Le musée d’art Hiroshige (Estampes) à Ena
Try your hand at making your very own ‘ukiyoe’, or traditional Japanese woodblock. At the Hiroshige Museum of Art in Ena, visitors can experience woodblock-making completely free-of-charge. The museum also hosts over 1,400 pieces of ukiyoe artwork, hosting special exhibitions throughout the year. The “Tanaka Collection” is the museum’s star exhibit — a collection of Utagawa Hiroshige ukiyoe woodblock prints donated by esteemed ukiyoe collector, the late Haruo Tanaka.
- Le musée d’art Hiroshige (Estampes) à Ena
Ena – Iwamura
Promenade dans la ville médiévale Iwamura
Gifu is a region blessed with so many remaining castle towns. Iwamura Castle Town is one of them, a former Edo period castle district located among scenic valleys and lush foliage. Start your walking tour from Iwamura Station and make your way towards the old street lined with historical old-timey buildings. What makes Iwamura Castle Town unique is that renovation works were conducted to preserve the town’s historical look; by hiding all modern electrical wires underground. Of course, we can’t forget about food. The district is no short of restaurants and eateries, but Iwamura’s specialty is ‘goheimochi’, a grilled rice cake skewer covered in sweet miso sauce.
- Promenade dans la ville médiévale Iwamura
La château Iwamura
Explore a castle hidden amongst the misty fog, located 717 meters above sea level. Iwamura Castle, one of Japan’s top three greatest mountain top castles, was once ruled by Oda Nobunaga’s aunt. The castle building itself has since been demolished, but the ruins and stone walls remain, giving the area an almost mystical atmosphere. With overgrown vines stretching across the grounds of the ruins, Iwamura Castle’s unique appearance makes it a must-visit even for those who have already visited other Japanese castles.
- La château Iwamura
Iwamura – Ena
Hébergement à Ena
Ena – Nakatsugawa
Nakatsugawa – Naegi ou Kashimo
Les ruines du château de Naegi
One of Japan’s Top 100 Castles, Naegi Castle Ruins is another one of Gifu’s hidden gems. Situated atop a mountain next to the Kisogawa River, the castle was once ruled by the Toyamas back in the Edo period. Naegi Castle is also one of the very few across the country to be built using naturally huge rocks, unevenly piled onto each other to form the stone wall structures. Due to the high elevation, the castle ruins are also a great spot to view seasonal foliage, such as cherry blossoms during spring. It is also popular among visitors to admire the sunset from Naegi Castle, which provides an uninterrupted view of the horizon.
- Les ruines du château de Naegi
Spectacle de Ji-Kabuki
For anyone with an interest in Japan, you’ve probably heard of ‘Kabuki’ theatre. However, few actually know that there are two different kinds of Kabuki. The first, more well-known artform is O-Kabuki — which is performed in grand venues, with professional actors that have years of experience. The second lesser-known form is Ji-Kabuki — a more local, laid-back version that is often performed by amateur local actors in the countryside. At the Kashimo Meiji Theatre, you can catch performances of Ji-Kabuki, wholeheartedly performed by local actors who especially love to interact with the audience. Ji-Kabuki performances showcase a different side of Japanese culture, where the usually-quiet audiences choose to shout out words of encouragement and engage with the performers during the show. This uniquely local tradition has years of history rooted in the eastern Tono region of Gifu.
- Spectacle de Ji-Kabuki
Les ruines du château de Naegi ou Le théâtre Kashimo Meiji
– Gare de Nakatsugawa
Le village de Nakatsugawa-juku
Nakatsugawa-juku, the 45th post town along Nakasendo Road, is a quaint little town that specialises in traditional Japanese confectionery. With more than 20 different confectionary shops, Nakatsugawa-ku takes pride in their production of wagashi (Japanese-style sweets). The historic post town is famed for Kurikinton — a type of mochi confectionary that is made from chestnuts. Go on a self-guided gastronomic tour of the district’s local confectionaries, some of which have been operating for more than two generations. Nakatsugawa-juku is also known for its large number of Masugata paths and Udatsu structures. The number of these structures has dwindled in present-day Japan, but were once status symbols of the wealthy families in the Edo period.
- Le village de Nakatsugawa-juku
Hébergement à Nakatsugawa
Nakatsugawa – Arrêt de bus de Ochiai
Route pavée à Ochiai
The 840-meter long cobblestone path is a designated site of historical importance. Once a common site in Japan, there are now only two cobblestone paths left — one in Hakone, and one in Ochiai. The cobblestones were used to help traveling merchants, where the stones prevented their carts from slipping on the slopes during heavy rain. Now, about 70 meters of the Ochiai cobblestone path remains, due to removal and wearing out of the stones over time.
- Route pavée à Ochiai
Ochiai-juku – Magome-juku
Le village de Magome-juku
Magome-juku is a post town located at the southern end of the mountain path called Kisoji Road. In the Magome area, people customarily have been eating Shinshu soba (buckwheat noodles made in Nagano) for a long time. Here, you can stop by various stores to obtain a snack, such as gohei-mochi (skewered rice cake grilled with sauce), okaki (rice crackers), oyaki (flat baked flour buns filled with chopped vegetables or other foods), roasted chestnuts, and more.
- Le village de Magome-juku
Randonnée Magome-juku – Tsumago-juku
*Laissez vos bagages et allez à Tsumagojuku