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Gifu PrefecturePage: 1/2

A day trip to visit major tourist spots in Takayama & Shirakawa 《Special article to explore Chubu & Hokuriku areas from Shinjuku by express bus 2/3》

Hida is an area located close to the heart of the Japan islands. Surrounding the area from the east and the west are beautiful high mountains and from the south to the north, canyons with a river also surround the area. Takayama City in Gifu prefecture, which is located at the center of the area (“Takayama” for short) is a historical castle town that flourished nearly 400 years ago. Classical townscape with historical atmosphere is still preserved in these days.



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On this trip I enjoyed the beautiful tourist spot of Magome-juku in the Kiso valley of Gifu prefecture. The towns Feudal-era buildings and inns have been well preserved since the Edo era.

Gifu Prefecture, Hida-Furukawa - Three Temples Pilgrimage

Every year on January 15th, people make a pilgrimage to three temples in Hida-Furukawa: Enko-ji, Shinshu-ji, and Honkou-ji.
The three temples feature large Japanese candles, and the main streets of town are lined with giant 2-meter-tall snow candles.
Many women go out wearing gorgeous kimono for this event.
At night, the “Thousand Candles” event is held along the Seto River. People come and light white candles to pray for love.
And, if their prayers come true, the following year they come back and light a red candle.
Tourists are also free to join in the event.

Gifu Prefecture – Spring Takayama Festival (Sannou Festival)

Hidetakayama is a place which still retains the essence of old Japan, and it is also a popular tourist location. A major event in the area is the Takayama Festival.
Takayama Festival is the general term for the “Sannou Festival,” held in spring, and the “Hachiman Festival” held in autumn. The spring Takayama Festival (Sannou Festival) has been held annually at Hie Shrine since long ago. The Sannou Festival is a traditional festival, beloved by the people, that is held to announce the arrival of spring.

Shirakawa-go (Historic Village)

Shirakawa-go, a beautiful area where traditional Japanese scenery still exists, is home to the largest number of still-standing traditional “gassho-zukuri” Japanese homes. As of 2016, there are around 100 buildings still standing, both large and small. It is the largest remaining historic settlement in Japan, and it is preserved as a Group of Traditional Buildings in the register of Cultural Properties of Japan.
In 1995, Shirakawa-go was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site, under the classification of “outstanding examples of traditional human settlements that are perfectly adapted to their environment and their social and economic raison d’être,” that “…preserves both the spiritual and the material evidence of [its] long history.”

Takayama Furui Machinami Lantern Lighting

In the clear and quiet winter air, lanterns illuminate this historical town in Takayama.
Visitors during the event can enjoy a taste of sweet sake and borrow hand lanterns and Japanese-style umbrellas as they take in the elegant scenery.
※Visitors can also take commemorative photographs on rickshaws during the event period.