Lord Nobunaga's spirit of hospitality still lives on
in the Sengoku castle town of Gifu
Located almost in the center of Japan and in the southern part of Gifu Prefecture, famous for Takayama and Shirakawa-go, Gifu is a city 20 minutes away by train from Nagoya . Gifu Castle stands on top of Mt. Kinka, the mountain soaring up in the middle of Gifu. You can feel the ancient atmosphere of the times when Oda Nobunaga based himself in this castle during the Sengoku period and fought his way through to bring the whole country under one rule. Gifu is deeply connected to Oda Nobunaga, and the city was designated as a piece of Japan's Heritage under the title An Ancient Castle Town with the Spirit of Nobunaga’sHospitality. During the Sengoku period, Nobunaga, who based himself at Gifu Castle and aimed to unify the country, certainly did wage war. But he was also focused on creating a welcoming atmosphere across the entire castle town area by adding unique charm to his military base through the building of a palace inside the castle. Additionally, Nobunaga protected the cormorant fishermen of the Nagara River and was said to have entertained important guests who visited Gifu with ukai (cormorant fishing). The spirit of Nobunaga's hospitality still lives on in Gifu, and there are sake breweries producing sake named after Nobunaga. Why not visit the sake breweries treading in the footsteps of Nobunaga?
Kawara, where machiya-style buildings have stood for centuries, was once a bustling hub of river-borne commerce. You can experience that rich atmosphere for yourself by trying on antique kimono, snacking at a café in an old private home (newly renovated), or just strolling the streets. You’ll also find a broad selection of popular Gifu souvenirs, including local sake, traditional craft items like Japanese-style parasols, and famous “ayugashi” cakes modelled after the river sweetfish.
The golden Nobunaga statue
The golden Nobunaga statue was a gift to commemorate Gifu City's 120th anniversary of its becoming a municipality. It is a landmark in front of Gifu Station.
Nagara River ukai
Cormorant fishing which had been protected by Nobunaga to entertain the important guests who visited, is now a piece of nationally designated important intangible folk-cultural property.
Sake breweries in this region
Nihon-Izumi BreweryGifu-shi, Gifu058-271-3218
Shiraki Tsunesuke ShotenGifu-shi, Gifu0120-735-373