Shoho-ji Temple in Gifu City; this Buddha statue has been designated by Gifu Prefecture as an Important Cultural Property. It ranks as one of the “Three Great Buddha Statues of Japan,” and is the largest dried lacquer Buddha statue in the country. To create the statue, a wooden framework was built around a central pillar cut from a large Gingko tree; a bamboo lattice was then installed around the wooden framework, and clay was plastered onto the lattice. After this, copies of the complete Buddhist scriptures were affixed to the clay, and then lacquer and gold leaf were applied. With the Great Buddha’s friendly, slightly smiling expression and the peaceful atmosphere of the Daibutsuden hall where the statue is situated, a visit here can induce feelings of calm and serenity. The charge for admission to the temple is 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children.

    While this Buddah isnt as grand as some of the others in Japan, the fact that it was created with a paper mache base made it rather interesting. Not as busy as the others and made for a nice stop...

  • Kusakabe Folk Museum
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    4.0
    71 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Oushinmachi 1-52
    The Kusakabe Folk Museum in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture is located in a building that was originally the mansion of the Kusakabe family, merchants who were closely associated with the Bakufu (Shogunate). The mansion was rebuilt in 1879; with its impressive interlocking beams and wide spaces, it can fairly be described as a masterpiece of vernacular architecture that embodies the apogee of Edo period craftsmanship. The building’s single most impressive feature is the magnificent Butsudan (family Buddhist altar) which cost 300 Ryo (around 10 billion yen in today’s money) to construct. When the mansion burnt down in 1875, the Butsudan was saved; today, this resplendent altar is renowned in Takayama as a place of great spiritual power.

    This is a beautiful building although sparsely furnished it still gives you a sense of life back in the day. We visited in winter so appreciated how cold these places can get! Wouldnt say this was a...

  • Takayama Museum of History and Art
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    4.0
    152 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Kamichinomachi 75
    The Takayama Museum of History and Art in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture has a collection of around 75,000 items relating to folk traditions, of which 900 are on permanent display. There are 14 display rooms with exhibits focusing on how the castle town developed and the unique culture of its residents; topics covered by the displays include the Takayama Festival, “machiya” (traditional wooden townhouses), the creation of the castle town, famous writers and artists that had a connection to the Takayama area, and the famous monk and Buddhist statue carver Enku, who also had a close connection with the Hida area. The buildings in which the Museum is located were originally warehouses, built from Japanese Cypress wood, belonging to the Nagata family of merchants; they are highly atmospheric. There is no charge for entry to the Museum.

    This is a small museum keeping not so big collection but well represented the regional history. More tempting is the planting landscape that is colourful and peaceful worth a mediation.

  • Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
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    4.0
    157 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Sakuramachi 178
    The Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture that is dedicated to the tutelary deity of the area. According to tradition, the origins of the Shrine date back to the reign of the Emperor Nintoku, when Prince Naniwa-neko Takefurukuma no Mikoto, who had come to the area to subjugate an evil monster, prayed for victory at this site. The Shrine is closely associated with the Autumn Festival that is one of the two Takayama Matsuri (Takayama Festivals), the other being the Spring Festival that is associated with the Hie Shrine; the Takayama Matsuri has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. Some of the “Yatai” (decorated floats) used in the Takayama Matsuri procession are on display in the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall within the Shrine precincts (the floats on display are rotated), giving visitors the opportunity to view the magnificent decoration, which is a tribute to the skill of Hida region craftsmen, from close to.

    This beautiful shrine surrounded by silence and huge trees conveys inner peace. Beautiful, imposing location. Not to be missed, well worth the visit.

  • Shishi Hall (Shishi Kaikan)
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    4.5
    38 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Sakuramachi 53-1
    The Shishi Hall (Shishi Kaikan) is a museum in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture that is dedicated to Karakuri. Karakuri are mechanically-operated moving human figures and models that are displayed on the floats that parade through Takayama during the Takayama Matsuri (Takayama Festival), one of the “Three Great Festivals of Japan”; they are controlled using strings, springs and clockwork, etc. The Shishi Hall’s “Karakuri Performance,” in which visitors are able to see how expertly the Karakuri are operated, was selected as a one-star item in the Michelin Travel Guide. There is also a display of approximately 300 ceremonial “lion heads” from all over Japan; as the only exhibition of its kind in Japan, this lion-head display has been designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property.

    Amazing exhibition of the floats used during processions which are huge and finely decorated. Well worth a visit

  • Takayama Castle Ruins
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Shiroyama
    Takayama Castle is a flatland mountain castle which was built on a mountain of 686.6 meters in height. The old fortress style with its two three-story watchtower-style castle towers are believed to have been influenced by Oda Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. Now the inner citadel, the outer citadel and inner enclosure are only partitioned by a dry moat, and there are no buildings remaining. In 1945 the castle ruins were designated as a Cultural Property of Japan.
  • Hida Takayama Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Kamiokamotomachi 1-124-1
    Located in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, the Hida Takayama Museum of Art has an extensive collection, centering on glassware and fin-de-siècle art. The Museum’s collection of around 1,000 items has a particular focus on the art nouveau style that flourishing in Europe towards the end of the 19th century, as well the subsequent art deco movement and modern glassware, etc. The Museum buildings have won worldwide acclaim for the way they harmonize beautifully with the surrounding natural environment. The Hida Takayama Museum of Art was awarded three stars in the 2007 edition of the “Michelin Orange Guide to Japan” (focusing on museums, galleries, etc.) and three stars in the 2009 “Michelin Green Guide to Japan” (travel guide).
  • Honko-ji Temple
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    3.5
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Hidashi Furukawachouninomachi 1-17
    The Honko-ji Temple is a temple belonging to the Hongan-ji sect of the Jodo Shinshu School of Buddhism, located in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture. The temple is renowned as one of the finest in the Hida region thanks to its magnificent Hon-do main hall (made almost entirely from Japanese Cypress wood), Shoro (bell tower), and San-mon (main gate). The Honko-ji Temple is one of the temples visited in the Hida Furukawa Three Temples Pilgrimage, an important winter event in the Hida-Furukawa region that takes place on January 15 every year. On this day, the banks of the Setogawa River and the historic streets are lined with around one thousand traditional Japanese-style candles and large “snow candles”; in this magical atmosphere, pilgrims visit and pray at first the Honko-ji Temple, then the Enko-ji Temple and the Shinshu-ji Temple.

    When you are in the village, this temple is worth a stop, its huge. Its close to the river with a nice walking path.

  • Wada House
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    4.0
    287 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Onogunshirakawamura Ogimachi 997
    Wada House is an example of a Shirakawa town thatched-roof ridgepole Gassho style house. It is the largest Gassho style house remaining in Shirakawa Village, and the house has a frontage of 25.48 meters and a depth of 12.74 meters. The current state of preservation of the gardens, hedges, rural district and waterways is also good and it looks beautiful. Although it is currently being used as a dwelling, you can take a tour of the house’s interior, and a fire is always set in the irori fire pit all year round, so you will also be able to make yourself at home around the irori fire pit. In 1995, the house was designated as a Cultural Property of Japan.

    We visited Wada house in Shirakawa-go; which is close to the bus terminal and the bottom of the pedestrian ramp leading to the observation deck. There is a short 3 min video which summarises the...

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Usa 4-1-22
    An art museum located in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture dedicated to the theme of coming in contact and engaging in a dialogue with beauty. The entire museum building is barrier-free. The spacious, verdant grounds are dotted with sculptures, giving visitors the chance to appreciate art while going for a stroll. The museum has a large collection of pieces by artists born in and connected to Gifu Prefecture as well as by artists from around the world, such as key French symbolist painter Odilon Redon’s Closed Eyes. A 15-minute walk from JR Nishi-Gifu Station.

    11月にリニューアルしたばかり! 嬉しいことに年内無料!大チャンス 新しくなり写真撮影OKのエリアが圧倒的に多くなりました。 一部のみ撮影禁止エリアには #ムンク...

  • Nawa Insect Museum
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Omiyachou 2-18 within Gifu Park
    This insect museum in Gifu City, Gif Prefecture is the oldest museum of its kind still in existence. Founded in 1919, the museum is affiliated with the Nawa Insect Research Center established by Yasushi Nawa, who famously discovered the Gifu butterfly (Luehdorfia japonica). The museum possesses more than 300,000 specimens representing 12,000 varieties of insect from around the world. The museum also breeds and researches a variety of insects. The museum is still located in its original western-style Meiji-era building, a registered tangible cultural property. The museum is located a short bus trip headed towards Nagara from either JR Gifu Station or Meitetsu Gifu Station and a two-minute walk from the Gifu Koen Rekishihakubutsukanmae bus stop.

    It is not a very big collection but interesting to have a look, focused on beetles and butterflies. If you are around and have time, it costs 500 yen and can be seen in 1 hour. More interesting than...

  • Nemichi Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Sekishi Itadori On the Shimane Road 448
    Nemichi Shrine sits in an area surrounded by lush vegetation. The main enshrined deities are Nemichi Okami, Izanami no Mikoto, Oyamatsumi no Kami, and Kanayamabiko no Kami. The spring festival is held in April and the autumn festival is held in October. Beside the main gate to the shrine is a small pond nicknamed Monet’s Pond. So called because it resembles Claude Monet’s water lilies. The place has become particularly well known on the internet and consequently attracts visitors to the shrine almost daily.
  • Magome Wakihonjin Museum
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Gifu Pref. Nakatsugawashi Magome 4253-1
    This is a historical archive in Magome, Nakatsugawa City. The building is a reproduction of Wakihonjin (a residence owned by a local influencer offered as lodgings) Yawataya in Magome-juku which was destroyed in a great fire in 1895 and exhibits archives of household effects of the time and visitors can learn about the culture of the Kisoji district in the Edo period.

    It is a small museum in Magome. Wakihonjin was a hotel for vip in Edo Time. The building of the museum is a reconstruction, but it displays various documents at that time and is worthy to take a look.

  • Eishoji Temple
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    4.0
    13 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Nakatsugawashi Magome 5358
    This temple has a long history and is said to have been established in 1558 and is also said to be the model for ‘Manpuku-ji Temple” which appears in Shimazaki Toson’s novel “Before the Dawn”. The temple is available as a place to stay, a place to try Buddhist vegetarian food and experience Zazen meditation. The wooden statue of the sitting Amida Nyorai, the wooden standing Sho Kanon statue, and the Shomen Kongo Pagoda in the precincts are designated as Nakatsugawa city cultural property.

    This temple is not on the Main Street of Magome, but it is easy to find, since there is an indication. It is a quiet place without being disturbed by tourists. There is a grave of Toson’s family.

  • Inaba-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Inabadori 1-1
    The Inaba Shrine has for many centuries been a place of great spiritual importance for people living in the region. Dedicated to the worship of the Shinto deity Inishiki-Irihiko-no-Mikoto, the Inaba Shrine was originally a place where prayers were offered to protect against floods. In recent years, the Shrine has become very popular with worshippers wishing to pray for the safety of family members or for business prosperity, with people paying their first visit to a shrine in the New Year, with families celebrating the Shichi-Go-San festival, and with worshippers offering up prayers in relation to childbirth, traffic safety, construction or irrigation projects, etc. The Shrine preserves a set of chronicle scrolls of its own origin and history, which has been designated an Important Cultural Property by Gifu Prefecture. The Inaba Shrine is located around 15-minute drive from JR Gifu Station.

    This year my son and I braved the cold and sleepiness to countdown to 2017 at this Shrine,incidentally just minutes from our apartment !(I know its not a word!) Very japaneseque Im not the...

Gifu Main Areas

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Tucked away in the very center of Japan, Gifu prefecture houses mountains, old towns, and one of Japan’s greatest hot springs, Gero Onsen. A tour of the prefecture’s traditional architecture will take you from the mountain-enveloped wooden streets of Takayama to the mountain village of Shirakawago, where visitors can explore 250-year-old thatched roofed houses known as gassho-zukuri.

Gifu Photo Album

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