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Gifu City- Smack in the Center of Japan

This video is titled “Gifu City Promotional Video [Original Version],” and is produced by "Gifu City Official Channel."
Gifu City, Gifu in the Tokai region of Japan, is located in pretty much the dead center of Japan.
Therefore, the city is sometimes referred to as “the belly of Japan.”
Being the capital of Gifu Prefecture, the city is full of tourist spots, such as the clear Nagara River flowing through the city center, and the verdant Mt. Kinka.

Gifu has many traditional crafts, including Gifu Wagasa (Japanese umbrellas), Gifu Chochin (lanterns) and Gifu Uchiwa (fans).
These crafts have helped the everyday life of locals and are perfect for souvenirs!
It's only about 18 minutes from Nagoya City on the JR Tokaido Line, and with easy access to the city, it's become popular in recent years as a good spot for domestic travel.

This article introduces the tourist spots, traditional events and food in Gifu.
Enjoy famous tourist spots in Gifu to your hearts content. Be sure to follow along with the video!

Recommended Tourist Destinations in Gifu

Image of Mt. Kinka
Photo:Mt. Kinka (金華山, kinkazan)

Gifu has many scenic spots and popular places like Mt. Kinka (金華山, kinkazan), Nagara River (長良川, nagaragawa), Gifu Castle (岐阜城, gifujo), also known as Inabayama Castle (稲葉山城, Inabayamajo), Nagaragawa Ukai (cormorant fishing), latticework architectures, and the Great Buddha Hall of Shohoji Temple (正法寺, shohoji), and many more.
The Gifu Great Buddha here is known as one of the "Three Great Buddha" of Japan.
The Gifu Great Buddha appears at 2:56 in the video. You can feel the godliness of his gentle stare, as if he was smiling down at you, just by watching the video.

A lot of events and festivals, such as the firework festival at Nagara River, Tejikara Fire Festival, Gifu Half Marathon, Dairyuji Lantern Festival and Ayu-kuyou are also held here, and the city is attracting an increasing number of both domestic and overseas tourists.

The footage of the Tejikara Fire Festival starts at 3:37 in the video. You can see a spectacular pillar of flame spread across your screen!

The History and Traditional Ceremonies of Gifu

Image of Nagaragawa Ukai
Photo:Nagaragawa Ukai

At Nagara River in Gifu, the 1300-year-old Nagaragawa Ukai is held.
During the evening, fishermen in traditional garments climb aboard boats with fishing fires and fish sweetfish in the clear river.
Nagara River appears at 0:31 in the video. You can see the beauty of the river through the footage.

Gifu has played an important role in connecting Kyoto and Nagoya (Owari) since ancient times, and the city developed as the Rakuichi Rakuza market was established in the city center during the Azuchi Momoyama period (1573 – 1598 AD).
The market was a part of the economic policies made by Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the aim of revitalizing the economy by opening a market in the castle town of Gifu and reducing taxes.
Oda Nobunaga, one of the most famous warriors of the Sengoku period, appears with Gifu Castle at 0:56 in the video.
Thanks to the success of the market, many historical sites, post-towns and red-light districts appeared around Gifu, and you can still see geisha and geiko, a reminder of the prosperity of those days.

The Azuchi Momoyama period is an important turning point in the history of Japan, with the relationship between samurai and townspeople, the Rakuichi-Rakuza market system is said to have become a model for the economic policies that brought about the era of peace in the Edo period (1603 – 1868 AD).

Local Food in Gifu

Image of Hida beef
Photo:Hida beef

Gifu is also renowned for its hot springs.
Gifu Grand Hotel in the city center has a hot spring facility, and similar inns and hotels with hot spring facilities are dotted around Gifu Station.
The footage of the relaxing hot spring facility starts at 3:52 in the video.

When it comes to food in Gifu, Hida beef is something you have to try.
Tourists can enjoy Japanese cuisine using ingredients from the local mountains, including Hida beef steak/hot pot, sweetfish dishes and Botan nabe in Gifu.

Summary of Sightseeing in Gifu

Located in deep mountains, the large city of Gifu is surrounded by a rich natural landscape.
The video shows a lot of tourist spots that we weren't able to cover in the video.
Please enjoy the attractive city of Gifu city, in Gifu Prefecture, through the video!

As Gifu is located near Nagoya, be it as a stepping stone in your trip to Nagoya or your main destination, definitely come visit Gifu and experience delicious food, history, culture, and beautiful scenery!

【Official Website】Website of the Gifu City Office

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
Gifu City in Gifu Prefecture, the Very Center of Japan- Where Oda Nobunaga Aimed to Unify the Country. A City With a Wide Variety of Food, History, Culture and Beautiful Natural Scenery!
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