Words and Photography: Kazuya Baba
This time around, we’ll be shining a light on a place largely unfamiliar to our fan base—Gifu. Readers will most likely associate regions we have covered, such as Hokkaido, Nagano, and Niigata, as renowned snow destinations in Japan. However, residents of Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and other areas of western Japan are likely to have deep connections with Gifu when it comes to snow. Gifu is situated next to Nagano prefecture in a deep inland mountainous area. While its location makes for excellent snow, it remains fairly unknown to international visitors due to the lack of outward marketing as the place to go for snow. This makes it a hidden gem just waiting to be uncovered.
Closing photo gallery
I will be telling you all about the wonders of Gifu through this closing feature alongside the collection of photos I took on my visit there during the 2020 season. The photos were taken while I was based in three locations: Gujo Hachiman, which is a mere stone’s throw away from Nagoya (the third largest city in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka); Hida Takayama, which is a popular tourist destination where old townscapes of Japan can be seen; and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go.
A waterside town at the base of a mountain. Home of the famous Gujo Odori
Streets filled with Edo-period history and culture; mountains bursting with snow activities
Thatchedroof houses: a typical building technique in snowy regions
Beautiful winter wonderlands in this World Heritage Site