This three-day, 360km trip takes us from lowland Gifu Prefecture and its blossoming cherry trees north into the snow-covered central mountains. We'll visit a traditional swordsmith to watch him forge katana blades from living flame, a hillside town built on water and some of Japan's most iconic thatched-roof homes. A final adventure involves our cyclist in a 200-year old tradition of amateur village kabuki, one of the many ways people have found to enjoy life in the remote mountains.
A katana master uses fire to forge a new blade
The famous thatched-roof houses of Shirakawa-go
Our cyclist takes part in a local kabuki tradition
Gifu's breathtaking 3,000-meter-class mountain range