Located in central Japan, and with easy access from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Gifu is home to stunning natural sites that have been preserved for centuries offering a range of outdoor gems and cultural experiences for travellers to explore.
Start with Old Nakasendo Road on the South-East corner of Gifu, it’s steeped in medieval history and home to a large portion of the road that connected Tokyo with Kyoto in the Edo Period. Explore remnants of the original cobblestone and pass through forests and valleys, stopping at waterfalls, historical sites, and terraced rice paddies.
Mt. Norikura is part of the Northern Japan Alps that sit on the border of Gifu Prefecture, and offer visitors stunning mountain vistas, exquisite hot spring valleys and many climbing routes to explore. The imposing Mt. Norikura reaches 3,026 metres above sea level and is home to the highest road in Japan – the Norikura Skyline.
Hida Osaka Falls is located at the foot of the live volcano Mt. Ontake that forms part of Gero City. It is home to 216 waterfalls stretching over 5 metres tall, as well as 14 hiking trails. A selection of tours and guided walks can be booked to gain a first-hand experience or stay a night or two in neighbouring Gero City; home to one of the three most famous hot springs in Japan.
To finish, explore the mystical forests of Goshikigahara that contain 3,000 hectares of forest sprawled across the southern end of Chūbu Sangaku National Park. This unspoiled haven is home to an abundance of wildlife, flowing mountain streams and waterfalls to enjoy. There are several walking treks including the Kamoshika (antelope) course that connects seven waterfalls, the Shirabiso (silver fir tree) course that meanders through a landscape of water and mossy rocks, and the Gosuwara (lava plateau) course that traverses the primeval forest. Get going, there’s lots to see and do!
Gifu Station can be reached via the Tokaido Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo Station. Tokyo is about 2 hours away, while Nagoya is a short 20 minutes.
Hikes at several of the locations. Most are relatively short but can prove challenging to the everyday adventurer. Particularly the Kamoshika at Goshikigahara.