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Gifu's Three UNESCO Festivals

Gifu prefecture has the privilege of having three traditional festivals being registered to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list for Japan. These festivals, along with 28 others, were officially added to the list at the beginning of December. For more information about the festivals please see the link below. (Photo provided by Meryl Jordan)
Gifu's Three UNESCO Festivals

See Over 330,000 Tulips at Tulip Festival in Kaizu

March 23 , 2017
At this Tulip Festival there will be over 330,000 tulips (110 different varieties) that brightly color the Kiso Sansen Park.
In the popular “Miffy Flower Bed,” there are about 65,000 tulips and muscari of varying colors that are used to create a colorful picture of Miffy, a cute bunny from a series of Dutch picture books.
There are also cherry blossom trees planted in some of the flower beds, so if the tulips bloom early enough you will get the rare opportunity to enjoy both tulips and cherry blossoms at the same time!
Click the link below to see the Japanese event flyer.

【Date】 Monday, March 27th ~ Sunday, April 16th
【Time】 Mon-Fri: 9:00am-5:00pm
Sat-Sun: 8:00am-6:00pm
【Venue】 Kiso Sansen Park
【Directions】
1.) Community Bus(every day during the festival):
Yoro Railway Ishizu Station > Kaizu-shi Community Bus(Adults 200円, Kids 100円) > Get off at “Kiso Sansen Koen” Bus Stop
Departure Times- Ishizu Station(for Kiso Sansen Koen): 10:11am, 12:40pm
Kiso Sansen Koen(for Ishizu Station): 11:43am, 2:02pm, 3:56pm

2.) Free Shuttle Bus(Festival Weekends Only: April 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th):
JR Kuwana Station (Mie Prefecture) > Kiso Sansen Koen
Departure Times- Kuwana Station(for Kiso Sansen Park): Every 40min starting at 9:00am, last shuttle at 4:20pm
Kiso Sansen Park(for Kuwana Station): Every 40min starting at 9:35am, last shuttle at 5:35pm
***depending on traffic conditions there is the possibility of late departures
See Over 330,000 Tulips at Tulip Festival in Kaizu

Dōsan Festival and Gifu Festival in Gifu City

March 21 , 2017
The Dōsan Festival celebrates Saitō Dōsan, a fierce samurai from the Sengoku period (also known as the warring states period), who`s rule created a healthy environment in Gifu (known as Inokuchi at the time) that allowed trade and commerce to flourish. Throughout the festival you can enjoy parades, marching bands, flea markets, and much more in the downtown area of Gifu City.

Also celebrated on Saturday evening is the Gifu Festival of Inaba Shrine, where you can see a procession of festival floats decorated with paper lanterns that light up the night.

【Date】April 1st and 2nd (Sat and Sun)***
***downtown parade and festival float procession are on Saturday only
【Venue】Downtown Gifu City and Inaba Shrine
【Directions】Inaba Shrine: Gifu/Meitetsu Station [Gifu Bus・10min・210 yen] >>> Get off at “Inaba Dōri” Bus Stop
Dōsan Festival and Gifu Festival in Gifu City

Spring 2017 Event Newsletter Release

March 10 , 2017
Spring is just around the corner, and we have released our quarterly event newsletter on the Gifu Crossroads’ blog page. While there are many events and festivals that take place in Gifu prefecture during the spring, we can only highlight a few of them in the newsletter so make sure to continue checking our website or Facebook page for additional information.
Spring 2017 Event Newsletter Release

Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall Access Guide

March 8 , 2017
Do you know about Chiune Sugihara?
He was a Japanese diplomat who was stationed in Lithuania during WWII and saved the lives of 6,000 Jewish refugees who were fleeing Nazi persecution. Sugihara went against his superiors’ orders and issued them transit visas that allowed them to escape through Japan.

In Sugihara’s hometown of Yaotsu, there is a memorial hall dedicated to his memory. At the memorial hall you can see historical documents (like one of the remaining transit visas), and experience what it would have been like to be in his shoes on the day that he decided to save the refugees.

There are no train stations near the memorial hall so please refer to the handy access guide we made(attached as a PDF), if you are trying to go there on your own. On weekends and national holidays there is a free shuttle-taxi from the Yaotsu Family Center to the memorial hall.

Please see the official memorial hall website for more info:
Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall Access Guide

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Exhibition Displays Popular Hiroshige Collection

February 27 , 2017
See the beautiful landscapes of the Tokaido Highway in the form of ukiyo-e woodblock prints at the Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena.

These newly-acquired Utagawa Hiroshige prints are making their first debut at the museum in the Beautiful Tokaido –Reisho Edition Debut-. The prints depict Tokaido landscapes that are different than the ones you would normally see in Hiroshige’s “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido” series. The prints reflect Hiroshige’s mastery of the art through the refined use of color and detailed scenery of the Tokaido.

A very popular hands-on activity at the museum is the Ukiyo-e overprinting experience corner. Here you can experience what it would be like to make your own ukiyo-e woodblock print with some premade imitation blocks (3-6 colors).

【Event】Beautiful Tokaido ―Reisho Edition Debut-
【Venue】Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena
【Date】February 16th(Thrs) ~ March 26th (Sun)
【Access】2-minute walk from Ena Station
Ukiyo-e Woodblock Exhibition Displays Popular Hiroshige Collection

Moon at Tsukimi No Mori Designated as One of “Japan’s 100 Best Moons”

February 20 , 2017
Tsukimi No Mori Park, literally meaning “Moon-viewing Forest," offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape during both the day and night (weather-permitting you can see all the way to Nagoya). Earlier this month, the view of the moon from the observation deck at the top of the park was officially designated as one of “Japan’s 100 Best Moons.” Now it is known both locally and nationally as a good night-viewing spot, just be prepared to walk up the 258 stairs of the “Stairway to the Moon.”

Tsukimi No Mori Park offers much more than just a pleasant night view: during the day you can walk one of the many trails in the park, enjoy the hydrangea and rare sasa-yuri (or bamboo lily) flowers that blossom in the summer, and see a great view from the rotenburo outdoor baths of the hot springs facility located inside the park(shuttle services are available from the parking lot).

【Park Light-up Hours】 Every Saturday until 9:00pm
【Access】 Park entrance is about a 20 minute walk from the Yoro Railway Komano Station (駒野駅) in Kaizu city

More information about the park can be seen down below (Japanese Only)
Moon at Tsukimi No Mori Designated as One of “Japan’s 100 Best Moons”

【Event Has Ended】400 Year Old Fire Festival in Kaizu City

January 30 , 2017
Tall flames, flying embers, crackling bamboo, and wild young men with painted faces!?
These are all things you can expect to see at the Imao Sagicho Fire Festival, which has been celebrated for over 400 years and has been designated by Gifu Prefecture as an “Important Intangible Cultural Asset.”

In this traditional Shinto ritual there are around 13 giant bamboo mikoshi shrines (about 6 meters tall, 1.5 tons) that are set on fire as a form of honorific-prayer to the god of fire. The mikoshi are brought into the shrine’s grounds one at a time and then torched by one of the 13 local neighborhood associations. This festival is famous for the young men with painted faces, who show their bravery by running around in the smoke and embers of the giant burning mikoshi.

+Name: Imao Sagicho Fire Festival
+Date: Sunday February 12th, 2017
+Time: 12:00pm (noon)
+Place: Imao Akiba Shrine
+Access: From JR Ogaki Station take Meihan Kintetsu Bus on the Kaizu line (about 40min, 740 yen) > get off at “Imao” bus stop > walk 8min to Imao Akiba Shrine (今尾秋葉神社)
+Address: 2948 Hiratachō Imao, Kaizu-shi, Gifu-ken 503-0321
See the link below for the Japanese event pamphlet
【Event Has Ended】400 Year Old Fire Festival in Kaizu City

【Event Has Ended】 "Your Name." Exhibit in Hida-Furukawa

January 26 , 2017
Take a look behind the scenes of Makoto Shinkai’s hit animated film “Your Name.” through this exhibition at the Hida City Art Museum. On display are precious documents and materials not normally shown to the public like storyboards, braided cord design concepts, and other related behind the scenes documents. See the link below for the Japanese event poster.

【Place】Hida City Art Museum
【Date】January 7th, 2017(Sat)~ February 19th, 2017(Sun)
【Business Hours】9:00am~5:00pm (last entry 4:30pm)
【Admission Fee】High School and Up: 500 yen, Elementary and Middle School: 150 yen
【Access】3min walk from JR Hida-Furukawa Station (cross over the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the train tracks)
【Event Has Ended】

【Event Has Ended】 Kiso-ji Snow and Ice Light Festival in Magome-juku

January 25 , 2017
Walk the Kiso-ji road through Magome-juku surrounded by the warm light of ice candles! During this festival handmade snow sculptures and lantern-like ice candles are used to light up the old Nakasendo post town. If you get chilled from walking around in the brisk winter night, then warm up with some pork miso soup and amazake sweet sake for free. Come and experience a magical atmosphere in Magome-juku that only occurs once a year for two hours!

【Date】 Saturday February 11th, 2017
【Time】 7:00pm~ (around 2hrs long)
【Place】 Magome-juku
【Event Info(Jpn)】 Magome Tourist Information Center (0573-69-2336)
【Event Has Ended】 Kiso-ji Snow and Ice Light Festival in Magome-juku

Free Local Ji-kabuki Performances

January 19 , 2017
If you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy ji-kabuki (local kabuki) yet, then there will be some free performances coming up that you won’t want to miss. Ji-kabuki is different from normal kabuki because it has much closer ties to the local community by using actors and stories from the surrounding area. At these showings there will also be the opportunity to take pictures with the kabuki actors themselves.
While the admission itself is free for these performances, you can enjoy some food and drink for an added cost. For more information and the English event pamphlets please see the link at the bottom.

・Ena City・
Chinese New Year Ji-kabuki Performances at Enakyo
+Dates: January 27th and February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th (All dates are Fridays)
+Time: 8:30pm
+Place: Enakyo Grand Hotel
+Access: Free shuttle bus from JR Ena Station (Reservation not required)

・Gero City・
Special Ji-kabuki Performance at Houou-za
+Dates: January 27th(Fri), 28th(Sat), 29th(Sun)
+Time: 8:30pm
+Place: Houou-za
+Access: Free shuttle bus from JR Gero Station (Call to reserve: 0576-25-3014 (Gero Nohi Bus))

Special Ji-kabuki Performance at Gero Onsen
+Dates: February 3rd(Fri), 4th(Sat), 5th(Sun)
+Time: 9:00pm
+Place: Suimeikan
+Access: 3min walk from JR Gero Station

・Takayama City・
Ji-kabuki and Sake Night in Hida-Takayama
+Dates: February 18th(Sat), 19th(Sun), 25th(Sat), 26th(Sun), and
March 11th(Sat), 12th(Sun), 18th(Sat), 19th(Sun)
+Time: 9:00pm
+Place: Takayama Green Hotel
+Access: Free shuttle bus from JR Takayama Station (Reservation not required)

Free Local Ji-kabuki Performances

[Event Has Ended] First Katana Forging of the Year in Seki!

December 22 , 2016
On January 2nd, 2017 there will be a katana forging performance at the Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum in Seki City. From 10:00am-11:30am you can see master blacksmiths garbed in white clothing, forge the first katana of the year. During this ritual you will see the blacksmiths’ skill and dexterity as they shape the sword with their hammers, sending sparks flying all around them. The purpose of this ceremony is to pray for a safe and prosperous year for the blacksmiths in Seki City.

If you miss this event then they still have live demonstrations on the first Sunday of each month (excluding January and October) at 10:00am, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm.
***times and dates subject to change
[Event Has Ended] First Katana Forging of the Year in Seki!

The Library of the Future

December 20 , 2016
Gifu Media Cosmos, which opened last year in Gifu City, is not your everyday library. It is a whole new take on the concept of community and learning in a beautifully-crafted facility designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito. For more information see our blog article about it (located in the link down below).
On a side note, going on now until January 29th, 2017 from 5:00pm-10:00pm just outside the facility is a special illumination event with 130,000 holiday lights.
The Library of the Future

Nohi Bus 2017 Shirakawa-go Illumination Tour

December 12 , 2016
Every year Shirakawa-go holds a limited-time winter illumination event, which is a good opportunity for those wishing to see a beautiful snow-covered Shirakawa-go. The gassho-style houses are lit up at night with warm yellow lights, resulting in a very picturesque atmosphere. This scene only happens once a year, making it a very rare and worthwhile event.

For those wishing to participate, Nohi Bus has just release information regarding their 2017 Shirakawa-go Illumination Bus Tour. Service hours and application information are very specific so please be sure to read it thoroughly.
Nohi Bus 2017 Shirakawa-go Illumination Tour

2016 Winter Newsletter Release

December 1 , 2016
We are proud to announce the release of the 32nd "Gifu Crossroads: Gifu Prefecture Event and Tourism Newsletter," featured in it are some seasonal events and festivals that only occur during the winter here in Gifu Prefecture. To read the newsletter please click the link below.
2016 Winter Newsletter Release

Firework Shows in Gero Starting this December

November 25 , 2016
Starting in December is Gero’s annual “Fireworks Musical Winter Performance.” During these dazzling 15-minute firework shows, watch 7,000-11,000 fireworks launched in time to accompanying music. On December 24th there will be a special Christmas performance with an extended show. Afterwards, enjoy some winter illuminations being held around Ohashi Bridge.

Dates: Each Saturday in December (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th)
Time: 8:00pm-8:15pm(8:00pm-8:30pm on the 24th)
Location: Along the Hida River near the Gero Ohashi Bridge (3-minute walk from Gero Station)

***Gero Onsen Fireworks Story
Starting next year on January 7th, enjoy 10-minute firework shows with different themes each show.
Dates: January 7th-March 25th (Every Saturday)
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Same as the “Fireworks Musical Winter Performance”

Sorry for the inconvenience, but the event pamphlet is only available in Japanese.
Firework Shows in Gero Starting this December

Fall Colors in Gifu

October 26 , 2016
If you are visiting Gifu this fall and want to see the changing colors, but don't know where to go, then this article is for you. It was written by the Official Tourism Blog of Gifu prefecture, Gifu Crossroads, and includes some popular spots to see autumn colors.
Fall Colors in Gifu

[Event Has Ended]Ji-kabuki performances throughout Gifu Prefecture

July 7 , 2016
We've got some good news for anyone interested in enjoying some of Gifu's traditional ji-kabuki theater - there will be several performances conducted in Nakatsugawa's Magome-juku Post Town over the next couple of months! The first few dates are July 23rd (Sat), 27th (Wed), and 30th (Sat), with performances continuing all the way through August, and then again in October. For more information, take a look at the page on ji-kabuki's official website below. Performances in Gero, Mizunami, and Takayama will be starting in October as well.

Magome Ji-kabuki: http://www.jikabuki.net/スペシャルプログラム-特別公演-jikabuki-special-programs/特別公演-中山道馬籠宿-中津川市-1/
Gero Ji-kabuki: http://www.jikabuki.net/スペシャルプログラム-特別公演-jikabuki-special-programs/特別公演-鳳凰座-下呂市/
Mizunami Ji-kabuki: http://www.jikabuki.net/スペシャルプログラム-特別公演-jikabuki-special-programs/特別公演-中山道馬籠宿-中津川市/
Takayama Ji-kabuki: http://www.jikabuki.net/スペシャルプログラム-特別公演-jikabuki-special-programs/特別公演-相生座-瑞浪市/
[Event Has Ended]Ji-kabuki performances throughout Gifu Prefecture

Gifu Prefecture introduces its Gourmet Guide for the Muslim Traveler!

April 14 , 2016
Gifu Prefecture is always looking for ways to foster a tourism environment that's accommodating for as many people as possible. As part of this initiative, we recently created a guidebook that we think Muslim travelers will find useful when looking for restaurants and hotels that meet their needs. To take a look and start planning your dream Gifu vacation, take a look at the full guide by clicking on the link below.
Gifu Prefecture introduces its Gourmet Guide for the Muslim Traveler!

Gifu Welcomes Spring with a New Edition of its Tourism and Event Newsletter!

March 1 , 2016
Spring is always a strong season for festivals in Japan, and Gifu is home one of the most famous in the country. Cherry blossoms are obviously beautiful across the entire nation, but Gifu is a huge place with tons of forests and stunning foliage, making it a great spot to kick back and enjoy the scenery. Check out our newsletter for a brief overview of what Gifu has to offer over the next few months - we think you'll be glad you did.
Gifu Welcomes Spring with a New Edition of its Tourism and Event Newsletter!