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Gifu Prefecture

Gifu Prefecture in Tokai DistrictGifu PrefectureGifu Prefecture is an inland prefecture located at the north part of Tokai District.
The area is broad, and it is about 130 km from north to south and about 120 km from east to west.

Most area is mountainous, and especially the northeastern prefectural border is on Northern Alps with some 3,000-meter mountains.
The flat land is along the southern prefectural border, and it is at the lower reach of Kiso River, Nagara River and several main rivers.

The southern half of the prefecture is called Mino area, and the northern area is called Hida area.

In Mino area, there are Gifu city, the prefectural capital, and some other cities.
It is hot in summer and it is cold in winter. Tajimi city has the record of the Japan's highest temperature 40.9 degrees C (2007).

Hida area is in the mountains, and the main city is Takayama.
The altitude is high, so it is relatively cool in summer and it is cold in winter. But the high temperature sometimes reaches 35 degrees C in summer.

Gifu Prefecture has no airport.
And Tokaido Shinkansen runs through near the southwest corner of the prefecture. There is Gifu-Hashima station, but it takes about 40 minutes to go Gifu city by local train.

So we usually use JR train or Meitetsu train to visit the prefecture from Nagoya.
To Takayama or Gujo in Hida area, we can use the express bus from Nagoya or Gifu.

Gifu tour guide : Gifu Prefecture Tourist Federation official website

The climate in Gifu city
Highest Temperature (deg C) 8.8 10.0 13.7 19.8 24.2 27.4 31.0 33.0 28.8 23.1 17.2 11.6
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 0.5 0.9 3.9 9.3 14.2 19.0 23.0 24.3 20.4 13.8 7.7 2.7
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 67 82 143 161 205 245 262 149 237 126 93 58

The climate in Takayama
Highest Temperature (deg C) 3.0 4.2 9.1 16.9 22.3 25.7 29.0 30.7 25.6 19.2 12.7 6.2
Lowest Temperature (deg C) -5.1 -5.2 -2.0 3.2 9.0 14.6 18.9 19.7 15.7 8.5 2.4 -2.1
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 97 99 123 119 137 172 231 165 236 134 99 88

Tourist spots in Gifu Prefecture

Gifu prefecture map

Gifu city /1/
Gero hot spring resort /2/
Takayama city /3/
Oku-Hida hot spring resorts /4/
Shirakawa-go historic village /5/
Gujo-Hachiman town /6/
Usuzumi-zakura old cherry tree /7/
Mount Ibuki /8/
Yoro Falls /9/
Tsumago and Magome post stations /10/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Gifu Prefecture

Takayama FestivalTakayama Festival (April 14, 15th and October 9, 10th)

Takayama Festival is held in Takayama city, and has two individual festivals.
San'no Festival (the annual festival of Hie Shrine) is held in April, and Hachiman Festival (the annual festival of Sakurayama-Hachimanguu shrine) is held in October.
In both festivals, about a dozen beautiful and gorgeous floats are pulled throughout the city. They are called "moving Youmeimon gate (in Nikko Toshoguu shrine)".
These beautiful floats are registered as a cultural property, so the parade isn't done when it rains or looks like rain.
Takayama Festival is one of the three major beautiful festivals, along with Gion Festival in Kyoto and Chichibu Night Festival in Saitama Prefecture.

Gujo OdoriGujo Odori (32 days between mid-July and early September)

It is the great Bon festival dance held in Gujo city. This festival has been held since medieval times. "Odori" means "dance".
Every year, the dance is held in the evening at the 32 days in the period. And during the Bon (Obon) period (August 13-16th), the dance is held all night.
Gujo Odori is danced to the music called Gujo-bushi. The musicians play Gujo-bushi on a float, and many dancers dance in a circle around the float.
The dance is easy, so many visitors join the dance.

Ukai on Nagara RiverUkai in Nagara River (From May 11th to October 15th)

Ukai is a traditonal fishing method that fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers.
Cormorant swallows a fish down without scratching, and the fisherman has the cormorant bring up. The fish is very fresh surprisingly.
But the fishing method is inefficient, so it is done as a traditional show in only some rivers in Japan now.
Ukai in Nagara River has been held for about 1,300 years, and it is most famous in Japan.
Especially the fishermen of Nagara River are the members of Imperial Household Agency, and the caught fish are dedicated to the Emperor several times per year.

Local foods and products in Gifu Prefecture


The water in Takayama area is hard, so it is unfit for miso soup.
Instead of miso soup, the dish cooking without water after mixing some ingredients with miso was created.
Chopped negi (green onion), mashrooms and wild plants are mixed with miso on a hooba (leaf of Japanese bigleaf magnolia), and they are broiled.
Now miso soup has been served in any ryokans and restaurants by using water filter, and hooba-miso has been a local dish.
Recently meats and vegitables are often added to it for visitors.

Takayama ramenTakayama ramen

Soba is Japanese buckwheat noodle, but in Takayama, "soba" means "Takayama ramen". Another name is "Chuuka soba" (Chinese noodle).
Takayama ramen uses thin and curly noodle. And the process of soup is unique.
Generally ramen soup is made by boiling the bones of pork or chicken and vegitable and straining them. And before the ramen is served, the soup is seasoned with shoyu (soy sauce) or miso in the ramen bowl and the boiled noodle is put into there.
In Takayama ramen, shoyu is added when the original soup is made. Miso is not used.

Hida beefHida beef

Hida beef is the beef producing in Hida area.
It is one of the tasty beefs in Japan, of course, only the highest ranks among the beefs in Hida area are given the name of "Hida beef".
The beef is marbling and soft.
In 1981, Gifu Prefecture bought a good beef cattle from Tajima area, one of the excellent beef producing centers in Japan.
And the offspring of the cattle fed in Hida area has produced the tasty beef.

Mino paperMino-washi Japanese paper

Mino-washi is the traditional Japanese paper, and it has been produced around Mino city to the northeast of Gifu city.
The paper was used as the paper for family registration in the early 8th century. It is one of the Japan's oldest paper.
It is thin and strong, so it has been used for various purpose such as recording, paper sliding-door or paper lantern.

Gifu umbrellaGifu umbrella

It is a traditional umbrella made in Kanou district in Gifu city.
The umbrella has been produced since the 17th century, and Mino-washi and bamboo are used to make the umbrella.
An umbrella is made by more than a dozen workers, and the number of the processes is over 100.
It takes a few months to complete an umbrella.

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