The ride north to Gero just primes you for a special time...
The ride north to Gero just primes you for a special time there, beautiful scenes one after another along clear river waterways, mountains, small village farms,and forests.
And, we have to mention Mutsumikan Onsen with its tastefully designed with local and traditional Japaneses decor and welcoming lobby/lounge/bar area. For us, it was the just the beginning of a wonderful stay in Gero. From their gender separated hot mineral bath combination of large indoor o-furo bath and beautifully landscaped and lighted outdoor pool; well executed and delicious dinners featuring the region's Hida beef and port specialties; as well tasty Japanese breakfasts; roomy and well appointed rooms outfitted Japanese style comfortably with futon bedding on tatami mat; sweet, fairly priced gift shop; and incredibly kind staff who go out of their way to answer questions and meet your needs -- a truly special place to stay. Not to be missed as well, they are a five minute walk from the train station (and yet surprised to find how quiet it was) and away from the main part of Gero which we found a bit touristy and crowded Also, a very fairly priced accommodation.
The Gassho Village in Gero is well done, without being kitschy, featuring thatched roof homes transported from Shirakawa-go was interesting, featuring decor and items from long ago Japan village life and a short bus ride from the onsen inns part of Gero. We found Hida Takayama, a short train ride from Gero interesting, especially on the east side where you can see the the old buildings more clearly as it is less developed by tourist shops. The daily outdoor farmers' market is also fun to browse, purchase snacks and small gifts and is charmingly situated along the picturesque river. You can also view the well preserved floats that are paraded at least yearly and which Hida Takayama is famous for as well.