Gifu is Japan's literal and figurative heart, with untouched traditional villages nestled in picturesque
mountain ranges. Gifu Prefecture is steeped in history, and its significance shines through to this day.
The pivotal battle that united the nation took place at Sekigahara , and you can visit the battlefield
today. Swordsmiths practice their craft in Seki, and traditional cormorant fishing is still alive along the
Nagara River. The town of Takayama has gone mostly untouched by time, while the nearby villages
of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are one of the few places where thatched-roof houses remain in
Japan. The dramatic mountains, pure rivers and snowy winters create a remarkably picturesque
Hida beef is a famous specialty—which can be pricey, but is well worth it. Known for its tenderness, it
is best served as a steak, but is also found grilled on skewers or added to hotpots. Head to a shabu-
shabu restaurant for some good options.