|Subdivisions||Districts: 9, Municipalities: 42|
|• Governor||Hajime Furuta|
|• Total||10,621.29 km2 (4,100.90 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Density||190/km2 (490/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-21|
Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県, Gifu-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. (p246) (p126) Gifu Prefecture has a population of 1,991,390 (as of 1 June 2019 [update] ) 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. 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.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.
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.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. 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. 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.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, [update] 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.
Gifu has five unofficial regions, which allows local municipalities to work together to promote the surrounding area. The five regions are Seinō,Gifu, Chūnō, Tōnō and Hida. 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). 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.
|Gifu City (Mino Region)|
|Hida Takayama (Hida Region)|
|Shōkawa, Takayama (Hida Region)|
All of the cities, towns, villages and districts of Gifu Prefecture are listed below.
Twenty-one cities are located in Gifu Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
The prefecture's population was 2,101,969, as of 1 September 2007, [update] with approximately 1.8 million people in the cities and the rest in towns and villages. The percentage of male and female residents is 48.4% and 51.6%, respectively. 14.4% of the population is no more than 14 years old, with 22.1% of the population being at least 65 years old.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nagano Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshū. Nagano Prefecture has a population of 2,052,493 and has a geographic area of 13,561 square kilometres (5,236 sq mi). Nagano Prefecture borders Niigata Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the northeast, Saitama Prefecture to the east, Yamanashi Prefecture to the southeast, Shizuoka Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture to the south, and Gifu Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture to the west.
Ōgaki is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 31 October 2018, the city had an estimated population of 161,539, and a population density of 782 persons per km2 in 65,931 households. The total area of the city was 206.57 square kilometres (79.76 sq mi). Ōgaki was the final destination for the haiku poet Matsuo Bashō on one of his long journeys as recounted in his book Oku no Hosomichi. Every November the city holds a Bashō Festival.
Takayama is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 88,473 in 35,644 households, and a population density of 41 persons per km2. The total area of the city was 2,177.61 square kilometres (840.78 sq mi) making it the largest city by area in Japan. The high altitude and separation from other areas of Japan kept the area fairly isolated, allowing Takayama to develop its own culture over about a 300-year period.
Tajimi is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 March 2020, the city had an estimated population of 110,070 in 46,580 households, and a population density of 1200 people per km2. The total area of the city was 117.01 square kilometres (45.18 sq mi). The city is famous for its production of Mino ware ceramics, especially in the Oribe and Seto styles. Tajimi is a member of the World Health Organization’s Alliance for Healthy Cities (AFHC).
Seki is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 89,020 and a population density of 190 persons per km2 in 35,366 households. The total area of the city was 472.33 square kilometres (182.37 sq mi).
Minokamo is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 56,972 and a population density of 74.81 persons per km2, in 22,508 households. The total area of the city was 74.81 square kilometres (28.88 sq mi).
Kakamigahara is a city located in southern Gifu Prefecture in Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 148,225, and a population density of 1700 persons per km2, in 59,736 households. The total area of the city was 87.81 km2 (33.90 sq mi).
Mino Province, one of the old provinces of Japan, encompassed the southern part of modern-day Gifu Prefecture. It was sometimes called Nōshū (濃州). Mino Province bordered Echizen, Hida, Ise, Mikawa, Ōmi, Owari, and Shinano Provinces.
Hida Province was a province of Japan in the area that is today the northern portion of Gifu Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan. Hida bordered on Echizen, Mino, Shinano, Etchū, and Kaga Provinces. It was part of Tōsandō Circuit. Its abbreviated form name was Hishū (飛州). Under the Engishiki classification system, Hida was ranked as a "inferior country" (下国) and a middle country (中国) in terms of its importance and distance from the capital. Currently, the entire area of the former Hida Province consists of the cities of Hida, Takayama and most of the city of Gero, and the village of Shirakawa, in Ōno District.
Gero is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 31 October 2017, the city had an estimated population of 33,283, and a population density of 39 persons per km2, in 12,253 households. The total area of the city was 851.21 square kilometres (328.65 sq mi). The city is famous for its hot springs.
Hida is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 December 2017, the city had an estimated population of 24,726, and a population density of 31 persons per km2, in 8,905 households. The total area of the city was 792.53 square kilometres (306.00 sq mi). The official kanji for the city is actually 飛驒, which uses the old (kyūjitai) rendering of the 騨 character. However, the 驒 character is not included on the official list of usable characters, so the 騨 character is often used outside of the city.
Chūkyō, or the Chūkyō region, is a major metropolitan area in Japan that is centered on the city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. The area makes up the most urbanized part of the Tōkai region. The population of 9,552,132 over an area of 7,072 square kilometers. ［http://demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf] Nevertheless, like most of Japan's major metro areas, the core of it lies on a fertile alluvial plain, in this case the Nōbi Plain.
Tōnō (東濃) is the southeastern portion of Gifu Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan. The Tōnō region received its name as a combination of the kanji for "east" (東) and "Mino" (美濃). The borders of this region are not officially set, but it generally consists of the following cities: Tajimi, Toki, Mizunami, Ena and Nakatsugawa. Occasionally, Kani, usually part of the Chūnō region, is also included as being part of Tōnō.
Toyama is the capital city of Toyama Prefecture, Japan, located on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chūbu region on central Honshū, about 200 km (120 mi) north of the city of Nagoya and 300 km (190 mi) northwest of Tokyo. As of 1 June 2019, the city had an estimated population of 415,844 in 176,643 households, and a population density of 335 persons per km². Its total area was 1,241.77 square kilometres (479.45 sq mi).
Gifu is a city located in the south-central portion of Gifu Prefecture, Japan, and serves as the prefectural capital. The city has played an important role in Japan's history because of its location in the middle of the country. During the Sengoku period, various warlords, including Oda Nobunaga, used the area as a base in an attempt to unify and control Japan. Gifu continued to flourish even after Japan's unification as both an important shukuba along the Edo period Nakasendō and, later, as one of Japan's fashion centers. It has been designated a core city by the national government.
The Nōbi Plain is a large plain in Japan that stretches from the Mino area of southwest Gifu Prefecture to the Owari area of northwest Aichi Prefecture, covering an area of approximately 1,800 square kilometres (695 sq mi). It is an alluvial plain created by the Kiso Three Rivers and has very fertile soil. It is bordered on the west by the Ibuki and Yōrō mountain ranges, and to the east by the Owari Hills. Its northern border is marked by the Ryōhaku Mountains and the south by Ise Bay.
Gifu (岐阜) is the southcentral portion of Gifu Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan. It shares its name with the prefecture and the capital city of Gifu. The borders of this region are not officially set, but it generally consists of the following cities and towns: Gifu, Kakamigahara, Hashima, Mizuho, Motosu, Yamagata, Kasamatsu, Ginan and Kitagata.
Seinō is the southwestern portion of Gifu Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan. Before Gifu became a prefecture, the area was part of Mino Province. The Seinō region received its name as a combination of the kanji for "west" (西) and "Mino" (美濃), and is sometimes referred to by the unabbreviated name of Nishi Mino. The borders of this region are not officially set, but it generally consists of the following cities and towns: Ōgaki, Kaizu, Gōdo, Wanouchi, Anpachi, Ibigawa, Ōno, Ikeda, Yōro, Tarui and Sekigahara.
Hida (飛騨) is the northern portion of Gifu Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan. The Hida region received its name because the area was formerly part of Hida Province, before the formation of prefectures in Japan. The borders of this region are not officially set, but it generally consists of the following four municipalities: Takayama, Hida, Gero and Shirakawa.
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