Located in central Japan, Gifu marks its name in visitor’s heart with the majestic beauty of the serenity of the beautiful old villages intermingled in poetic mountains, looks like a magnificent picture drawn on mountainous background and by a certain no-name talented artist.
The majestic scenery of mountains and forests occupy more than 80% of the area has turned Gifu into a masterpiece of nature of the Japanese. From Tokyo to Gifu it will take only 3 hours by road. The place is famous for its lovely clear river Nagara, which surrounds the majestic mountains, creating both poetic and peaceful scenery for this region.
Journey coming back to the past of 300 years old village Shirakawa-go
Gifu is the capital of Gifu Prefecture in Chubu. But unlike the hectic pace of hustle and bustle big cities, Gifu is quite peaceful and has an ancient look.
Gifu’s highlight is the ancient village of Shirakawa-go, meaning “village of the White River”, located in the north of Gifu Prefecture. The village has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage since 1995. It is one of the two oldest villages in Japan with 100 roofed houses with unique architecture. Due to the special geographic location, located at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level, the houses here has a kinda special shape, like the hands clasped together. Every year, Shirakawa-go is covered with dense layers of snow more than 5 months. Therefore, this steep design will help to prevent heavy snow on the roof. Shirakawa-go’s ancient village is like a real fairyland, where space and time stop to give way to peace.
Although there are about two million visitors every year, Shirakawa-go is still protected from being exploited indiscriminately. At present, this ancient village is included in the list of legacy of special protection in Japan.
Journey to the peaceful Takayama Mountains
Most of Gifu’s main attractions are in the north with famous towns such as Takayama and Shokawa Valley. On the way to Takayama, visitors will go through a beautiful village with fancy houses.
The Gifu Road to Takayama is romantic with winding paths between the two branches of the Hida River, across cities and small villages along the way. Hida-Kanayama Village is located near Hida River, which looks ancient with its tiled roofs.
The old town on Sanmachi Road, also known as the Hida Takayama Old Town, is one of the places you should not miss here. The ancient city of Hida is the center of the castle city and is also considered as the commercial center of Takayama. There are many confectionery shops, handicraft shops, wine shops and local delicacies like Mitarashi Dango sticky rice, Hidagyu beef,… Guests can both walk and enjoy the cuisine or choose souvenirs at the shops along the side of the road.
Gifu is one of the attractive destinations located in Chubu, where visitors can freely feel the time drifting in the space of deposition, and admire the shape of ancient Japan.