Gifu offers a treasure trove of traditional crafts and majestic landscapes
Rugby World Cup 2019 Travel Guide: Gifu
At a height of 329 metres, Gifu Castle sits on the very top of Mount Kinka overlooking the city and the Nagara River below. There are different hiking trails to reach the top of the mountain that take around an hour, or you can use the Mount Kinka Ropeway (cable car).
As well as exploring the well-preserved historical districts and castles in the Gifu Prefecture, take the time to see ancient Japanese traditions and crafts in action. Gifu is home to a number of these, including Mino washi papermaking and Mino ceramic ware, a traditional style of pottery; they are both crafts that have been continued for more than 1,300 years.
Feel the heat and see sparks fly as you watch traditional katana swordsmithing up close at Cutler Sanshu in the town of Seki. Or craft your very own samurai knife utilising traditional katana swordsmithing techniques at Asano Kajiya in Hashima.
With an abundance of local specialties available to eat, such as Hida beef, ayu sweetfish and gohei mochi (a sweet, regional variety of mochi), you won’t leave Gifu hungry. And if you are thirsty, you can try some delicious sake from one of the 50 breweries that are located in Gifu because of the pristine rivers that flow through the prefecture.
WORLD CUP VISIT
Gifu is not a Japan 2019 host venue but is conveniently located next to the Aichi Prefecture, where four matches are being staged at the City of Toyota Stadium – Wales v Georgia, South Africa v Namibia, Japan v Samoa and New Zealand v Italy. So it’s an ideal stop-off between fixtures.
Related: Rugby World Cup 2019 venues
Gifu is just 20 minutes by train from Nagoya, Aichi’s capital
DID YOU KNOW?
Seki, often considered one of the ‘Blade Capitals of the World’ along with England’s Sheffield and Germany’s Solingen, reigns in Japan for domestic sales of hair-cutting blades, utility knives and kitchen knives (market shares are 83%, 59% and 55% respectively).
Meitetsu Bus offer packages that allow unlimited travel on certain highway bus routes, so you would save up to 50% on normal fares.