A central gateway to Gifu is Nagoya's Central Japan International Airport, where many international lines pass through and which is easily accessible from Gifu. Alternatively, taking the Tokaido Shinkansen Bullet Train, which connects the major cities of Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, is similarly convenient if coming from elsewhere in Japan (50 minutes from Osaka to Nagoya and 1 hour 40 minutes from Tokyo to Nagoya). From there, Gifu Station is around a 20-minute train ride from Nagoya Station, while Takayama Station is about 2 hours 20 minutes away. If coming from the north, Toyama Airport and Komatsu Airport are convenient entry points when making your way to Takayama and Shirakawa-go.
The principle means of getting around within Gifu Prefecture are highway express buses and trains (mainly JR, or Japan Railway). Routes going in and out of Takayama are comparatively abundant, so Takayama makes for a very convenient, central location around which to plan one's trip to Gifu.
JR rail lines are the quickest and most convenient way to travel between Gifu City, Gero, and Takayama. On the other hand, Shirakawa-go and Gujo Hachiman are most easily accessed by highway bus from Takayama, as JR lines do not pass through those areas.
Throughout the prefecture, there are numerous other local railways operating aside from JR, but they may not all be able offer foreign language support, so when traveling on these lines, be sure to do enough research ahead of time to make sure that you know where you are going.
Highway buses also run from Gifu City to Shirakawa-go and from Gifu City to Nakatsugawa, but if you choose to use a rental car in the winter, it is important to look up ahead of time the weather forecasts and snow conditions (in northern Gifu especially) and to make sure that you are adequately prepared.