The Mount Kinka Ropeway
The Mount Kinka Ropeway whisks you from Gifu Park up 329 meters (or about 1,080 ft) to the top of Mount Kinka in about three minutes. The ride up gives visitors the chance to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the area as well as the primeval forests that cover the mountain.
The ropeway runs every 10 minutes on weekends and every 15 minutes on weekdays. There's quite a bit to explore once you reach Mount Kinka's summit. Gifu Castle and Museum, a Squirrel Village, a restaurant and observation deck with 360-degree panoramic views of the valley below are all within a short walk of the ropeway station.
Panoramic Night View
For a limited time in the summer and autumn, the ropeway runs until 10 p.m. for night views. The season runs from the end of July until the end of August, in addition to Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from September through mid-October. The round trip for the ropeway after 6 p.m. for the panoramic nighttime viewing period is ¥900.
The castle at the top of the mountain, along with the observation deck, is perfect for soaking in the stunning panoramic night views of Gifu, Nagoya and everything else in between. The illuminated cityscape below is so beautiful that it's often likened to an aurora in the sky.
Gifu Castle & Museum
Located on the peak of Mount Kinka is Gifu Castle, once the residence of one of Japan’s greatest samurai warlords, and first great unifier of Japan, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582). The museum contains artifacts not only belonging to the castle’s famous former owner but also items from the Japanese Warring States period in which he lived. The entrance fee is only ¥200 and the castle also offers great 360-degree panoramic views of Gifu and the surrounding area. The castle is open until 10 p.m. during the summer months.
The Squirrel Village
The Squirrel Village is a unique opportunity to play with and feed the adorable local squirrels while learning about the four species contained within the enclosure. Be warned, they can be very aggressive and will think nothing of climbing all over you, particularly if they haven’t eaten for a while. The entrance fee for the Squirrel Village is ¥200, with squirrel food available to purchase for an additional cost.
The Observation Deck Restaurant
The Observation Deck Restaurant is an inexpensive place to eat that also offers stunning panoramic views of the city lights and cityscape below. During summer nights there's even an open-air beer garden on top of the restaurant that further enhances the dining experience.