Because it is in the middle of the main Japanese island between Tokyo and Kyoto, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history. The prefecture served as the center of sword making (katana) in all of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. Today, you can experience charms of old city streets and mountain farming villages in destinations like Takayama; Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site that boasts a record number of traditional gassho-style homes; and Gujo Hachiman, the ancient castle town of famed springs and crystal-clear waters. The area is also home to the thousand year old Gero Onsen, one of the Three Great Hot Springs of Japan.