Gifu, Japan 2006

Raymond Lim                      
Travel Map                           

Detailed Itinerary

16 Nov 2006
0100 SQ672 SIN - NGO
0815 Arrive Chubu International Airport (Centrair)
0930 Rental car pickup at airport
    - Toyota 5D 1.5l 4WD with GPS and snow tires
    - Reservation via Tocoo Online
1100 Arrive at 関市 (seki)

Short stopover in 関市 seki  -  The town of Sword Making
Small town famous for making samurai swords in olden times. Not much pracitical need for samurai swords, so the town now makes quality knifes and interesting blades for all the purposes you can think of.

Lunch:  れすとらん山久 Soba Restaurant Yamakyu Tel: 0575-22-0128
Excellent soba shop in Seki. We had the tempura ebi soba, roast duck and cold soba ... all excellent tasting

Visited one of the knife shops 関の刀物 and bought a nice looking slicing  knife

1430 Arrive at 郡 上八幡 gujo hachiman

Check-in 中嶋屋旅館 nakashimaya ryokan Tel: 0575-65-2191

やなか水のこみち yanaka-sui-no-komichi, charming water walkway with a natural drinking water source ... first taste of Japan's famous water for this trip !
1800 Dinner at 中嶋屋旅館 nakashimaya ryokan
Tempura Ayu (japanese sweet fish), grilled amago, mushroom tempura, sashimi, orange jelly desert and many many more

17 Nov 2006
Walking around 郡上八幡 gujo hachiman  -  The town of Water
Gujo hachiman is famous of its quality clear water. The entire town has rivers, canals and streams flowing in along every road and every grid of town. Numerous springs all around town produces clear natural spring water that is drinkable. You can taste the freshness in the water

いがわこむち waterway walk with many large Japanese crap (koi)

郡上八幡城 gujo hachiman castle overlooks the entire town

宗祗水 sougisui is one of the famous springs. Authorized by the japanese government to be one of the clearest water. Japan best top 3 water source

"BEST" tasting water is at a spring near the statue of Chiyo mid way up to gujo hachiman castle. The water here tasted more "crispy" than the rest of the sources ... my opinion!
18 Nov 2006
Day trip to 美濃市 mino - The town of Paper
Short drive (30mins) from gujo hachiman to town of 美濃市 Mino which is famous for making of japanese washi paper and some historical preservation merchant houses

Oyada Jinjya shrine

Udatsu preservation houses
There are 2 streets of conservations house which features the fire preventation mud wall to hinder the spread of fire. Fire were the main concern in those times where wood was the main building material being used

Visited a 200 year old merchant house, now a shop selling sake and other local produce. The house had various interesting antiques (one of those old telephone booth with a winding lever) and various antique wares from really long time ago. The house has several large baskets (about 2x1x1m) hanging above the the roof of the first floor. In the event of fire, these baskets will be used to transport belongings out of a burning the house

Lunch at 六鹿
Chance upon this little sushi shop that sells an award winning steamed hoba sushi ( japanese rice/mushrooms/eel wrapped in hoba leaf and steamed). We ordered the hoba sushi, unagi temaki and chirashi sushi. Excellent !!


Japanese desert place とみや
Warabi set, Matcha set, chestnut & rice cake in red bean soup

Dinner at 泉坂
Modern yakitori place .. order the Hida Beef steak, mushroom miso, hotplate chicken, nagoya style chicken wings
19 Nov 2006
Drive from 郡上八幡 gujo hachiman to 高山 takayama
Decided to drive the "normal roads" instead of the expressway, not only saving on toll, but also more interesting road-stops available.

道の駅 highway stop route 472 磨墨の里公園, 明宝

Passed a very steep and winding single lane mountain pass. Brought us deep and high into the mountains cutting across the maple and cypress forest. Amazing yellow and red maples canopy along the route. Excellent !! 

Note: Kind of challenging to drive if you are phobic about steep and winding single-laned mountain roads but lucky for us we only met 2 on-coming cars throughout the entire section of the mountain pass

道の駅, 2nd highway stop at パスカル清見  

Lunch at 清見滝
My order came with 3 bowls of soba and assorted vegetable tempura ... including a tempura maple leaf !

Took about 3-4 hours drive as we took multiple toilet/shopping/snacks road-stops !! More soft ice creams, Hida beef croquette, skewered rice balls with miso sauce ... when is the next road stop coming up.

高山 takayama
1400 Check-in あすなろ asunaro ryokan TEL: 0577-33-5551
    -150 year old merchant house which is now the main reception of the ryokan, amazing authentic japanese wood architecture

    - quick short walk to 国分寺 and main street just to explore the place with the remaining daylgiht available. A giant ginko tree in the temple grounds

Back to あすなろ asunaro ryokan for dinner
Dinner is another elaborated multi-course meal presented in little thachted roof  bento ... looks as good as it taste ... another day of pure over-eating !!

20 Nov 2006
Walking around 高山 takayama central
陣屋前 jinya-mae morning market

高山陣屋takayama jinya, the former goverment house of takayama during the edo period. Only remaining of the 60 goverment houses during the Edo period.  The rice granary, the oldest and biggest in Japan is know to be 400-year old. Glimps of the grand scale, daily goverment administrative and architecture of the edo period

Explored the san-machi area where there are various conservations houses,antiques shops, sake brewery shops, eating places, souvenir shops

Lunch: 寺久 ( around junction 下一之町 and 安川通)
    - Jumbo tempura prawn teishoku
    - excellent gyudon (beef rice bowl)

高山屋台会馆 Takayama Festival Float Exhibition Hall
    - 5 of the 23 festival floats are displayed here.
    - Note: English tape recorder playback available for free.

樱山日光馆 Sakurayama Nikko Kan
Tickets from the festival float exhibition hall also get you access to the 樱山日光馆 (sakurayama Nikko Kan) , which has an impressive 1/10 scaled-down model of Nikko Kan (2hrs north of tyoko). Worth a look even thought we have been to Nikko to see the actual Toshogu. Impressive model that took 33 craftmans 15 years to build

21 Nov 2006
Day trip to 奥飛騨 oku-hida
Drive from 高山 (takayama) to 奥飛騨 (okuhida) took about 90min
新穂高ハイキングコース shin-hokata ropeway Tel: 0578-9-2252
Luck was with us for it was a wonderful day with perfect visibility of the Japan Alps. Picture perfect view of the snow covered alps in clear blue skys in all directions at the viewpoint at the end of the 2nd section of the ropeway at 2156m above sea-level.

We are now in the geographic center of Japan !

平湯大滝 hirayu no taki Tel: 0578-9-1250
    - one of the top 10 falls in japan, 6m across, 30m drop.
    - The entire water fall freezes in winter and there are special light-ups. Guess we are too early in the season to see that ...NEXT trip I guess.

平 湯の森 hirayu-no-mori Tel: 0578-9-3338
    - EXCELLENT!! 露天風呂 rotenburo - outdoor hotspring pools
    - the men's bath had about 6 outdoor onsen pools. (2 with milky white water, the other are clear water with white particles and of different temperature)

Return to takayama for the night feeling very refreshed
22 Nov 2006
Moving on to 白川 shirakawa-go
Leisurely drive from takayama to shirakawa took about 3-4hrs (I am sure one can do it in 2hrs as stated), as usual we needed our favourite road-stops for snacks and local produces (soya bean cake). Look out for the gujo or hida fresh milk in little glass bottles, they are very creamy, thick and tasty.

1500 Check-in: 合掌の宿 よきちyokichi Tel: 05769-6-1417 

Could only manage to visit the 2 famous viewpoints before it turned dark
    - Ogimachi Jyoseki (this get you the bird's eye view of the entire Ogimachi village)
    - from the padi fields in front of 生活料馆 (postcard view of the 3 thatched roof houses)

  Onsen 白川の湯 shirigawagou-no-yu Tel: 0576-9-60026

Dinner: Yokichi
Tasty home-cooked food ... especially good grilled river fish iwana
23 Nov 2006
Exploring Ogimachi, shirakawa on foot ...
Walk the entire Ogimachi village, visited Wade house and the temples around the area

Shifted to another mishuku in Ogimachi,Shirakawa
Check-in: 合掌の宿 かんじゃkanjya Tel: 0576-96-1457

Drive to 平瀬 hirase (15-20 mins)
  Onsen: し らみずの湯 Shiramizu-no-yu Tel: 0576-95-4126
Dinner: Kanjya
Similar home-cooked style, again the grilled iwana was my favourite
24 Nov 2006
Moving on to 下呂温泉 gero onsen
Leisurely  drive to Gero (3-4hrs). Gero is the Top 3 onsen in japan !!

Check-in: 湯之島館 yu-no-shimakan Tel: 0576-25-4126

The setting of the ryokan was fantastic ... built among the cypress forest and
 maple trees

The onsen temple was a short walk away from the ryokan. Maple leaf autumn colors were in full glory at onsen-ji

湯之島館 Onsen !!

1900 Dinner
This is one of the most elaborate dinner, sliced fish shabu shabu, hida beef tepanyaki, chef hand made tofu, sashimi, a whole range of starters, so much food that  that we took more that 1.5hrs to finish dinner
25 Nov 2006
  湯 之島館, men and ladies public baths are switch daily so that all can enjoy the different layout of both the outdoor baths

Back to Nagoya 名古屋
After a good bath and breakfast we embarked upon the drive from gero to nagoya
Lunch: Ramen place

Orignal plan was to reach Nagoya at 1400hrs, but we got stuck shopping at UNICLO (something like a small scale warehouse for winter clothings)
1630 Arrived in Nagoya , returned rental car at Kamimaezu outlet

Check-in: 名 龙 meiryu ryokan Tel: 052-331-8686

Dinner: Takeouts from JR Nagoya Takashiyama basement food places
    - Kuro butan bento (black pork box set)
    - taco yaki
    - the famous nagoya chicken wings
26 Nov 2006
0630 Check-out: Meiryu,
Subway to 金山 kanayama,
Switch to JR Meitetsu Line to Centrair (Nagoya International Airport)
0810 Arrive Centair, Nagoya International Airport
* Timing is only possible as we happen to catch a 0735 express train to the airport with only 2 stops in between

0950 SQ671 NGO - SIN
1515 Arrive Singapore

Gifu, Japan 2006
Up one level
Trip Information
16 Nov  to 26 Apr 2006
11 days self-drive trip in 岐阜県 Gifu perfecture, Japan. A journey to discover the "old" Japan ...

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関市 Seki

美濃市  Mino

郡上八幡 Gujo Hachiman

飛騨高山 Hida-Takayama

奥飛騨 OkuHida

白川 Shirakawa-go

平瀬 Hirase

下呂 Gero

Kah Bock, Irene, Sock Ling & Raymond

Total Distance driven : 756KM

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