Gifu Prefecture located on Honshu main island, is nestled in-between Osaka and Tokyo, an inland “Gem” with many living culture awaiting to be discovered.

Shirakawa Go in October

Gifu “PERFECT”ure ……..

We were honoured with a visit from the Department of Agricultural Policy of Gifu Prefectural Government in promoting beautiful Gifu prefecture. Hosted by Apple Group Managing Director – Dato’ Sri Koh Yock Heng and headed by Deputy Executive Director – Mr. Toshimitsu Obara,Senior Assistant Director (Sales Promotion) – Mr. Hiroyasu Taguchi, Chief Officer – Mr. Kentaro Asano and Manager of International Affairs Division – Mr. Hidehiko Kato.

(From L-R) Operations Officer Apple Japan – Mr. Tiang Kai Loong, Senior Manager Apple Japan – Mr. Martin Teh, Manager of International Affairs Division – Mr. Hidehiko Kato, Apple Group Managing Director – Dato’ Sri Koh Yock Heng, Deputy Executive Director – Mr. Toshimitsu Obara, Senior Assistant Director (Sales Promotion) – Mr. Hiroyasu Taguchi,
and Chief Officer – Mr. Kentaro Asano

Gifu Prefecture located on Honshu main island,nestled in-between Osaka and Tokyo, an inland “Gem” with many living culture awaiting to be discovered.By now one would have seen pictures or maybe even visited the quaint snow clad gassho-zukuri or thatched-roof houses in winter of Shirakawa Village. But that is certainly not all. The other amazing scenery is “The Pond” in Seki City which seems a mirror reflection of a Monet painting and not forgetting the ‘Machu Picchu’ of Ibigawa Town. But there is still many different facades to be discovered in Gifu Prefecture known as the Heartland of Japan, divided into few regions. Gifu prefecture does not only draws inspiration through the eyesight, seeing its majestic vista’s.

White Capped Roof of Gassho Village in Winter

The rising popularity of Monet’s Pond in Seki City

Tantalize your taste-buds……an amazing unforgettable epicurean journey!

One must experience the essence of this beautiful prefecture through the other senses – tantalizing taste-buds which leads you through an amazing unforgettable epicuran journey! The region of Hida located on the northern part of Gifu prefecture, is well known as the longest in the region to raise the Black-haired Japanese Wagyu cattle called ‘Hidagyu’ or Hida Beef. What sets the melt-on-the-tongue “Hidagyu” apart? Raised in a span of 14 months, they are fed 16 thousand litres of purest fresh spring mountain water form the Hida region. It’s bountiful nature with clear streams in making the ‘Hidagyu’ the first prize winner of the Japanese National Wagyu Exhibition or dearly known as “Wagyu Olympic Games”.Available all year round.

The Ayu often called Queen of Clear Stream is actually a type of freshwater fish known for its sweet flesh, available only from March to November. Representing Gifu prefecture and a testament to its pure water in Nagara river, you would know that spring has arrived when the fish is in abundance which will be fished using ‘ukai’ a traditional method with Comorant birds or some may even use “yana technique”. A technique dating back to the Edo period. It can be eaten in sashimi style or grilled fresh and salted.

A part from these two specialties, do not loose out in trying the fruits of ‘Polotan Chestnut’ which you can taste it’s high quality of the powdery meat. The famed Fuyu persimmons, which has been cultivated in Gifu prefecture in 1890’s by Saiji Fukushima and due to its high quality breed winning multiple awards it is adopted all over Japan till this day.

Hidagyu …. melt in your mouth Hida Beef

Known as “Queen of Clear Stream ” …. Ayu fish is enjoyed shioyaki style

Polotan Chestnut of Gifu. Large, sweet, deliciously powdery meat.

Let’s hear it from the V.I.P …..

Here are some insights and good suggestions from Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Toshimitsu Obara for Malaysians who are visiting Gifu prefecture for the first time. Winter season is a must, for those who have experience snow fall in other countries you might be sceptical, but here it is blessed with powdery pure white snow. Come during the April and May, you will experience two combined magic! Cherry blossoms against white powdery snow background. Skiing in the powdery snow will ensure your break be a little softer. Gujo city is famous for its Ski resorts and have held International Ski Tournaments. As for the first time Muslim travelers, Takayama city and Gifu city which are one of the main attractions have Muslim-friendly restaurants and hotels. Malaysian visitors are ranked third as foreign visitors here.

Bab al-Islam, Gifu Mosque

Top three choice one must try ……

The top three food you can’t leave Gifu prefecture without trying is of course ‘Hidagyu‘. Hoba Miso is a speciality dish found here, the Hida beef can be cooked with miso (from soybean paste) on the Hoba (a magnolia leaf). You can enjoy them in nigiri sushi way, of course through shabu shabu (a quick dip in the hot pot is enough) and Mr. Toshimitsu Obara’s first choice as steak cooked 30% for its melt-in-your-mouth experience.

To enjoy the sweetness of the Ayu meaning sweetfish in Japanese is cooked shioyaki style with salt. The third item must try is the the ‘Fuyu’ persimmons known as the King of Sweet Persimmons. Yearly it is also auction to the highest bidder.

Hoba are Magnolia Leaves in Japanese

Beautiful marbled melt in your mouth Hidagyu

Enjoy Hidagyu sushi

Fuyu Persimmons or as locals call them Fuyugaki

Top three things to do …..

As for the top three places to visit on his list is Takayama city where you can stroll the old city of Takayama and end the day with soaking in one of the Okuhida’s onsen overlooking the mountain. Pay a visit to the Sword Museum in Seki city, the Sword Capital of Japan and experience making a sword on your own. Seki city is also where you will chance upon the nameless pond which is now well known as Monet’s Pond! Last but not least the top three festivals one must experience the three designated Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2016. They are Takayama Festival held in April and October where you can see the beautiful workmanship of the traditional floats, Spring time is welcomed by Furukawa Festival and Ogaki Festival where 13 parade floats make their way through the castle town.

Hida Takayama the Old Quarter of Takayama as the locals call it “Little Kyoto”

With over 700 years of history, now you can experience the traditional way of making sword

Takayama Festival takes place in April and October

Apple Vacations do arrange hassle free direct flights into Nagoya which will save time in reaching Gifu Prefecture to experience the many wonders found here. As travelers are more aware and begin to explore more of Japan’s sceneries and rich cultural heritage, Apple Vacations offer these fulfillment.

Follow the link to find out more: