Mt. Kinka And Gifu Castle Hikes

Is it really New Years already??? While the weather still looks nice it has gotten rather chilly (at least we haven’t gotten snow yet). The picture below is from Mt. Kinka on the Higashizaka trail. You can enjoy the hike starting from Iwado Park (25-min ride from Gifu Station Bus Terminal platform #10; get off at Iwado Koen Mae).

Higashizaka Trail

In order to see this view on the Higashizaka trail make sure to take the more risky “gake,” or cliff path when the trail splits into two. Just please be careful!

There are a total of ten different hiking trails that travel up to the peak of Mt. Kinka (and yes I plan to attempt each one). The most common hiking routes are located on the Gifu Koen (Gifu Park) side of Mt. Kinka. To travel to Gifu Koen from Gifu station by bus take the “N80” for Takatomi, “N32” or “N86” for Takatomi or Gifu Park, or the “City Loop-line” counter-clockwise direction for about 15min (all are 210 yen one-way) and get off at “Gifu Koen Rekishi Hakubutsukan Mae.” The hiking trails from the Gifu Koen area are as follows (from easiest to most difficult): Meisou no Komichi, Nana Magari Hiking Trail, Hyaku Magari Hiking Trail, and Uma no Se Hiking Trail.

So far I have been able to do the Hyaku Magari, Nana Magari, and the Higashizaka Hiking Trail (from around the back). The sign at the Hyaku Magari trail head warned in Japanese that the course is only for those with strong, healthy legs and I would agree (the Uma no Se trail has you climbing straight up the face of the mountain so I can’t say I would recommend it).


Gifu Castle

If you aren’t interested in hiking but still want to see Gifu Castle, located at the top of Mt. Kinka, there is an aerial tramway to the top for 620 yen. Gifu Castle was first completed in 1201 and at a later time was used by famous samurai general Nobunaga Oda as his home base. Nowadays it is a museum holding various historical artifacts such as local documents and weapons (admission is 200 yen). From the top floor of the castle you can see a beautiful 360° panoramic view of Gifu City and the surrounding area.


The view of Gifu City and the Nagara river from the observation deck

Apart from the castle there is also a restaurant with a observation deck on the roof and a squirrel village where you can watch and interact with the furry little creatures.

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