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Gifu Guide

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Gifu Attractions | Gifu Access | Gifu Video

Gifu 岐阜

Gifu Castle, Gifu City.
  • Situated 30km north of Nagoya
  • Known for its castle on the historic Nakasendo highway
  • Population: 400,000
  • Famous for its comorant fishing and paper products
  • Easy to navigate on foot, rental bicycle or bus
  • Town has excellent museums
  • Number one attraction is Gifu Castle
  • Easy day trip from Nagoya

Gifu is a pleasant, relaxing town only 30 minutes by train from Nagoya. The administrative capital of Gifu prefecture, the town was devastated by an earthquake in 1891 and again later in World War II, but has been rebuilt and its historic buildings carefully restored.

Gifu Castle (Tel: 058 263 4853), in Gifu Park, is located on the summit of the 300m-high Mount Kinka and was previously known as Inabayama Castle. Gifu Castle is associated with the life of local Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), who strengthened the castle's fortifications and renamed the fortress after moving his power base from Kiyosu Castle to the south.

Present-day Gifu Castle dates from the 1950s and exhibits collections of Edo Period armor and weapons. There are spectacular views from the top observation deck over the Nagara River below. A small museum below the castle contains musical instruments and other period artifacts and is included in the price of admission.

There's a restaurant with excellent views, beer and food just up from the ropeway station at the top of the mountain.

Gifu Castle, Gifu.Gifu Castle, Mt Kinka, Gifu, Japan.

Gifu Castle was reconstructed in 1956

Gifu Castle keep on the summit of Mt. Kinka, Gifu.

Gifu Castle keep on the summit of Mt. Kinka

North of the Nagara River there is a pleasant riverside park with a roller-blading space and a memorial to marathon runner Takahashi Naoko (aka Q-chan), one of Gifu's most famous daughters who won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the women's marathon. Also of interest is nearby Sofukuji Temple (Tel: 058 231 2613), which is associated with Nobunaga Oda and his family.

The riverside park on the north bank is a good location to watch the large fireworks displays held on the Nagara River on the last Saturday in July and the first Saturday in August. Both events draw hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The Nagara River Park Tejikara Fire Festival is held on the second Saturday in August and also the second Saturday of April at Tejikarao Shrine (Access from Tejikara Station on the Meitetsu-Kamigahara Line).

Nawa Insect Museum, Gifu City.

Gifu has a long history of paper production and is well-known for its high quality paper umbrellas and paper lanterns.

There are a number of shops selling Gifu's signature goods in the shopping arcades north of Gifu JR Station around Kogane Shrine and on Yanagase Street.

Other places off interest in the city are Bairin Park, which is famous for plum blossoms and has an excellent, traditional noodle restaurant nearby.

South of JR Gifu Station are the remains of Kano Castle, Kano Tenmangu Shrine and the Gifu Museum of Fine Arts (Tel: 058 271 1313) near Gifu Library.

Heartful Square Peace Room

A room not only dedicated to the citizens of Gifu who were killed during the later stages of World War Two but also to the promotion of peace. The Heartful Square Peace Room contains graphic images of the devastation caused by war and some interesting artifacts from the period. At the front of the room peace scarves, banners and flags are dedicated to promoting international peace. From Gifu JR station pass through the main ticket barrier; go past the Gifu Tourism Office and proceed to the adjacent building, take the right hand passage way by the stage and follow it until you reach the peace room.

Heartful Square Peace Room, Gifu.

Heartful Square Peace Room, Gifu

Eating & Drinking in Gifu

If you are looking for Indian food in Gifu with vegetarian options, Indo Dining Himalaya (Tel: 0582 32 0312) comes recommended. The restaurant is located at Noritake 428-40, Dai Ni Kawa, Kita Plaza 101.

The Bier Hall

The Bier Hall has been popular with expats and locals alike for over twenty years. Run by a friendly couple it has reasonably priced beer and offers good bar meals.
Location: Five minute walk north of JR Gifu station.
Beer garden: a beer garden is open during July and August underneath the tower building a few minutes' walk on the concourse from JR Gifu station.

Much of Gifu's nightlife is centered on one street, Kinkabashi Dori, running north from Gifu Station up to Takashimaya department store from the Comfort Hotel Gifu. There are a number of traditional Japanese eateries plus foreign-style pubs and bars.

Gifu Station Square, Gifu.

Gifu Station Square

Gifu Tourist Information

Gifu Tourist Information Office (Tel: 058 262 4415) is on the 2nd floor of the JR station building. Open daily from 9am-7pm (closes at 6pm from December to February), information is available in English, Korean, French and Chinese. English speaking staff.

Gifu Convention and Visitors Bureau (Tel: 058 263 7291) is next to the Gifu City Hall South Office.

Hotels in Gifu City

Gifu city has a cluster of 3 and 2 star hotels around Gifu JR Station and Gifu Meitetsu Station. For more luxury head north nearer to Gifu Castle and the Gifu Miyako Hotel.

Gifu JR Station, Japan.Gifu JR Station.

Gifu Access


Kawaramachi, Gifu.

Chubu International Airport is the nearest airport to Gifu. There are direct connecting trains on the Meitetsu Centrair service (55 minutes).


Gifu is 30km north from Nagoya. By Tokaido Shinkansen, Nagoya is 52 minutes from Osaka and 1 hour 40 minutes from Tokyo.
From Nagoya Station, Gifu is less than 30 minutes by either JR Tokaido Line or the Meitetsu Nagoya Line. From Inuyama, Gifu is also around 30 minutes travel time by Meitetsu train.

Buses To & From Gifu

There are long distance bus services from outside Gifu Station to Tokyo (Shinjuku Station), Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya (every 30 minutes), Gujo Hachiman (1 hour) and Kobe.

Gifu JR Station.Gifu JR Station.

Getting Around Gifu

Gifu's street cars (trams) no longer run, though you can see one preserved in downtown Kogane Park. There are numerous city buses running from the bus station outside the JR station.
Cheap bicycle hire is available from the Tourist Office (Tel: 058 262 4415) on the 2nd floor of the JR station building, Gifu Park, Gifu City Hall (South Office) and the Cormorant Fishing Viewing Boat Office.

Map of Gifu City

View Nagoya & Gifu Map - Aichi & Gifu Prefectures in a larger map

Bicycle rental
Fee: 100 yen/day. Return bicycle to any of the reception points
JR Gifu Station south exit
Gifu City Hall South Office 1F
Gifu General Information Office
Cormorant Fishing Office

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