The 10 Best Museums in Gifu

Gifu, a prefecture nestled in the heart of Japan, is a treasure trove of culture, history, and art. It’s a place where the past and present coalesce, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the country’s rich heritage. Among its many attractions, the museums stand out as cultural beacons, inviting exploration and discovery. Let’s embark on a journey through the 10 best museums in Gifu, where every exhibit tells a story and every gallery whispers the secrets of bygone eras.

1. Gifu City Museum of History

Stepping into the Gifu City Museum of History is like traveling back in time. Here, you’ll find yourself immersed in the tale of Gifu’s transformation from a strategic military site to a modern city. The museum’s interactive displays and life-sized dioramas bring feudal Japan to life, and you can’t help but feel a sense of awe as you explore the legacy of the great warlord Oda Nobunaga.

2. Gifu Museum of Fine Arts

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Gifu Museum of Fine Arts is a sanctuary for those who appreciate the finer things in life. With a collection that spans from European masterpieces to contemporary Japanese works, this museum offers a visual feast for the eyes. The serene setting, with views of Mount Kinka, provides the perfect backdrop for a day spent admiring the creativity of artists across the ages.

3. Nawa Insect Museum

Who knew bugs could be so fascinating? The Nawa Insect Museum sure did! This unique establishment is dedicated to the world of insects, showcasing an array of specimens that will leave you buzzing with excitement. It’s a place where you can marvel at the beauty and diversity of these tiny creatures, and perhaps, leave with a newfound appreciation for their role in our ecosystem.

4. Gifu Castle Archives Museum

Perched atop Mount Kinka, Gifu Castle is not only a historical landmark but also home to the Gifu Castle Archives Museum. This museum houses an impressive collection of samurai armor, weapons, and documents that narrate the castle’s storied past. The panoramic views from the castle grounds are an added bonus, offering a breathtaking perspective of Gifu’s natural beauty.

5. Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum

The art of sword-making is alive and well in Gifu, thanks to the Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum. Here, you can witness the skill and precision that goes into crafting these legendary blades. The museum pays homage to Seki’s centuries-old swordsmithing tradition, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a live demonstration that will leave you spellbound.

6. Mino Washi Paper Museum

Mino Washi Paper Museum is a testament to the delicate art of Japanese paper-making. Mino washi, recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, is celebrated here through hands-on workshops and exhibits. You’ll gain a deep appreciation for this ancient craft as you learn about the meticulous process that produces paper as light as air yet strong as steel.

7. Gifu Prefectural Museum

For a broad overview of Gifu’s natural and cultural history, the Gifu Prefectural Museum is the place to be. From dinosaur fossils to traditional folk crafts, the museum’s diverse exhibits provide a comprehensive look at the region’s rich tapestry. It’s an educational adventure for visitors of all ages, offering insights into the forces that have shaped this enchanting prefecture.

8. Takayama Showa-kan Museum

Take a nostalgic trip to the Showa era at the Takayama Showa-kan Museum. This charming spot is filled with memorabilia from the 1950s to the 1980s, evoking a sense of yesteryear. It’s a quirky, fun-filled museum that will have you reminiscing about the good old days, even if you didn’t live through them!

9. Hida Takayama Museum of Art

The Hida Takayama Museum of Art is a haven for lovers of modern design and glass art. With its stunning collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces, the museum offers a visual dialogue between East and West. The tranquil gardens surrounding the museum provide a peaceful retreat, perfect for reflecting on the beauty you’ve witnessed inside.

10. Magome Waki-Honjin Museum

Last but not least, the Magome Waki-Honjin Museum captures the essence of the Edo period’s travel culture. Once a lodging for feudal lords, this restored inn now serves as a museum, offering a glimpse into the lives of travelers along the historic Nakasendo route. It’s a cultural gem that transports you to a time when samurai and merchants roamed the land.


  • What is the best time to visit these museums in Gifu?

    Spring and autumn are ideal for visiting Gifu’s museums, thanks to the mild weather and the stunning natural scenery these seasons bring.

  • Are there any admission fees for these museums?

    Most museums in Gifu charge an admission fee, but it’s often quite reasonable. Some even offer discounts for students and seniors, so be sure to ask!

  • Can I participate in any workshops at these museums?

    Absolutely! Museums like the Mino Washi Paper Museum offer workshops where you can try your hand at traditional crafts.


In conclusion, Gifu’s museums are not just repositories of artifacts; they are vibrant cultural hubs that offer immersive experiences. From the historical depths of the Gifu City Museum of History to the artistic allure of the Hida Takayama Museum of Art, each institution provides a unique window into Japan’s soul. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or simply curious about Japanese culture, Gifu’s museums are sure to enrich your understanding and leave you with lasting memories. So, next time you’re in the Land of the Rising Sun, make sure to carve out some time for these cultural jewels. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Kurby Team

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