Yaotsu (八百津町, Yaotsu-chō) is a town located in Gifu Prefecture. Historically, this town was the transit point between the road and river transportations, accommodating several river ports on the Kiso River flowing from east to west through the town. The town is filled with rich greenery and water from 80% of its land covered by forestry. Local sake made with spring water from the mountains, brewed products such as miso, soy sauce and vinegar, Yaotsu Senbei - wheat cookies, and Kurikinton - chestnut sweets are local specialties representing the town. In the season of cherry blossoms, two unmissable festivals are held : “Yaotsu Danjiri Festival” and “Kutami Karakuri Festival”.
Yaotsu is the hometown of Chiune Sugihara. The Hill of Humanity Park and the Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall were built to commemorate his achievements. His deed filled with humanitarian spirit gave a glimmer of hope to humankind in the period of tragedy and misery on a global scale and this legacy should be shared with the world, and passed on to future generations.
The highest bridge bungy jump in Japan! Shintabisoko-bashi is one of the largest bridges in Japan with a total length of 462 meters. From this bridge surrounded by the scenic mountains, you can experience a big thrilling jump towards Tabisoko River flowing far below your eyes. Face your fears, test your will and then realize your potential. If you are brave enough to take a leap of faith, an unforgettable rewarding experience can be guaranteed.
The Hill of Humanity Park was built to honor the humanitarian spirit and accomplishments of Chiune Sugihara. You can enjoy a peaceful time with the music from the iconic memorial “Symbol Monument” and a splendid view of Yaotsu town from the top of the hill where another memorial “Visas for Life Monument” stands. The Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall, located in the Hill of Humanity Park, exhibits his life in chronological order. It also has a room called the “Decision Room”, replicating the appearance of the office of the Japanese Consulate in Lithuania at the time when Sugihara issued visas to rescue the Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Experience Chiune’s love for humanity and lay your heart in his thoughts.
Dishes using seasonal ingredients like Matsutake mushrooms and wild boar meat, chestnuts treats `Kurikinton´ that tastes like autumn, many different kinds of local sake made from the pure water of Yaotsu and `Yaotsu Senbei´ cookies with its simple but nostalgic taste.