Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Gifu Prefecture
岐阜県
Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
• Japanese 岐阜県
• Rōmaji Gifu-ken

Prefectures of Japan Gifu – Profile Photos

Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Tōkai)
Island Honshu
Capital Gifu
Subdivisions Districts: 9, Municipalities: 42
Government
• Governor Hajime Furuta
Area
• Total 10,621.29 km2 (4,100.90 sq mi)
Area rank 7th
Population (June 1, 2019)
• Total 1,991,390
• Rank 17th
• Density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-21
Website www.pref.gifu.lg.jp/English
Symbols
Bird Rock ptarmigan
(Lagopus muta)
Fish Ayu
(Plecoglossus altivelis)
Flower Chinese milk vetch
(Astragalus sinicus)
Tree Japanese yew
(Taxus cuspidata)

Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県, Gifu-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu.[1]: 246 [2]: 126  Gifu Prefecture has a population of 1,991,390 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 10,621 square kilometres (4,101 sq mi). Gifu Prefecture borders Toyama Prefecture to the north; Ishikawa Prefecture to the northwest, Fukui Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture to the west, Mie Prefecture to the southwest, Aichi Prefecture to the south, and Nagano Prefecture to the east.

Gifu is the capital and largest city of Gifu Prefecture, with other major cities including Ōgaki, Kakamigahara, and Tajimi.[3]: 246

Gifu Prefecture is located in the center of Japan, one of only eight landlocked prefectures, and features the country’s center of population. Gifu Prefecture has served as the historic crossroads of Japan with routes connecting the east to the west, including the Nakasendō, one of the Five Routes of the Edo Period. Gifu Prefecture was a long-term residence of Oda Nobunaga and Saitō Dōsan, two influential figures of Japanese history in the Sengoku period, spawning the popular phrase of “control Gifu and you control Japan” in the late Medieval era.[4] Gifu Prefecture is known for its traditional Washi paper industry, including Gifu Lanterns and Gifu Umbrellas, and as a center for the Japanese swordsmithing and cutlery industries. Gifu Prefecture is home to Gifu Castle, the 1,300-year-old tradition of Cormorant fishing on the Nagara River, and the site of the Battle of Sekigahara.

History

The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honshū, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan’s history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Tenmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.

The area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano.[5] The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567.[6] The first character used comes from Qishan (岐山), a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Qufu (曲阜), the birthplace of Confucius.[7] Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind.

Historically, the prefecture served as the center of swordmaking for the whole of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. More recently, its strengths have been in fashion (primarily in the city of Gifu) and aerospace engineering (Kakamigahara).

On October 28, 1891, the present-day city of Motosu was the epicenter for the Mino–Owari earthquake, the second largest earthquake to ever hit Japan.[8] The earthquake, estimated at 8.0 (surface wave magnitude), left a fault scarp that can still be seen today.

Geography

One of the few landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gifu shares borders with seven other prefectures: Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Shiga, Mie, Aichi, and Nagano. Japan’s postal codes all start with a three-digit number, ranging from 001 to 999. Part of Gifu has the 500 prefix, reflecting its location in the center of Japan. The center of Japanese population is currently located in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture. The center of population is a hypothetical point at which a country is perfectly balanced assuming each person has a uniform weight. The spot was calculated using the 2005 census.

As of 31 March 2019, 18 percent of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Hakusan and Chūbu-Sangaku National Parks, Hida-Kisogawa and Ibi-Sekigahara-Yōrō Quasi-National Parks, and fifteen Prefectural Natural Parks.

Regions

Gifu has five unofficial regions, which allows local municipalities to work together to promote the surrounding area. The five regions are Seinō,[10] Gifu,[11] Chūnō,[12] Tōnō[13] and Hida.[14] The borders of the regions are loosely defined, but they are usually delineated among major cities.

Topography

The northern Hida region is dominated by tall mountains, including parts of the Japanese Alps. The southern Mino region is mostly parts of the fertile Nōbi Plain, a vast plains area with arable soil. Most of the prefecture’s population lives in the southern part of the prefecture, near the designated city of Nagoya.

The mountainous Hida region contains the Hida Mountains, which are referred to as the “Northern Alps” in Japan. The Ryōhaku Mountains are also in the Hida region. Other major ranges include the Ibuki Mountains and the Yōrō Mountains.

Much of the Mino region is made up of the alluvial plain of the Kiso Three Rivers, which are the Kiso River, Nagara River and Ibi River. The sources of Kiso river is in Nagano prefecture, and those of the others are in Gifu prefecture. They eventually run through Aichi and Mie prefectures before emptying into Ise Bay. Other major rivers in the prefecture include the Miya, Takahara, Shō, Toki (Shōnai), Yahagi and Itoshiro rivers.

Climate

The northern Hida region is dominated by tall mountains, including parts of the Japanese Alps. The southern Mino region is mostly parts of the fertile Nōbi Plain, a vast plains area with arable soil. Most of the prefecture’s population lives in the southern part of the prefecture, near the designated city of Nagoya.

The mountainous Hida region contains the Hida Mountains, which are referred to as the “Northern Alps” in Japan. The Ryōhaku Mountains are also in the Hida region. Other major ranges include the Ibuki Mountains and the Yōrō Mountains.

Much of the Mino region is made up of the alluvial plain of the Kiso Three Rivers, which are the Kiso River, Nagara River and Ibi River. The sources of Kiso river is in Nagano prefecture, and those of the others are in Gifu prefecture. They eventually run through Aichi and Mie prefectures before emptying into Ise Bay. Other major rivers in the prefecture include the Miya, Takahara, Shō, Toki (Shōnai), Yahagi and Itoshiro rivers.

Municipalities

All of the cities, towns, villages and districts of Gifu Prefecture are listed below.

Cities

Twenty-one cities are located in Gifu Prefecture:

Gifu – (the capital city of the prefecture)

Ena
Gero
Gujō
Hashima
Hida
Kaizu
Kakamigahara
Kani
Mino
Minokamo
Mizuho
Mizunami
Motosu
Nakatsugawa
Ōgaki
Seki
Tajimi
Takayama
Toki
Yamagata

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Anpachi District
Anpachi
Gōdo
Wanouchi
Fuwa District
Sekigahara
Tarui
Hashima District
Ginan
Kasamatsu
Ibi District
Ibigawa
Ikeda
Ōno
Kamo District
Hichisō
Higashishirakawa
Kawabe
Sakahogi
Shirakawa
Tomika
Yaotsu
Kani District
Mitake
Motosu District
Kitagata
Ōno District
Shirakawa
Yōrō District
Yōrō

Economy

Traditional industries such as paper-making and agriculture are found in Gifu, but its economy is dominated by manufacturing including aerospace and automotive, with industrial complexes extending from the Nagoya area. A wealth of small component manufacturing is also found, such as precision machine, dye and mold making, and plastic forming.

Traditional industries

Gifu is famous for cormorant fishing, which has a history of over 1,300 years. Agriculture is also a major industry because of Gifu’s vast, arable plains. The forests in the north provide materials for woodworking and for the viewing boats used in cormorant fishing.

The Mino region has long been known for its high-quality paper called Mino washi, which is stronger and thinner than most other papers in Japan, and was used by the Japanese military during World War II.[22] Other paper-based products include Gifu Lanterns and Gifu Umbrellas, made in the prefectural capital of Gifu. Other traditional goods include mino-yaki pottery in Tajimi, Toki, and Mizunami, cutlery in Seki, and lacquerware in Takayama. Sake is often brewed with clear water from the rivers.

Modern industries

Kakamigahara has a large role in the prefecture’s modern industries. It boasts large aerospace facilities of both Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as well as many metalworking and manufacturing companies.

Information technology (IT) is gaining a foothold in the prefecture with both Softopia Japan in Ōgaki and VR Techno Japan (part of Techno Plaza) in Kakamigahara. The capital city of Gifu, located between Ōgaki and Kakamigahara, is also working to strengthen its IT fields, too.

Tourism

Gifu has many popular tourist attractions, bringing visitors to all parts of the prefecture. The most popular places are Gifu, Gero, Shirakawa and Takayama. Gero is known for its relaxing hot springs, which attract visitors throughout the year. Shirakawa’s historic villages are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Takayama is famous for retaining its original appearance and is often referred to as Little Kyoto.

In addition to international tourists, Gifu also plays host to many international events. The World Event and Convention Complex Gifu is available for many types of events. Other areas of Gifu, too, bring international events. The World Rowing Championships were held in the city of Kaizu in 2005. The FIS Snowboard World Cup was held in the city of Gujo in 2008. The APEC Japan 2010 SME Ministerial Meetings were held in Gifu City.

Science

The Kamioka area of the city of Hida is home to the Kamioka Observatory underground laboratory. Located 1,000 m (3,281 ft) underground in Kamioka Mining and Smelting Co.’s Mozumi Mine, the Super-Kamiokande experiment searches for neutrinos from the high atmosphere, the sun and supernovae, while the KamLAND experiment searches for antineutrinos from regional nuclear reactors. The Super-Kamiokande consists of a cylindrical stainless steel tank that is 41.4 m (136 ft) tall and 39.3 m (129 ft) in diameter holding 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water. Some of the 11,146 photomultiplier tubes are on display at the Miraikan in Tokyo. The same facility also hosts the CLIO prototype and KAGRA gravitational wave detector.

 

Demographics

The prefecture’s population was 2,101,969, as of 1 September 2007, with approximately 1.8 million people in the cities and the rest in towns and villages.[23] The percentage of male and female residents is 48.4% and 51.6%, respectively.[23] 14.4% of the population is no more than 14 years old, with 22.1% of the population being at least 65 years old.[23]

According to Japan’s census, the country’s center of population is located in Gifu Prefecture. In 2000, it was located in the former town of Mugi, which has since merged with Seki. In the most recent census in 2005, the center of population has moved slightly more to the east, but is still located within Gifu.

Education

Asahi University
Chubu Gakuin University
Chukyo Gakuin University
Gifu City Women’s College
Gifu College of Nursing
Gifu Keizai University
Gifu Pharmaceutical University
Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University
Gifu University
Gifu University of Medical Science
Gifu Women’s University
Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences
Tokai Gakuin University

Transportation

Rail

JR Central
Tokaido Shinkansen – Gifu-Hashima Station
Tokaido Line
Takayama Line
Chuo Line
Taita Line
Meitetsu
Nagoya Line
Kakamigahara Line
Hashima Line
Takehana Line
Hiromi Line
Inuyama Line
Yoro Railway
Nagaragawa Railway
Tarumi Railway
Akechi Railway

Road

Expressway and toll roads

Meishin Expressway
Chuo Expressway
Tokai Hokuriku Expressway
Tokai Loop Expressway
Chubu Jukan Expressway
Hakusan Forest Road
Mount Ibuki Toll Road
Nagaragawa Riversideway

National highways

Route 19
Route 21
Route 22
Route 41
Route 156
Route 157
Route 158
Route 248
Route 256
Route 257
Route 258
Route 303
Route 360
Route 361
Route 363
Route 365
Route 417
Route 418
Route 419
Route 471
Route 472
Route 475

 

Prefectural symbols

Gifu’s symbol comes from the first character gi (岐) of its Japanese name, written in a stylized script, surrounded by a circle, which represents the peace and harmony of the prefectural citizen. It was chosen by contest in 1932.[24]

The prefectural logo (see right) expands from the red dot into the center to the outer two lines and, finally, the yellow plain. This symbol was chosen in 1991 for the development and expansion of the prefecture.[24]

The prefecture also has two plants (the milk vetch and the Japanese yew) and two animals (the snow grouse and the ayu) as symbols. The milk vetch was chosen in 1954, because the prefecture is well known for its abundance of blooming milk vetch each spring. The yew was chosen in 1966, because it is the tree used to make ornamental scepters for the emperor, many of which came from the Hida district. The snow grouse was chosen in 1961, as the birds live up in the Japanese alps and is a nationally protected species. Ayu were chosen in 1989, because the fish is found in many prefectural rivers and is prized for its sweet taste.

Notable people

Chie Aoki, sculptor
Chiune Sugihara, diplomat
Junji Ito, mangaka
Tsuyoshi Makino, author and social activist
Teiji Takagi, mathematician

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