The Essential
A former stopover on the Nakasendo Highway which joined Edo and Kyoto, Gifu grew up near the castle, south of the Nagara River. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1891 then by the 1945 bombings, sadly, the town has lost much of its heritage. However, it does still have a rich tradition of quality crafts, and in summer attracts crowds of tourists, who flock here to see the cormorant fishing.