Gifu Guide - Gifu attractions including Gifu Castle and Gifu hotels.

Gifu City (岐阜市; Gifu-shi) is the capital city of Gifu Prefecture in the Chubu region of central Japan. Gifu is close to Nagoya and is a satellite city with many people who work in Nagoya living Gifu.

The name Gifu was given in the Warring States Period by Oda Nobunaga, a leading feudal lord of the 16th Century. He renamed what was previously called Inoguchi Village in Mino Province after a legendary mountain, Qishan (岐山), from which most of ancient China was unified. Though Nobunaga was originally from the neighbouring province that is now Aichi Prefecture, he lived in Gifu Castle atop Mt. Kinka for nine years, using it as his base to unify Japan.



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Gifu Attractions

Gifu Castle

Originally referred to as Mt. Inaba Castle, this castle was the residence of Saito Dosan, the Sengoku Period warlord. In 1567, Oda Nobunaga renamed it 'Gifu Castle' and used it as his headquarters when unifying Japan. The current castle was completed in 1956 and underwent a major renovation in 1997. When Gifu Castle is open for night viewing, you can enjoy a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view from the castle tower. Gifu Castle is a classic Japanese castle.

Gifu Castle
Gifu Castle - Gifu. Picture by Jnn

Mt. Kinka Cable Car: The cable car connects Gifu Park and Mt. Kinka. You can enjoy the look of Mt. Kinka clad in a primeval forest and the scenery of the crystal clear Nagara River stretching below during the three minute ride. From the terminal on Mt. Kinka, you can walk to Gifu Castle in about seven minutes. You will be impressed by the beautiful 360-degree panoramic view from the castle tower.

Gifu City Museum of History: There are exhibition corners where you can experience history while being introduced to it. In particular, the Castle Town of the Warring States Period is displayed in-scale and the Rakuichi-ba has been restored. (Rakuichi-ba is the Free Market established by Oda Nobunaga for the promotion of the Castle Town economy by drawing in merchants.)

Kato Eizo-Toichi Memorial Art Museum: It was established in 1991 as a place to admire the well-known Japanese artists, Eizo and Toichi Kato, who were both born in Gifu. It houses paintings by the Kato brothers and holds a variety of exhibitions for the locals.

Public Tea Ceremony House: You can see beautiful scenery in Gifu Park all year round. Places of interest in Gifu Park are a statue of Nobunaga, the Oda Nobunaga Palace Ruins, the Kabukimon, the Gifu City Museum of History, and the Nawa Insect Museum. At the Tea Ceremony House, visitors can relax and enjoy a bowl of green tea.

Nawa Insect Museum: The Nawa Insect Museum has been open since 1919 and is the oldest insect museum in Japan. In this museum, familiar insects, as well as rare and attractive species from all over the world, are exhibited. The museum also sells entomology tools and there are also talks about insects. Because the building is very important for historical value, the museum is a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.

Gifu Great Buddha: The Gifu Daibutsu (Great Statue of Buddha) is located southwest of Gifu Park in the Colossal Hall of the Great Buddha at Kinpo-san Shobo-ji Temple. It is basketwork-style, painted with lacquer, and plated gold. It is the largest Buddha statue of this type in Japan. The statue is 13.7 meters tall. The ears are 2.1 meters long and the nose is 0.4 meters wide. It contains an image of the Yakushi-nyorai made by Jikaku-daishi.

Sanko Art Museum: The Sanko Art Museum is located on a hill and affords a view of Mt. Kinka. It is in a quiet area surrounded by Sarastewartia trees (similar to camellias). Coffee, tea, and green tea are served here. The museum houses tea utensils and paintings, including those by Renoir, Chagall, and Ryuzaburo Umehara.

Cormorant Hermitage: You can look at a scene of cormorant fishing from an early date, the clothes of the fishing master, a cormorant fishing boat, and other materials at the hermitage. You can watch the 24 cormorants which actually work during the fishing season that are kept in the yard. You will be able to eat and drink coffee and Ayu Zosui (rice porridge with sweetfish) in this place. If the fishing master is at home, he will explain this traditional fishing method. You can enjoy a pleasant time listening to the interesting story.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu: The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu has approximately 3,000 works, including the world-famous collection of Odilon Redon. It comprises broad fields, especially the local, modern, and contemporary artists. Temporary exhibitions are held periodically. In addition, you can enjoy our exhibition-related events; talks, lectures, workshops, performances, and so on. Also, there is the beautiful and peaceful garden of 20,000 trees and a stream.

Gifu City Science Museum: The Gifu City Children Science Museum was built in 1955. It was moved to its present location and called the Gifu City Children's Science Center in 1980. The name was changed to the Gifu City Science Museum in 1988 when the planetarium was added. We have the planetarium and many exhibits that can be operated and touched. It's an intellectual place to learn through experiences.

Getting to Gifu

Chubu International Airport (NGO) is the nearest airport to Gifu. The Meitetsu line will take you to Meitetsu Gifu Station in downtown Gifu.

Gifu is a station on the Tokaido main line between Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. There are frequent services to Nagoya, the nearest major Shinkansen station, only 18 minutes away by express train. If you are travelling around Japan by train then you should consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass as these can provide significant savings. These must be purchased prior to your departure for Japan.

Meitetsu Takehana Line connects Shin Hashima station (3 minutes walk from Gifu Hashima Shinkansen station) to Meitetsu Gifu in around 32 minutes.

The JR Takayama Line connects Gifu to Hida-Takayama via Gero Onsen.

There are scheduled buses (5 times/day) connecting Osaka Namba OCAT to Shin Gifu Bus Center. The trip takes less than 3 hours under normal traffic condition.

(Article based on Wikitravel article by Wikitravel users Doug and Sakurai Midori, Wikitravel user(s) Jpatokal, Jelse, Mnd and Kohhei and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.  Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)

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