Ciao Snow Resort in Takayama

Snow on Ontake-san

Takayama Higashiyama Walking Course

Takayama Travel Tips

Several souvenirs such as this Gifu mascot can be found from shops across the station Just outside Takayama station you will find the tourist center Entrance to San-machi, or the old streets, of Takayama A must stop snack break is the hida-gyu, often served as yakitori Or if you prefer a sweet/salty snack I recommend the […]

Sample Village Iwasaki

A freshly made perfectly fake prawn Welcome to the sample village Iwasaki Sample Village No…not real. But the hands were modeled after the manager’s The shop area Vegetables to be fake tempura A freshly made perfectly fake prawn (Photo: Justin W. Dart) Okay so it is not a real shrine. But it is a testament […]

The Sparrows of Tsumago

Sparrow like birds on the trail between Magome and Tsumago The villages of Tsumago and Magome are particularly peaceful in the off season Beautiful Mountain vistas and lush lawn like rice fields await you in Tsumago take the road less traveled to Tsumago and Magome Relax with a cup of tea at one of the […]

Wakuwaku Dome

Nakatsugawa Children’s Science Musuem Learning Mechanics The ball elevator demonstrating movement and randomness Nakatsugawa Children’s Science Musuem It was a beautifully warm day so I decided to pack up the car and take my oldest two kids to Nakatsugawa Children's Science Museum and Momoyama Park for the day. My wife put together a picnic and […]

Walking The Nakasendo

Signs indicating the district and directions to the next district. (Photo: Justin W. Dart) The 390-year old Hazama Sake Brewing company at the entrance to Nakatsugawa-juku. (Photo: Justin W. Dart) Down a small road around the back of Hazama sake brewery. (Photo: Justin W. Dart) The Shirogiya has photos of locations along the Nakasendo in […]

Winter Trekking in Kamikochi

Reflection of Mt. Yakedake in Taisho Pond The snowshoe pack Snow fields and blue skies A silent trek Big foot in the forest A good workout The morning air is clear and brisk as a small group of people and load onto the minibus at Hirayu Onsen. Lunches are packed, each person is outfitted in […]

Gerobal Hostel

Living area Colourful lockers Curtain for privacy on the dorm beds Dorm beds Toilet in the dorm room Sink in the dorm room Living area Gero Onsen is considered one of the three most famous onsen in Japan and is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a day or two. Gero is located […]

Nodaniya Gasshou-Zukuri

Nodaniya Gasshou-Zukuri Cute handicrafts on entering Nodaniya Paintings of all seasons at Shiarakawago The reception counter The passage with rooms on either side Mayumi San,our kind host Nodaniya Gasshou-Zukuri When thinking of Japan, people first think of modernization, aggressive technology and concrete cities or unfortunately earthquakes, but i guess very few know that Japan cares […]

Shirakawa-go no yu

Entrance Inside the Foyer Hall leading to the guest rooms The large guest room View from the back deck The main dining room Entrance (Photo: Justin W. Dart) Right in the downtown of Shirakawa-go is “Shirakawa-go no Yu”. This 10-year-old ryokan is located just inside the vehicle restriction zone alongside the river. An imposing structure, […]

1894 Visions – Lautrec and His Era

Jan 30th Mar 14th Lautrec was a prolific painter and printmaker (Photo: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec/CC By SA 3.0) Venue: Gifu Prefectural Museum of Art When: Jan 30th – Mar 14th 2021, 10:00am – 6:00pm A special exhibition taking place at the Gifu Prefectural Museum of Art looks at the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), […]

Cormorant Fishing in Nagara River

Gifu is famous for Ukai or cormorant fishing. Japanese fishermen have been practicing ukai for over one thousand years, but today it is rare. The Nagaragawa River in Gifu is one of the few places where the cormorant fishing tradition has been preserved. When I got the opportunity to watch ukai fisherman, known as Usho, […]

Daikon Hunting in Gujo

Fun with daikon. The haul. Dried daikon. What’s going on up here? 101 Things You Can Do with Daikon – #2 Juggle Peel peel peel Fun with daikon. Right before the mountains and fields completely thawed out and green returned to Gujo Hachiman, I had the opportunity to get off the beaten path and enjoy […]

Discover the Satoyama

Japanese Alps and Mount Norikura View of the satoyama in Hida Gassho-zukuri house that you can find in the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Hida Furukawa's festival participants, dressed for the second part of it, Okoshi-Daiko. Hida Furukawa, place where you can see the satoyama. Kominka Genshichi, one of the rental houses. Japanese Alps and […]

Eihoji – Tajimi’s Temple

Beautiful scenery created by the clear sky with the pond and bridge. Temple area in Autumn. The colourful entrance gate leading to the monks' residences. Prayers conducted in the lecture hall. Japanese style gardens Top view of the temple building. Eihoji was established in 1313 and is a Zen Buddhist temple in Tajimi City of […]

Ena Sakaori Tanada

Looking up at the Terraced Fields Signs marking rice field property Across the valley Looking up at the Terraced Fields (Photo: Hanako Ward) A strong image to Asia many people have is terraced rice fields. Found on the outskirts of Ena and only reachable by car, the Ena Sakaori Tanada terraced rice fields are truly […]

Exploring Gujo Hachiman

The charming Yanaka Komichi street The cobbled street near Sogi Sui, a water spring where locals once washed clothes and vegetables A building in one of Gujo‘s historic districts The Yoshida River that runs through the center of Gujo Hachiman Gujo Hachiman Castle is a modern reconstruction but has a history that dates back centuries […]

Takayama’s Beautiful Fall Festival

Fall Festival Floats in Takayama Fall Festival Floats in the Night Parade in Takayama Fall Festival Float Marionette Show in Takayama Fall Festival Floats in Takayama In the spring and autumn, Takayama hosts one of Japan's most famous festivals. I was lucky enough in October 2012 to explore the fall festival; watching the night parade […]

Forest Aquarium & Farmhouse Museum

There is a free parking lot just across the street from the museum. Look for this sign as you drive along Route 158. Guests are immediately welcomed by this inhabitant. The museum is well kept and clutter-free. The diorama, at sunset. Guests are welcome to sit, relax, and take in their surroundings. There is a […]

Gassho-style Houses in Shirakawa-go

The Wada House, the largest gassho-styled house in Shirakawa-go Crossing the hanging bridge The raging Shokawa River Water lilies Sophisticated irrigation system throughout the village Overlooking Shirakawa-go village from the observation deck Shirakawa-go from above Peering down through the forestry Rice fields Path leading to the Wada House Attic windows of the Wada House Gassho-styled […]

Gifu Castle, Park and Ropeway

Gifu Castle The Pond Gifu City from the top Another angle of the entrance Ride up on the cable car 3 Tier Pagoda Gifu Castle Gifu Castle (Gifu-jo) is located on the top of Mount Kinka (Kinka-zan) overlooking the city of Gifu and the Nagaragawa in Gifu Prefecture. My first visit there was in 2010 […]

Gujo Hachiman Castle

Gujo Castle The Donjon Gujo City from the Castle Down from the donjon Castle Diorama Castle from the town Gujo Castle (Photo: Justin Dart) When I wake up in the morning and look out my kitchen window, I am greeted by an old friend. Perched on the mountain above looking down on me and my […]

Gujo Odori Festival

Dancing the night away in Gujo. Moving through the night at the Gujo odori Lining up in yukata and geta to dance. Musicians on the stage set the tone for the evening. Dancing down side streets in Gujo city With the musicians performing, the people dance through the night. Dancing the night away in Gujo. […]

Gujo Odori

Gujo Odori A statue celebrating a 400 year-old tradition The main dancing area is in front of the old city hall, now the tourism office. Let the dancing begin Dance all day and all through the night People dance in all corners of the town. Venue: Gujo Hachiman When: Mid Jul – Early Sep 2021 […]

The Hakurankan

The Hakurankan Water Is life Toshi Writing about Gujo The Hakurankan Gujo has a proud history and culture. To celebrate and explain it to visitors can be difficult but one visit to the Hakurankan can. The Hakurankan introduces history, local crafts and dance tied together through the theme of water, a binding force of the […]

Hida Furukawa

Far from the noise and pollution of the city, Hida Furukawa is a small town located amidst the beautiful green mountains and endless rice fields of Gifu Prefecture. The “Takumi of Hida” were known for their exceptional carpentry skill and much effort has been made to protect the stunning wooden architectural cityscape. A well-preserved town […]

Hiroshige II Exhibition

Dec 10th Jan 17th The event flyer Venue: Hiroshige Museum of Art When: Dec 10th – Jan 17th 2021, 9:30am – 5:00pm A special event taking place at the Hiroshige Museum of Art looks at the works of Hiroshige II (1826 – 1869), a Japanese designer of ukiyo-e art who inherited his name after apprenticing […]

Human and Animal Exhibition

Venue: Gifu Museum of Modern Ceramic Art When: Apr 24th – Jun 20th 2021, 10:00am – 6:00pm A special exhibition taking place at the Gifu Museum of Modern Ceramic Art looks at humans and animals as depicted by 5 ceramic artists: Beth Cavener (USA), Susan Halls (UK), Yoshitomo Nara (Japan), Stephanie Quale (UK), and Kim […]

Ceramics Park Mino

Exhibit Pieces Entrance to Ceramics Park Model of the Museum A model of Tajimi done in ceramics Oribe Entrance and the International Ceramics Festival The Parking lot Exhibit Pieces (Photo: Richard A. Dart, MD) Ceramics Park Mino is a beautifully modern structure which is built high above the city in a magnificently laid out park […]

Iwamura: The Misty Castle Town

Iwamura Castle Kimura House side garden Interior of Kimura House Kimura House Aesthetic tree standing tall in the main Kimura House garden Festival props The Japanese countryside is a great setting for a refreshing getaway from city activity, and it does not fail to also enrich your experience of Japanese history and culture. Iwamura, the […]


Kashimo from the sky Kashimo Tomatoes in the shadow of the mountains Makido Tanada Scarecrow in the field Meijiza Theater Michi No Eki Kashimo Kashimo from the sky (Photo: Kashimo Government Branch Office) In the center of Japan is the upside down heart-shaped former village called Kashimo. We could call it,”The heart of Japan”. It […]

Memories of Kawaramachi

The charming Kawaramachi Feel like you stepped back in time in Kawaramachi. Sidestreet – My favorite part of Kawaramachi Take a quiet stroll behind the main street. If you can hear something let me know. Lighthouse near the cormorant fishing wharf. Ukai Boats – The Nagara River was filled to the brim that day. Scooping […]

Kiso Valley’s Magome-juku

The ‘entrance’ to Magome-juku The locals work hard to keep Magome beautiful. Magome lies on a steep slope. An old waterwheel Looking down toward the slope you have just climbed Beside the main street, water gutters lined with beautiful flowers. Shimazaki Toson Memorial Museum The path is lined with shops, restaurants, and ryokan There are […]

Kokeizan Eihoji temple

The Bridge Contemplative pond Raked Rock Garden Waterfall The new main temple Temple entrance The Bridge (Photo: Richard A. Dart, MD) On the high crown of a hill, in a very wooded area of Tajimi is the access path to the Eihoji Temple. The entrance to Eihoji is marked at the trailhead by two cement […]

Kusakabe Mingei-kan

Inside the Kusakabe Mingei-kan. Inside the Kusakabe Mingei-kan. The courtyard of Kusakabe Mingei-kan, where visitors can enjoy a complimentary green tea. For a small town, Takayama is famed for a multitude of things. Its annual spring and autumn festivals are part of UNESCO's intangible cultural list, its Hida beef is some of the best red […]


The waterwheel Looking south, entering the Mino Plain The steep streets of Magome The waterwheel (Photo: Gifu Digital Archive) The drive, heading out from Nakatsugawa, took us up and through winding hills, eventually bringing us to signs pointing to the Nakasendo and on up the hill to Magome. We stopped off at the remains of […]

Magome Post Town

Magome main street The landscape around Magome Magome seems like a more spacious town Stone walkway Big house with a garden Shutters Magome has some different shops, too Birds made of metal There are no lines of houses in Magome Ladies looking for treats, I bet! The street of Magome goes up and down Some […]

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