Gifu Prefecture is a prefecture located in the central part of Honshu, Japan. This area is especially attractive to those who are interested in Japanese history and traditional Japanese culture. This is because Gifu Prefecture has a history of many famous battles during the Sengoku period. Therefore, it is also known as a prefecture where traditional crafts such as pottery, lacquerware, and cutlery are thriving.
On this page, we will introduce especially recommended sightseeing spots and activities as a travel guide for Gifu Prefecture.

Outline of Gifu

Map of Gifu

Map of Gifu

Gifu Prefecture is located to the west of Aichi Prefecture. It is divided into the Mino region to the south and the Hida region to the north. Mino has towns such as Gifu City and Ogaki City. On the other hand, Hida has steep mountains like Nagano Prefecture. Here are the famous Takayama and Shirakawa-go. To the north of Shirakawa-go is Toyama Prefecture. Gokayama is known as a beautiful village on par with Shirakawa-go.


About 50 minutes by car from Nagoya.
For trains, you can use the Shinkansen. It takes about 20 minutes from Nagoya Station to Gifu-Hashima Station.

It is quite possible to stay in Nagoya and visit Gifu.

If you want to travel around Gifu, a rail pass that allows unlimited rides on the Shinkansen and local trains is a great deal. >>See here for details.


Shirakawago Village

Shirakawago Villadge in winter = Shutterstock

Shirakawago Villadge in winter = Shutterstock

Shirakawa-go is a small village in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It is known for its traditional gassho-zukuri houses. This gassho-zukuri house was built several hundred years ago by a farmer in a heavy snowfall area to protect himself. It is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shirakawa-go has museums and cultural centers that showcase the history and lifestyle of the people who have lived in Shirakawa-go over the centuries. You can learn about traditional farming and weaving techniques, as well as the daily life of the villagers. In addition, there are many opportunities to taste local foods and drinks such as soba, sake, and Hida beef.

There are also hot springs, camping grounds, ski resorts, and lodging facilities that make the most of nature. Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, or take a leisurely stroll through the village and soak up the peaceful atmosphere and charming scenery. By the way, you can overlook the village from the “castle tower observatory” of Shiroyama castle tower.

People still live in Shirakawa-go, and its value lies in the fact that it is used as a place for real life. Visiting hours are from 8:00 to 17:00, except during the illumination period. Please observe the manners when visiting.
There is also a gassho-zukuri building where you can stay overnight. For details, please check this site (reservations are possible).

There is no train station around Shirakawa-go, so please use a bus or taxi to get there. It takes about 2 hours by highway bus from Nagoya, and about 1.5 hours by highway bus from Kanazawa/Toyama. It is advisable to book tickets in advance during peak travel seasons such as winter and spring.

>>Check out Shirakawago’s tour menu and discount passes here!



Takayama in Gifu Prefecture

Takayama in Gifu Prefecture

Located in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, Takayama is a popular destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in Japanese history and picturesque scenery. Here, you can get a glimpse of traditional Japanese architecture and lifestyle, and experience the rich Japanese culture.

One of the charms of Takayama is the beautifully preserved old townscape called “Sanchosuji.” You can stroll through the narrow streets lined with traditional wooden houses and shops dating back to the Edo period. The unique architectural style with its steep roof and latticed windows creates a timeless and nostalgic atmosphere. Strolling through the old streets, you can feel the atmosphere of ancient Japan and discover local crafts, traditional sake breweries, and delicious local cuisine. Walking around the city is recommended, but if you ride a rickshaw, you can learn about the attractions of Takayama from the rickshaw driver.

Takayama is also famous as a town of festivals, and the “Takayama Festival” is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. Held in spring and autumn, the festival features elaborately decorated floats parading through the streets accompanied by traditional music and performances. Vibrant colors and a lively atmosphere make it an engaging experience for locals and tourists alike.

Nature lovers will be fascinated by the natural beauty of high mountains. Takayama is surrounded by the Hida Mountains and offers beautiful scenery, hiking trails and hot springs.

>>If you want to know the tour menu of Takayama, click here!



Magome and Tsumago where the image of post towns in the Edo period are left = Shutterstock 1

Magome and Tsumago where the image of post towns in the Edo period are left = Shutterstock

Magome-juku is a historic post town in Gifu prefecture. During the Edo period, it was an important rest stop on the Nakasendo road that connected Kyoto and Edo. Today, Magome-juku offers a glimpse into Japan’s past with its well-preserved buildings and charming atmosphere.

One of the great attractions of Magome-juku is its traditional townscape. Many of the townscapes lined with wooden buildings have been refurbished into shops, cafes, and inns. As you walk through the narrow alleys, you can admire the unique architecture and feel the life of the Edo period. The cobbled streets and sloping terrain add to the nostalgic charm.

In Magome-juku, you can also enjoy walking and hiking while enjoying the scenery. Located in the Kiso Valley, Magome-juku is a beautiful town surrounded by rich mountains and untouched nature. The road connecting Magome-juku in Gifu and Tsumago-juku in Nagano is a popular hiking course with a total length of 9km. About 3 hours on foot. You can enjoy the splendid scenery and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside.

Various events and festivals are held throughout the year in Magome-juku to introduce traditional performing arts, music, and performances. You can gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture through traditional dances, concerts, tea ceremonies, and more.

To access Magome-juku, take the train from major cities such as Tokyo and Nagoya to Nakatsugawa Station. From Nakatsugawa Station, take a bus or taxi.

In Magome-juku, you can have a fun time as if you slipped back in time. You can get a glimpse of Japan’s rich history and culture, and it’s sure to leave an impression.

>>If you want to know the tour menu of Magome, click here!


Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

shinhotaka ropeway

The Shinhotaka Ropeway is located in Okuhida Onsengo/Shinhotaka Onsen, in the hinterlands of Takayama City. Please enjoy the 3,200m long sky trip from the starting point, Shin-Hotaka Onsen Station, to the final point, Nishi-Hotakaguchi Station, by taking the No. 1 and No. 2 Ropeways.

Nishihotakaguchi Station is located at an altitude of 2,156m. The view from the observatory on the roof of the station is superb. A 360-degree panoramic view of the Northern Alps mountains such as Mt. Nishihotaka, Mt. Yarigatake, and Mt. Kasagatake. The majestic view was listed as two stars in the “Michelin Green Guide Japan”. In July 2020, the gondola and station facilities were also renewed, making it even more fun and comfortable.

There are also various seasonal events such as starry sky and sunset viewing, snow play and snowshoe tours.

>>Check out Shinhotaka ropeway’s tour menu and discount passes here!



Thank you for reading to the end.
If you want to check the tour menu and deals for the entire Gifu prefecture, click here.


Now, let’s plan to make your vacation in Japan the best experience ever!


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