Gifu Castle, originally named Inabayama Castle, was rebuilt in 1956 and in 2011 was designated a National Historical Site. Located on top of Kinka Mountain the castle contains a historical museum and observation deck with lovely views of Gifu city and neighboring Nagoya. There are two ways to get to there; climb or take the Kinka ropeway. There are a number of climbing paths leading to the top of the mountain. We recommend taking the
Nanamagari Climbing Path as it takes you to the castle and is good for beginner climbers. Climbing can take 20+ minutes depending on the route and physical condition. It takes about 4 minutes from Gifu Park (the base of the mountain) to reach the top by ropeway. Enjoy views of a three-story pagoda, Nagara River, city center and scenery on the ride.
After you reach the top of Kinkan Ropeway there are more steep stairs to climb to reach the entrance of the castle. The Castle houses a historical museum with informative English and Japanese displays of the castle`s history, artifacts, armor and weapons from old Japan. Reach the top of the castle to enjoy views of Gifu city, neighboring Nagoya and snow-capped mountains. The area includes an observation restaurant, rest areas with drink vending machines and squirrel village where you can feed the fuzzy little critters.
Entrance Fee: Adult 200 JPY; kids aged 4-16yrs 100 JPY
Hours: MARCH 16-May 11 9:30-17:30; May 12-Oct 16 8:30-17:30; Oct 17-March 15 9:30-16:30 *kids under 16yrs are free every 3rd Sunday of the month
Access: Tokyo (Shinagawa Station) to Nagoya on the Nozomi Shinkansen (1 hr 30 min) then take the Tokaido Line towards Ogaki to Gifu Station (19 min). Take a bus from JR Gifu Station to Gifukoen-mae stop (15 min. Adults 210 yen; Kids (elementary age) 100 yen.
Round trip: Adults (12 Years +) 1080 JPY; Kids 540
One way: Adults (12 Years +) 620 JPY; Kids 280
* Kids aged 3 yrs and under free
The Squirrels’ Village
Entrance fee: 200 yen per person (4 years+)
Food for squirrels extra charge
Hours: 9:30-16:30 (last admission 16:15)
*Closed in Winter
At the base of the Kinka Mountain sits Lord Oda Nobunaga Home and Garden, the Gifu City Museum of History, and lovely manicured space with open area. Beautiful spot for photos and strolls especially during Cherry Blossom season and autumn with the changing of the leaves. The Nawa Insect Museum, Japan`s oldest insect museum, with over 300,000 specimens of some 12,000 species is also nearby – a nice break for insect lovers.
Hours: 10:00-17:00 *Closed Wednesday & Thursday.
Cost: Adult 500 JPY, Kids 400 JPY
Website: http://www.nawakon.jp/ (Japanese Language Only)
If you walk North past the Kinkazan Tunnel there is a lovely kids` playground with new equipment (one side for toddlers, the other for kids aged 6 yrs and above). Cherry blossoms line the street, there is a small waterfall, walking paths and plenty of shade. Car parking located across the street from the playground park.
18 Tenshukaku, Kinkazan, Gifu-shi
From Tokyo take the Nozomi Shinkansen (1h40min) to Nagoya. Then take the JR Tokaido Line rapid train (18 min) to JR Gifu Station. Then take a taxi to Gifu Castle.
Gifu Castle, Park & Ropeway