Gifu Prefecture is a famous destination because of the village of Shirakawa-go. But did you know that Gifu has a lot more to offer other than this World Heritage Site?
Gifu City, the prefecture capital, can show you more of Japan’s historical and interesting places. The good thing about these spots is that it will only take you one full day to visit them all. Here is a list of places you would not want to miss in the area!
Gifu Castle, located on top of Mt. Kinka, was the former residence of the famous warlords and great commanders, Saito Dosan and Oda Nobunaga. Inside the castle, you will see the remnants of their armors and weapons, as well as their figures and stories.
There are two ways to reach this castle: first is the easy way, which is the ropeway, and second is the healthy and adventurous way, which is via hiking. If you choose to hike, you need not worry even if you’re alone because there are signboards that will guide you with the directions you should take and how far away you are from your destination.
Furthermore, if you hike, you will be able to pass by other prominent features surrounding the castle such as the Tenka Daiichi-no-mon Gate, the Military Well, the Daimyo-dokei or the Wa-dokei (Castle Clock), and the Honmaru Well. The Gifu Castle Archives Museum is also located near the castle’s standpoint.
Inside the castle, you will be able to see a panoramic view of the city, overlooking the mountains on one side and the famous Nagara River on the other.
Hiking to the castle and roaming around can easily be tiring so you can go back down using the ropeway, which can be a thrilling experience.
While waiting for the ropeway, you can play with the adorable squirrels at the Squirrel Village. You may feed and touch them while wearing protective gloves but be careful not to harm them. So cute!
If you feel like taking a short break from your adventure, you can rest for a while in Gifu Park after descending from Mt. Kinka. This park is known to have fantastic views during the fall and spring seasons.
The park’s main landmark is the three-story pagoda. It is also home to other attractions like the Nawa Insect Museum, the Gifu City Museum of History, as well as the Kato Eizo & Toichi Memorial Art Museum.
A short distance from Gifu Park is Shoho-ji Temple where the Gifu Great Buddha rests. Measuring 13.7 meters tall, it is one of the great Buddha statues in Japan and is a designated Important Cultural Asset of Gifu.
If you happen to take your trip to Gifu City just before the spring season, you can drop by Bairin Park and be mesmerized by the beautiful colors of plum blossoms. The park contains more than a thousand plum trees, making you feel as if you’re in another world. The full bloom of the plum trees usually occurs around February to March.
It’s always a great experience to learn and explore other attractions, not just the most famous ones, for you to have a better appreciation of the country you are visiting. And it’s a lot better if you need not spend all your time in just one place. So visit Gifu City now!