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Gifu City and Surrounding Area

Gifu City and Surrounding Area

Gifu City and Gifu Castle

Gifu City, the capital of Gifu Prefecture, is home to a long and proud history. It’s located in just about the geographical center of Japan and has thus been a critically strategic location throughout its history. Though a large city in its own right, Gifu attaches great importance to its considerable natural settings such as the crystal-clear Nagara River (considered to be the city’s lifeblood) to the towering Mt. Kinka.Gifu Castle looms large over Gifu at the summit of Mt. Kinka and is a symbol of the city. The interior of the reconstructed castle (the original was built in 1201, however, it was destroyed during wartime) is used as an exhibition hall for various historical materials, documents, weapons and the like. The top floor, a watchtower with a ledge running around its perimeter, is a fantastic vantage point from which to look down upon the city for a 360-degree panoramic view!

Gifu City and Gifu Castle

World-Class Katana and Cutlery

In the area surrounding Gifu City there are many traditional Japanese crafts that have survived to this day. For example, in the nearby city of Seki, production of Japanese swords has prospered for over 700 years placing it at the heart of the culture and history of one of the most widely recognized symbols of Japan: the katana. The Japanese sword, an object as beautiful as it is deadly, is said to have appeared in Seki with the arrival of Motoshige, a legendary master swordsmith who moved to the area after deeming it a place worthy to further continue his work. Currently there 10 practicing swordsmiths in the city as well as multiple facilities where it's possibly to view traditional swordsmithing up close or even wield the smithing hammer yourself and participate in the smithing in person.

World-Class Katana and Cutlery

Washi Papermaking Methods over 1,300 Years in the Making

Located just a stone's throw away from Gifu City is Mino, a city with a history in papermaking that dates back over 1,300 years. While papermaking is easily the city's most prominent industry, it's also at the very heart of the city's culture, a fact that's seen clearly in the many papercentric festivals and events held throughout the year. The Hon-Minoshi(highest grade of Mino Washi) that's made here is incredibly strong and difficult to tear; it was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2014. Visitors that make the trip to Mino City can experience traditional Japanese culture by visiting a museum in the Udatsu Wall Historical District(a merchant area that prospered from the trading of Mino Washi) that exhibits beautifully created washi-lantern art or by participating in one of the workshops offered at the modest studios of real-life Mino Washi artisans.

Washi Papermaking Methods over 1,300 Years in the Making

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