There are scheduled buses (5 times/day) connecting Osaka Namba OCAT to Shin Gifu Bus Center. The trip takes less than 3 hours under normal traffic condition.
The public bus line throughout Gifu City is Gifu Bus, run by Meitetsu. It has substantial coverage throughout the city.
Also, there are three Rent-a-Cycle stations in downtown Gifu (JR Gifu Station, Gifu City Hall South Branch, and Gifu Park). You can rent bikes for 100 yen per day.
Ukai (cormorant fishing) occurs every year between May 11th and October 15th on the Nagara River. You can watch this spectacular event by boarding a viewing boat or watching from the banks of the river. Gifu City is the only place where this tradition has continued uninterupted for 1300 years.
Gifu Castle: Originally referred to as “Mt. Inaba Castle,” this castle was the residence of Saito Dosan, the Sengoku Period warlord. In 1567, Oda Nobunaga renamed it “Gifu Castle” and used it as his headquarters when unifying Japan. The current castle was completed in 1956 and underwent a major renovation in 1997. When Gifu Castle is open for night viewing, you can enjoy a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view from the castle tower.
Mt. Kinka Cable Car: The cable car connects Gifu Park and Mt. Kinka. You can enjoy the look of Mt. Kinka clad in a primeval forest and the scenery of the crystal clear Nagara River stretching below during the three minute ride. From the terminal on Mt. Kinka, you can walk to Gifu Castle in about seven minutes. You will be impressed by the beautiful 360-degree panoramic view from the castle tower.
Gifu City Museum of History: There are exhibition corners where you can experience history while being introduced to it. In particular, the Castle Town of the Warring States Period is displayed in-scale and the Rakuichi-ba has been restored. (Rakuichi-ba is the Free Market established by Oda Nobunaga for the promotion of the Castle Town economy by drawing in merchants.)
Kato Eizo-Toichi Memorial Art Museum: It was established in 1991 as a place to admire the well-known Japanese artists, Eizo and Toichi Kato, who were both born in Gifu. It houses paintings by the Kato brothers and holds a variety of exhibitions for the locals.
Public Tea Ceremony House: You can see beautiful scenery in Gifu Park all year round. Places of interest in Gifu Park are a statue of Nobunaga, the Oda Nobunaga Palace Ruins, the Kabukimon, the Gifu City Museum of History, and the Nawa Insect Museum. At the Tea Ceremony House, visitors can relax and enjoy a bowl of green tea.
Nawa Insect Museum: The Nawa Insect Museum has been open since 1919 and is the oldest insect museum in Japan. In this museum, familiar insects, as well as rare and attractive species from all over the world, are exhibited. The museum also sells entomology tools and there are also talks about insects. Because the building is very important for historical value, the museum is a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.
Gifu Great Buddha: The Gifu Daibutsu (Great Statue of Buddha) is located southwest of Gifu Park in the Colossal Hall of the Great Buddha at Kinpo-san Shobo-ji Temple. It is basketwork-style, painted with lacquer, and plated gold. It is the largest Buddha statue of this type in Japan. The statue is 13.7 meters tall. The ears are 2.1 meters long and the nose is 0.4 meters wide. It contains an image of the Yakushi-nyorai made by Jikaku-daishi.
Sanko Art Museum: The Sanko Art Museum is located on a hill and affords a view of Mt. Kinka. It is in a quiet area surrounded by Sarastewartia trees (similar to camellias). Coffee, tea, and green tea are served here. The museum houses tea utensils and paintings, including those by Renoir, Chagall, and Ryuzaburo Umehara.
Cormorant Hermitage: You can look at a scene of cormorant fishing from an early date, the clothes of the fishing master, a cormorant fishing boat, and other materials at the hermitage. You can watch the 24 cormorants which actually work during the fishing season that are kept in the yard. You will be able to eat and drink coffee and Ayu Zosui (rice porridge with sweetfish) in this place. If the fishing master is at home, he will explain this traditional fishing method. You can enjoy a pleasant time listening to the interesting story.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu: The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu has approximately 3,000 works, including the world-famous collection of Odilon Redon. It comprises broad fields, especially the local, modern, and contemporary artists. Temporary exhibitions are held periodically. In addition, you can enjoy our exhibition-related events; talks, lectures, workshops, performances, and so on. Also, there is the beautiful and peaceful garden of 20,000 trees and a stream.
Gifu City Science Museum: The Gifu City Children Science Museum was built in 1955. It was moved to its present location and called the Gifu City Children’s Science Center in 1980. The name was changed to the Gifu City Science Museum in 1988 when the planetarium was added. We have the planetarium and many exhibits that can be operated and touched. It’s an intellectual place to learn through experiences.
The traditional industries of Gifu City are Japanese umbrellas (wagasa) and lanterns, both of which are made of hand-made paper.
El Paso near Meitetsu Gifu Station serves the best and widest selection of Mexican food (TexMex) & drinks. They also have a variety of other delicious dishes. Prices are reasonable and the service is great. The waitress speaks a little English and the menu is in English and Japanese. The decor is a little eclectic with Buzz Light Year and Woody from Toy Story. The TV will be playing either sports or Country/Western music videos. The place is a bit small, and can fill up, but they are open until around 1:00 A.M., with less customers then.
The NEMS is one kilometer east-southeast of Gifu Station at 2-12-2 Kinen-cho, between the Meitetsu and JR tracks. Serves great Western food & drinks only; no soy sauce or miso in this mom & pop shop. Pilaf, Doria, Cheese Yaki Spaghetti, Spicy Chili Tomato Spaghetti, Gratin, Seafood Risotto, Vegetable Salad, Crustless Pizza, Hot or Cold Barley Berry Tea, and 80 more items are on the menu. Prices are regular and the portions are large. The owner speaks English. The decor is Western with foreign knick-knacks to entertain your eye. There is a selection of English & Japanese magazines and books. WiFi is available to regulars. Native language lessons available from the American, French, Mexican & Japanese family. See photos on Gifu Radio 80 EVENING TRIPPER, January 7, 2008.
Rodeo Roundup is in Akutami-cho, on highway 156, 500 meters north of the post office. Serves super delicious Steaks and the best Ribs in the U.S. and Japan; both about ¥3000 for the largest sizes. They are cooked over a wood fire on a big brick & iron Santa Maria-style barbecuer. I've stopped ordering Steaks and Ribs at all other places in Chubu because nothing else has ever come close. (I'm saving up ¥20,000 so my wife and I can test a steak at the restaurant just east of the Nagara bridge.) Rodeo Roundup is a cowboy restaurant & bar, with all the decor coming straight from Santa Maria, California. Bring a pillow if your butt is bony and you plan to stay awhile. MANY more items are on the menu, from Octopus Salad to Mexican Tacos. Prices are reasonable. The owner speaks English, having lived in Santa Maria and other places for 5 years as an illegal alien. You'd be needing reservations for this place every night if it wasn't 10 kilometers from Gifu Station.
BAR LEON is kitty-corner from the northeast corner of Yanagase on Kanda-machi street. This place is the second most popular foreigner's hangout in Gifu, and would likely be the favorite place if it was nearer to Gifu Station. It has character, ambiance and a wide variety of Japanese & foreign clientele. Don't let the name fool you: Besides alcohol, a wide variety of live music, and dancing, this place has a lot of super food on the menu. Last time I looked, the delicious food was 1/2 price on Mondays. (That's usually when I go there, except when my son is playing bass there.) Don't try to order the fancy food on a live night after the crowd shows up. My favorite item is the Whole Chicken, roasted with a Brazilian 12 chicken rotisserie in the Latin American style, and served with a unique spicy, milky-cheesy sauce on the side. Leon hails from Lima, Peru. Don't show him a picture of Lima, or he'll get tears in his eyes. The staff are smart. They speak English, French, Spanish, German, Korean, Japanese, and some Portuguese & Italian. Babies of mixed nationality are occasionally conceived by clients after meeting in this bar/restaurant. It has never been ascertained whether the food, or other factors have been responsible. For those who are too young to walk the distance: Remember, you can pack 5 people in a taxi, and split the ¥600 fare to BAR LEON!
Fandango is 150 meters southwest of Mirai Hall, which is across the street from Memorial Center. We always get reservations for this place, even on weekdays, because it seats very few people. Decor is Spanish, but the menu is Western eclectic with a touch of Sashimi, as is usual in this area of Japan, and is very much the owner's style. Order the Beef Tongue; order it when you call for reservations. Other than the tongue, we almost always ask the chef to choose for us; and we are never disappointed. Prices are a bit high, but you get some very fancy food. The wine is fine, but we order the cheapest. The owner speaks a little English. This is definitely the place to impress a woman on your first date: I did, and then, outside the shop, she said, "Dreams come true." in broken English, and then we looked at Saturn, made a baby, and she married me.
Aka Noren is 2 kilometers east of the south side of the Iwado Tunnel. This place has the best Shio Ramen bar none. The other Ramens and the Dote are great too, and the Gyoza is strange, but good and green and healthy, and cooked with no oil! Prices are cheap. The owner speaks no English, but he very friendly, and is a wonderful character to sit in front of and watch. If you use your toilet at home, you won't need to use the port-a-potty outside. In 14 years, I've NEVER seen the place without customers, and it's often hard to get a place to park or sit, even on weekdays!
B's Cafe, Yanagase Shopping Mall. A cool bar frequented by young Japanese and a few foreigners. The management and bar staff are very friendly, it plays good music and it has 'funky environs'. It often holds launch parties for up and coming Japanese music. Drinks are reasonable, at ¥500, and on the first Thursday of every month there's no cover charge. Secondroom, just below offers a place to chill out with the owner, Bryan.
Bier Hall, near Gifu Meitetsu station. The main gaijin hangout in Gifu City, and popular with Japanese too.