Temples are great repositories of artwork, though most only allow visitors in a few times a year (if at all) to see them. This isn't the case at Daitsū-ji, where you're free to wander the worn tatami (tightly woven floor matting) passages to see centuries-old paintings of landscapes and wildlife – including Important Cultural Properties by members of the Kanō school – on fusuma (sliding doors) and byōbu (folding screens), as they were meant to be seen (and not behind glass).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kansai attractions

1. Giant Kaleidoscope

0.09 MILES

At this very retro attraction, stand underneath the tower, hand-crank the wheel and watch what happens above.

2. Kurokabe Square

0.13 MILES

Kurokabe means 'black walls' and many of the stucco shopfronts in this historic district are charcoal grey. The shops themselves sell craft and takeaway…

3. Nagahama Hikiyama Museum

0.14 MILES

Two of the hikiyama (festival floats) used during Nagahama's famous Hikiyama Matsuri are on display here, along with video footage of the festival.

4. Genkyū-en

7.25 MILES

This landscaped garden, inspired by an ancient Chinese garden and criss-crossed by waterways and wooden bridges, was created in the 17th century by the…

5. Hikone-jō

7.43 MILES

Completed in 1622, this diminutive castle of the Ii family of daimyō (domain lords) is rightly considered a National Treasure; much of it remains in its…

6. Shōhō-ji (Gifu Great Buddha)

28.57 MILES

The main attraction of this orange-and-white temple is the papier-mâché daibutsu (Great Buddha; c 1832), one of the three Great Buddha statues of Japan…

7. Gifu City History Museum

28.64 MILES

Located within the grounds of Gifu-kōen, this museum focuses on the Sengoku period, when daimyō Oda Nobunaga was at the height of his power. Enthusiastic…

8. Nawa Insect Museum

28.67 MILES

On the grounds of Gifu-kōen is this quirky collection of more than 300,000 beetle, butterfly, moth and other insect specimens. It's the personal…