GIFU

The heart of Japan awaits your discovery

Discover

GIFU

The heart of Japan awaits your discovery

Discover

GIFU

The heart of Japan awaits your discovery

Discover

GIFU

The heart of Japan awaits your discovery

Discover

GIFU

The heart of Japan awaits your discovery

Discover

Getting There

Gifu Map
About Gifu

About Gifu Prefecture

Gifu Prefecture—the literal and metaphorical heart of Japan. Connecting Japan’s east and west via the Nakasendo trade route, Gifu’s position has given rise to a rich diversity of traditions still preserved to this day, awaiting your discovery. Gifu's most iconic sights are the historic village of Shirakawa-go—the UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its unique gassho-zukuri thatched roofs—and Takayama, with its open-air folk museum and historic Sanmachi Suji district. Gifu is also renowned for its crafts, still practiced in the cities and towns that originated them: Tajimi and its neighboring cities for its ceramics, Mino city for its washi paper, Seki for cutlery and sword making, Gujo Hachiman for indigo dyeing, Hida-Takayama and Ogaki for their woodworking. After having their fill of the country’s metropolises and former capitals, more and more travelers feel the irresistible pull of Japan’s heartland. Far from the soaring skyscrapers and grand temples, you too can find the quiet elegance of Japan waiting for you in Gifu.

Gifu's Ceramics

The former Mino Province, now southern Gifu Prefecture, gives its name to Mino ware ceramics (Mino-yaki in Japanese), a distinctive style with strong elements of ‘wabi-sabi’ that holds high importance in tea ceremony culture. Visitors to the area can see various sub-styles such as shino, oribe, setoguro, and ki-seto.

Gifu's Japanese Paper (Washi Paper)

Mino washi paper is still made by hand in rural Gifu, a painstaking process fortunately preserved by a few dedicated artisans. This strong, beautiful, and always unique paper is central to so much of the Japanese aesthetic, from paper lanterns to sliding doors, Mino washi was once everywhere and supported this entire region with its industry.

Gifu's Blades and Knives

Gifu Prefecture is one of the few places you can still see Japanese swordsmiths at work, and Seki City is renowned for them, along with the high-quality sports knives and cutlery that the city produces. Whether in the city or hidden away in the countryside, visiting a forge or workshop is one of the most memorable experiences you can have in Japan.

Gifu's Indigo Dyeing

First developed in the castle town of Gujo Hachiman during the Edo period (1603 – 1868), traditional Gujo-Honzome indigo dyeing techniques have been handed down for generations. Artisans immerse textiles in a fermented indigo grass mix, matured with lye, quicklime and other ingredients. The workplace and tools used in this process are registered as Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties.

Gifu's Woodcraft

Gifu is also heavily wooded, and the Hida and Ogaki regions are both known for producing artisanal woodwork from this abundant natural resource—from elegant furnishings that grace the most discerning houses, to humble wooden sake cups that add the distinct hint of cedar to drinks across the country.

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