Gifu City might be under-rated in Japan as a destination for tourists but not until recently.
Many people have actually been to Gifu without visiting the city as other attractions in the prefectures are more well known than this charming city, namely Takayama, Shirakawa-Go, Gero Onsen etc.
I took a trip to Gifu City in the summer from Nagoya to explore the city and found three interesting sights worth seeing.
No.1 Ukai – Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River
1,300 years old fishing method to catch fishes with cormorants, managed by experienced fish masters. Performed in the dark, with fire lighted up the fishing boat, Ukai is definitely an experience not to be missed.
No.2 – Sho-ho Ji Gifu Great Buddha
One of Japan’s three Great Buddha Statue, and the largest Buddha statue made with lacquer in Japan, Gifu Great Buddha is made with a large ginkgo tree as a base. The kind expression of the Buddha set in a calming nature, presents a very peaceful moment when you enter into the temple.
No.3 – Kawaramachi Old Town
Once a riverside port town, Kawaramachi remains its charm with lattice shop houses and narrow winding cobble stoned streets. Tea houses and Gifu’s local produces like roasted ayu sweetfish, Gifu uchiwa fans are made available in this town.
Gifu Castle is another key sight in the city however due to my visits to other bigger castles in Japan I don’t find Gifu Castle impressive. However, the trek in the park where the castle is located is worth taking.
Access from Nagoya – Gifu
JR and Meitetsu trains provide frequent services to Gifu from Nagoya daily.
Find out more on Gifu.