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Itinerary Series

June 15, 2011
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カテゴリ:Itinerary Series
Ogaki city has plenty to experience. Those with even the slightest interest in haiku poetry, or even history in general, should be sure to check it out. Ogaki boasts a rich history and is the location where the famed haiku poet Matsuo Basho ended his epic Journey on the Narrow Road. With its location near the important battleground of Sekigahara, Ogaki also has an interesting and dramatic history in connection with the Warring States Period.

Over this past Golden Week, a friend of mine visited for a few days and I had the chance to rediscover the charms of the city I've lived in for almost 2 years. We walked from my apartment to Ogaki station, and headed south, stopping at a locally run sushi joint for lunch.

This place has amazing lunch deals, including a nigiri sushi lunch set that only costs 600 yen. I absolutely swear by it. A dozen pieces of sushi (including a few sushi rolls), along with an appetizer, miso soup, and some fruit for dessert round out a massive lunch set that satisfies even foreigner-sized appetites.

A great way to top off this lunch is to stop by one of the numerous Japanese sweets shops along the main road for mizu manjuu, a dessert unique to the city and a favorite of the locals.

We continued heading south until we hit the entrance to the Ogaki Castle grounds. We relaxed outside, taking in the impressive, newly renovated castle. The castle also features a fascinating museum inside (200 yen) that features artifacts and exhibits dealing with local history and culture.

Ogaki Castle Album

From there, we continued along the path through the castle grounds, which leads straight into Ogaki Park. Further south from the park lies the area where Matsuo Basho ended his Journey on the Narrow Road. Boulders engraved with haiku of Basho are strewn throughout the area, and there is also a commemorative statue of Basho and one of his apprentices.

Trees arch over one of Ogaki's many waterways and traditional red bridges really make for a picturesque slice of Japan, and it's easy to imagine myself transported to ancient Japan. I never get sick of overlooking the water from one the bridges.

Ogaki Album

There is plenty more to the city than what I’ve mentioned above, but these are a few things to start you off.

For more on Ogaki, see the Ogaki City Tourist Guide

Access: JR Ogaki station (JR大垣駅) is accessible via the JR Tokaido Line (JR東海道線), Yoro Railway (養老鉄道), and Tarumi Railway (樽見鉄道).

Ogaki Castle Museum (大垣城、資料館)
Operating Hours: 9am-5pm (Last admittance 4:30pm)
Closed on Tuesdays and the day after National Holidays

- Collin S.

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Last updated  June 15, 2011 11:48:48 AM
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June 14, 2011
カテゴリ:Itinerary Series
Need an idea for your visit to the Gifu city area? No problem, we've got you covered in this recap of a group daytrip to Gifu city and Kakamigahara.

First we headed toward Aqua Toto - Gifu World Freshwater Aquarium in the nearby city of Kakamigahara. Because Gifu Prefecture is land locked and has no ocean, this aquarium showcases the source, upstream, midstream, and estuary of the famous Nagara-River, which cuts across the Prefecture, and introduces the characteristic fish and amphibians of the area and of the world. There is also a capybara (the world's largest rodent)!

After touring the facility, we rode in the Ferris wheel and took pictures.

After that, we went to a restaurant called Izumiya in Gifu City. We had several dishes, but the most memorable was the ayu (sweetfish) noodles, which were simple and delicious. I tried komochi ayu (sweetfish with roe) for the first time and it was also very good. I recommend it for lovers of unique seafood and cultural cuisine. For desert we had sanshou ice cream. Sanshou is a type of mountain spice. It was good, sweet, and the flavor was similar to pistachio. I recommend it wish confidence!

Izumiya Homepage (Japanese)

Next we went to Gifu Castle, which sits high atop Mt. Kinka.

Then we went to Tamaiya Honpo, a tradtional Japanese confectionary in Kawaramachi down by the Nagara River. We got to see the moulds and the design magazines that they used a long time ago to make the sweets. Just lovely!

Tamaiya Honpo Homepage (Japanese)

Finally, it was time for cormorant fishing. We went down to the banks of the Nagara river, and a cormorant fisherman, Tetsuji Yamashita, explained the origins of cormorant fishing to the tourists. After he was done speaking, the six of us boarded the boat. Because it was a small flat bottomed boat we punted up the river. When we had progressed quite a distance up stream, the captain tied the boat to the bank and we took out our bento (lunchboxes) and had dinner inside the boat.

When the cormorant fisherman had come down the river to the point where we were, the captain untied the boat from the shore, and we went down the river together. We were really close and could see well. The cormorant fisherman maneuvered the birds skillfully; it was really impressive.

For further information on the locations mentioned here and more, visit the Gifu Convention and Visitor's Bureau Homepage.


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Last updated  June 14, 2011 11:52:12 AM
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