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Central Honshu Kansai Tokyo Tokyo Vicinity Western Japan
Gifu l Ishikawa l Nagano l Nagoya

Gifu Next

The Gifu prefecture is mostly made up of mountains, with the exception of the plains around Gifu city. This prefecture can be divided into two areas: north and south. Gifu and Inuyama are the two main attractions in the south. Most of Gifu prefecture's major attractions are located in the north, with towns such as Takayama and the Shokawa Valley Region to capture one's interests.


Gifu city has long been noted for its traditional cormorant fishing (ukai) on the Nagara River from May 11 to October 15. Boats depart every night except full moon nights and when the water is too muddy from heavy rain. Tamed cormorants wear a cord around their necks, and dive into the waters to catch ayu or river smelt. The cord prevents the birds from swallowing the catch. Excursion boats, gaily illuminated with paper lanterns, are available for hire to follow the fishing craft for a better view.

To reach Gifu, take the Meitetsu Nagoya line from Nagoya station. The JR Tokaido line will also get you to Gifu.


Like Gifu, cormorant fishing can also be found in Inuyama, which takes place near Inuyama-yuen station at Inuyama-bashi Bridge. The other attractions include the castles and river running. Visitors can also make a trip to the nearby attractions around Inuyama. Meitetsu Inuyama line connects Inuyama to Nagoya station.

Inuyama-jo Castle

The castle with its riverside setting does make for an interesting sight. Dating back to 1440, it is Japan's oldest castle and is still preserved in its original form. As it was in the hands of the Narusune family since 1618, it is also Japan's only privately owned castle.

Uraku-en Garden

This beautiful garden, located nearby, is worth a visit for its serene beauty and 370 year old Jo-an teahouse. The teahouse, rated as one of Japan's finest, was built in 1618 in Kyoto by Oda Urakusai. Urakusai was a well-known tea master who founded his own tea ceremony school.

Meiji-mura Village Museum

Located 20 minutes by bus from Inuyama, the Village Museum houses more than 60 Meiji era buildings that were brought together from all over Japan. A clash of architectural styles, both Western and Japanese, presents to us the disagreements that arose during the Meiji period. It was a period when Japan sought to change itself into a unified modern nation, as well as an international power.

Ogata-jinja Shrine / Tagata-jinja Shrine

Dedicated to the female Shinto deity, Izanami, the Ogata-jinja Shrine attracts women devotees who seek marriage or the birth of a child. This shrine also holds the Hime-no-Miya Grand Festival, which takes place every first Sunday in March. The festival is a prayer for good harvests and prosperity. Ogata-jinja is a 15 minute walk east of Gakuden station on the Meitetsu Komaki line.

The Tagata-jinja Shrine, on the other hand, is dedicated to the male Shinto deity, Izanagi. On March 15, the Tagata Honen Sai festival takes place at the Tagata-jinja Shrine. Tagata-jinja is located at Tagata-jinja station on the Meitetsu Komaki line.

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