Five Hours in Gifu City
By TANG Thi Huong. Posted on March 23, 2016
1. Gifu Park
Gifu Park is only 15 minutes by bus from Gifu Station. Lying at the foot of Mt. Kinka, it is where most people start their journey up to Gifu Castle on top of the mountain.
It was still the beginning of March, so I didn’t see a lot of green, but one plum tree in full bloom did tell me that spring was just around the corner!
From here, you can see very clearly white Gifu Castle, rising confidently up in the blue sky. At the park entrance, there are Gifu City Museum of History and Nawa Insect Museum, which I dropped by before going home. Deeper inside the park is Kato Eizo / Toichi Memorial Art Museum, where a collection of the Kato brothers’ works is displayed.
2. Hiking trail to Gifu Castle (Meiso no Komichi)
From Gifu Park, there are two ways to get to the castle: by ropeway or on foot. By ropeway, it takes about four minutes and costs 620 yen (one way). But I preferred sweating a bit, so I decided to take the hiking route. I tried the Meiso no Komichi (Meditation Path), which is the most popular route as well as the simplest.
I really enjoyed climbing up the mountain! I saw squirrels here and there but couldn’t take any photos because they were way too fast!
As you go higher and higher, Gifu City below becomes clearer and clearer. I took this picture during my break.
The whole journey (2,300 m) took me 50 minutes (the pamphlet says 60 minutes). I might have been a little bit over-excited!
3. Gifu Castle
As I arrived, I was welcomed by a huge old-fashioned Japanese clock, built on the ground in front of the castle entrance. That was where I stopped to catch my breath, too!
Admission to Gifu Castle costs 200 yen, which also covers entrance to the nearby Gifu Castle Archives Museum.
The castle is used as a small museum that features the history of Gifu Castle and the Mino Area as well as related historical figures, such as Oda Nobunaga.
The observation deck on the top floor gives a breathtaking view of Nagara River, Nobi Plain, Gifu City and the surrounding mountains.
It was getting dark, so I chose to board the ropeway to go back to the park.
4. Nawa Insect Museum
Some people find some insects “scary,” but I don’t. I find them beautiful and interesting. That was why I was tempted to drop by the Nawa Insect Museum before I left the place!
As I entered this modest-looking museum, I was overwhelmed by hundreds of gorgeous, colorful butterflies. There are also all kinds of beetles, moths, grasshoppers, and other bugs whose names I don't even know, brought here from all over the world. Don't worry, by the way — they are not alive!
The second floor has some quiz corners and study corners (Japanese only).
And those were my five hours (in the afternoon) in Gifu city! I definitely will come back here again!
TANG Thi Huong
Currently working for a travel agency in Nagoya. She loves traveling. She believes traveling makes her life BEAUTIFUL.