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Vol. 16


June 2012 Edition

Gifu Prefecture Tourism and Event Newsletter

Greetings, readers! It hasn’t been all that long since the last volume of Gifu Crossroads, but I hope that you consider that a good thing! With the new (fiscal) year come changes large and small, and one of those is that this newsletter will be evolving and expanding from a quarterly publication to a monthly one! In addition, the content will take on a slightly different shape; as before, I will provide information about upcoming events, but there will also be a new section in which I will introduce a different area of Gifu each month! This month will be slightly different, however, and I will reflect on this year’s cherry blossom season. As always, I hope that this newsletter gives you a peek into the Gifu experience and that it piques your interest in visiting the He art o f J ap an! W i t ho u t f u rt he r ad o, t hen, i t ’s t i me f o r S PRING i n G IF U!

Activities and Events NOW – November 11

Rail Mountain Biking

An innovative hybrid of bicycle and railroad, Rail Mountain Biking should absolutely be part of your itinerary when you come to Gifu anytime before the winter season! With two bikes linked to each other and set on railroad tracks that are no longer in use, this set-up allows you to experience a wholly different kind of cycling! You can feel the vibration and sound of the tracks as you speed along them, just like you would on a train, except you are of course on a bicycle! And you have gorgeous scenery all around you, unimpeded by the walls, windows, and sounds of a train, so you can really enjoy the natural setting in a safe but unique and exciting way! Reservation required! Up to 8 sessions/day Azumo, Kamioka-cho, Hida City, Gifu Tel: +81-90-7020-5852 Standard price: 1,000 yen (Jpn.) Access: 30 min. from Hida Furukawa via Route 41

Norikura Skyline

NOW – end of October

The Skyline is the highest road in all of Japan, reaching to almost 3,000 meters in elevation! You can fully enjoy the world above the clouds and the lush nature of the Northern Japan Alps. Taking a bus to Tatamidaira, you can then trek to the mountain peak to enjoy an immersive experience! And if you are craving snow, there is still plenty to be seen along the Norikura Skyline! Bus fare: 1,230 yen (Honokidaira – Tatamidaira one-way) Nyukawa-cho, Takayama City, Gifu Tel: +81-577-78-2345 Access: Nohi Bus fro m Takay ama Bus Terminal to Honokidaira (Jpn.)

Hida Satoyama Cycling

NOW – when the snow season arrives

Get close to the REAL Japan and the locals through a fantastic cycling tour with Hida Satoyama Cycling! A tour suited to your pace, beautiful natural surroundings, a quaint country town, and friendly locals make for a memorable experience that has many talking! Currently the #1 “thing to do” in all of Japan according to Trip Advisor, Hida Satoyama Cycling is a virtual guarantee that you will both have fun enjoying the outdoors and learn a lot about the Japanese countryside and Hida Furukawa in particular! Price: 4,500-9,500 yen (depending on the course) Nino-machi, Furukawa-cho, Hida City, Gifu Tel: +81-577-73-5715 Access: 7-minute walk from JR Hida Furukawa Station

Gifu Crossroads ☀ June 2012

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NOW – October 15

Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River

This traditional fishing ceremony has been carried out on the waters of the Nagara River, with Gifu Castle and Mt. Kinka looming in the background, for 1,300 years! The old fishing method, using cormorants to catch fish guided only by a blazing torch at the bow of the boat, lives on and is protected by the Japanese Imperial House! Come be wowed along with everyone else! Price: Adults- 3,000-3,300 yen; Children- 2,600-2,900 yen Minato-machi 1-2, Gifu City Time: from 6:45pm Tel:+81-58-262-0104 Access: JR/Meitetsu Gifu Stationbus to “Nagara-bashi”

Amou Prefectural Natural Park

End of May – Mid-November

A vast paradise brimming with nature and life of many varieties, this park allows visitors to experience true immersion in the lush Japanese mountains. Expert guides lead you through the depths of the forest and the marshlands, which are home to many unique species of vegetation. You can also hike Mt. Mominuka to gain a spectacular view of the Japan Alps, so this is a must-visit location for anybody interested in nature! Amou, Kawai-cho, Hida City, Gifu Tel: +81-577-65-2211 Access: 1-hour car ride from JR Furukawa Station; 30-minute ride from Entrance fee: 500 yen Shirakawa Village 2_3_1.php

Okuhida Hot Spring Villages: Open-Air Bath Day

June 26

If you enjoy taking a soak in outdoor hot spring baths, this is the event for you! The king of all open-air bath locales (with the most of any area in Japan), the Okuhida Hot Spring Villages will make a selection of the many fabulous open-air baths free to enter for the day! You can go around to a bunch of the best outdoor hot spring baths in Japan, enjoying their variety and different scenic views! In addition, you can get a stamp at each bath you visit and exchange those you have collected for a commemorative item when you are through, and the more baths you visit, the better the prize! Applicable baths still to be announced. Tel: +81-578-89-2614 Okuhida Onsen-go, Takayama City, Gifu Access: Nohi Bus from Takayama Bus Center towards “Shinhotaka Onsen”

News and Promotions NEW Shirotori Koutu Bus Service between Shirakawa-go and Gujo-Hachiman! In under 2 hours and for just 2,400 yen, you can easily move between two of Gifu’s most traditional and most authentic towns! Running daily until November 30. If you are coming to Gifu and plan to use public transportation, this is a great new route to take advantage of! In Gujo Hachiman, the bus departs from and arrives at the “Gujo Hachiman Jokamachi Plaza” stop. h t t p : / / w w w . s h i r o t o r i k ou tu .com /t e i k i /i n de x _ h ac him a n . htm l

Follow GIFU CROSSROADS on Facebook!! While I regularly provide event information, etc. a through this newsletter, I am constantly posting news, useful information, and tons of gorgeous photographs of Gifu on the Facebook page! Please “Like!” the page and feel free to contribute your own content!! Utilize the Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation’s newly redesigned website, the GIFU Travel Guide, as it is a fantastic resource for finding out all about Gifu! Must-see sights and events are added regularly, so please take a look!!

Gifu Crossroads ☀ June 2012

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A flat-rate rental car pass perfect for Free and Easy trips! Gifu Prefecture, Central Nippon Expressway, and TOYOTA Rent a Car have created the “G-Pass,” a flatrate pass that allows drivers of a Toyota rental car from Central Japan International Airport to drive unlimited on designated highways for a 7-day period! The first such pass in Honshu, the G-Pass (7,000 or 9,000 yen) makes driving in the central Japan area a breeze, even for those unfamiliar with Japan’s expressway system! Applications accepted until June 24. Come enjoy the sights of Gifu!

Making a trip to Takayama easier and more affordable than ever! Gifu Prefecture and the JR Central Japan Railway Company have teamed up to bring you an independent travel package to Takayama like no other! 3 nights in Takayama and 2 nights in Nagoya PLUS round-trip train tickets from Nagoya to Takayama PLUS round-trip tickets to Kyoto or Ise or Shizuoka PLUS more! For detailed information about this jam-packed travel option, ple ase re fe r to the following we bsite : 1NGOOVJSRTKA

Reflections on My First Cherry Blossom Season Are cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, all that they are made out to be? After experiencing my first cherry blossom season in Japan, I can answer with a definitive YES! They were a joy to behold wherever I was, from a path behind the tennis courts where I play in my town (A) to a nationally famed sakura viewing spot such as the Nawashiro Cherry Trees (B), which by the way are absolutely stunning when there is no wind and the reflection in the paddy field at night is as crisp as if it were a mirror. By day or by night, in full-bloom or shedding petals galore, cherry blossoms are charming and tranquil, and paper lanterns (C), I found, really did change the entire atmosphere and made me feel like I was in an age long gone. The thing about cherry blossoms, of course, is that they only last for a short while. Their transience is one of the characteristics that makes them so special to the Japanese…there is beauty in how shortlived they are. And what I found is that, with cherry blossom-viewing or hanami, it’s really more about spending time with friends and family than it is about admiring the scenery (though of course there is some of that too!). So I would encourage travelers to Gifu (and elsewhere in Japan) to take some time and enjoy the company of others under a cherry tree, and then you’ll really know what sakura are all about! And Gifu is the perfect place for this, since although sakura are so short-lived, because of the variation in altitude throughout the prefecture, you can see sakura somewhere in Gifu for a span of over a month!! I will never forget this sakura season here in the Heart of Japan, and I highly recommend that you make your way here next year for the wonderful season of the cherry blossom! Don’t miss it! For questions, comments, or to unsubscribe, please contact For more on tourism in Gifu Prefecture, please refer to the following resources: ☆Gifu Crossroads Facebook Page☆ Gifu Travel Guide Central Japan Tourism Promotion Association Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Publisher: Tourism Division, Tourism Exchange Promotion Office Department of Commerce, Labor and Industry Gifu Prefectural Government 2-1-1 Yabuta-minami, Gifu City, GIFU 500-8570

Tel: +81-058-272-1111 (Ext. 3058) Fax: +81-058-278-2674 Email:

Gifu Crossroads ☀ June 2012

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Gifu Event Newsletter - June 2012  
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