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Gifu Prefecture

Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu.[1](p246)[2](p126) 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 to the west; Shiga Prefecture to the southwest; Mie Prefecture and 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](p246)

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.

Prefectures of Japan Gifu

Gunma Prefecture


Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 群馬県
 • Rōmaji Gunma-ken

Flag of Gunma Prefecture


Official logo of Gunma Prefecture

Location of Gunma Prefecture
Country 23px Flag of Japan.svg Japan
Region Kantō
Island Honshu
Capital Maebashi
Subdivisions Districts: 7, Municipalities: 35


 • Governor Ichita Yamamoto


 • Total 6,362.28 km2 (2,456.49 sq mi)
Area rank 21st


 (October 1, 2019)
 • Total 1,937,626
 • Rank 18th
 • Density 300/km2 (790/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-10
Bird Copper pheasant (Phasianus soemmerringii)
Fish Sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis)
Flower Japanese azalea (Rhododendron japonicum)
Gifu Prefecture

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

Flag of Gifu Prefecture


Official logo of Gifu Prefecture

Location of Gifu Prefecture
Country 23px Flag of Japan.svg Japan
Region Chūbu (Tōkai)
Island Honshu
Capital Gifu
Subdivisions Districts: 9, Municipalities: 42


 • Governor Hajime Furuta


 • Total 10,621.29 km2 (4,100.90 sq mi)
Area rank 7th


 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total 1,991,390
 • Rank 17th
 • Density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-21
Bird Rock ptarmigan
(Lagopus muta)
Fish Ayu
(Plecoglossus altivelis)
Flower Chinese milk vetch
(Astragalus sinicus)
Tree Japanese yew
(Taxus cuspidata)


Prefectures of Japan Gifu

See also: Historic Sites of Gifu Prefecture

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.


One of the few landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gifu shares borders with seven other prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Ishikawa, Mie, Nagano, Shiga and Toyama. 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.[9]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.

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 both the Hida Mountains, which are referred to as the “Northern Alps”, and the Kiso Mountains, which are known as the “Central 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 Ibi River, Kiso River and Nagara River. The sources of all three rivers are in Nagano Prefecture and they eventually run through Aichi and Mie prefectures before emptying into Ise Bay. Other major rivers in the prefecture include the Jinzū, Takahara, Shō, Shōnai, Yahagi and Itoshiro rivers.

Gifu’s climate varies from humid subtropical climate in the south, eventually making the transition to humid continental climate in the north.

Because the Mino region is surrounded by low mountains, the temperature fluctuates through the year, from hot summers to cold winters. The eastern city of Tajimi, for example, often records the hottest temperature in Japan each year and is considered to be the hottest city within Honshū boasting an average daytime high of 34.1 °C (93.4 °F) during the peak of summer. On August 16, 2007, Tajimi set the record for the hottest day recorded in Japan’s history—40.9 °C (105.6 °F).[15] Summers are hotter, as the landlocked area becomes a heat island, and the temperature rises even further when hot, dry foehn winds blow over the Ibuki Mountains from the Kansai region. The Hida region, with its higher elevation and northerly latitude, is significantly cooler than the Mino region, although there are sometimes extremely hot days there too. The Hida region is more famous for its harsh winters, bringing extremely heavy snowfall, especially in the northwestern areas. Gifu boasts a high amount of skiing locations. Shōkawa-chō, part of the city of Takayama, is up in the mountains, and its location has led it to be called the coldest inhabited place on Honshū.


See also: List of cities in Gifu Prefecture by population

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

Gifu – (the capital city of the prefecture)


Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Anpachi District
Fuwa District
Hashima District
Ibi District
Kamo District
Kani District
Motosu District
Ōno District
Yōrō District


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.


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



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

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

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.[24]



JR East
Joetsu Shinkansen
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Takasaki Line
Shinetsu Line (Takasaki-Yokokawa)
Joetsu Line
Agatsuma Line
Ryomo Line
Hachiko Line (Kuragano-Hachioji)
Tobu Railway
Isesaki Line
Nikko Line (Itakura Tōyōdai-mae Station)
Sano Line
Kiryu Line
Joshin Electric Railway (Takasaki-Shimonita)
Jomo Electric Railway (Chuo Maebashi-Nishi Kiryu)
Watarase Keikoku Railway Watarase Keikoku Line


Kan-Etsu Expressway
Tōhoku Expressway
Jōshin-etsu Expressway
Kita-Kantō Expressway (Takasaki-Hitachinaka)

National highways

National Route 17 (Nihonbashi of Tokyo-Saitama-Kumagaya-Takasaki-Shibukawa-Ojiya-Nagaoka)
National Route 18 (Takasaki-Annaka-Karuizawa-Komoro-Nagano-Myoko-Joetsu)
National Route 50 (Maebashi-Isesaki-Oyama-Yuki-Mito)
National Route 120
National Route 122
National Route 144
National Route 145
National Route 146
National Route 254
National Route 291
National Route 292
National Route 299
National Route 353
National Route 354
National Route 405
National Route 406
National Route 407
National Route 462

Notable people

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

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