Center of Fukui city
An area where you can experience history, such as the "Fukui Castle Ruins" where the castle tower has a prefectural office, the "Yokokan", and the "Kitasho Castle" castle tower built by the Sengoku warlord Shibata Katsuie.
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The Fukui City Tourist Information Center provides tourist information for sites inside and outside Fukui City. You can purchase transportation tickets there for the Fukui Railway and Keifuku Bus Service. The Center will also assist you by delivering your baggage to your accommodations. You can also borrow raincoats and wheelchairs (free of charge) as well as rent electric bikes.See more
Asuwayama Park contains historical artifacts and burial mounds related to Emperor Keitai, who is said to be from Fukui. There is a natural history museum on the grounds as well as a literary memorial museum dedicated to the poet Tachibana Akemi, who was active at the end of the Edo Period.
It is an ideal place for citizens to relax while discussing the history of Fukui City.
In spring, about 3,500 cherry trees can be seen in full bloom, including the 350-year-old weeping cherry tree at Asuwa Shrine.
Japan's largest row of cherry blossom trees
Six-hundred cherry trees line the banks of the Asuwa River, which runs through the center of Fukui City. They stretch over 2.2 kilometers and are said to be the longest path of cherry trees in Japan. They were originally planted thanks to donations from citizens of the city in hopes of a recovery from the Fukui earthquake. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the path along the river turns into a pink tunnel. This beautiful scenery has been selected as one of the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan.
The Fukui Sakura Festival is held during the peak season and is crowded with cherry blossom spectators.
The Yokokan Garden was formerly the villa of the Matsudaira clan, one of the lords of the Fukui Domain. It was used as a guesthouse during the Meiji era, but was destroyed during a war. However, as part of the Gosensui Plan, the garden was designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty during the Edo Period and has since been restored. It is a tasteful garden with ponds, trees, rock arrangements, and out-buildings in the Sukiya architectural style. You can enjoy all four seasons here.
This garden has been recognized both domestically and internationally and was ranked third among Japanese gardens in an American garden magazine for three consecutive years until 2010.
The famous Fukui Castle has been around for seventeen generations of the Echizen Matsudaira family. Hideyasu Yuki, the second son of Ieyasu Tokugawa, was the first feudal lord of Fukui and started building the castle in 1601 and finished it six years later. The vast castle, suitable for the powerful 680,000 koku clan that took over the Kaga Maeda clan, was encircled by four moats, protecting a five-storied castle keep that towered 37 meters, equivalent to a modern 12-story building. Today, only the castle stone walls and a portion of the moats are left.
In addition, an old well called the "Fortune Well" was found beneath the castle tower. This well is said to be the origin of the name “Fukui City.”
Tachibana Akemi was a poet during the closing days of the Edo Period. He was discovered by Shiki Masaoka during the Meiji Period and became widely popular thereafter.
The Tachibana Akemi Memorial Literature Museum is built on the ruins of Akemi's former house, called “Koganaya,” or Golden Hut.
At the age of 21, Akemi retired and lived a secluded life on top of Mt. Atago (currently Mt. Asuwa), where he continued to write poems about life, society and nature while living in poverty, but without the restraints of civilization.
In one exhibit area, you can see a part of the restored straw house in which he lived; in another, you can see some of the letters and literary works he wrote during his life as well as learn about the famous people of the late Edo period. This is the place to visit to know more about Akemi’s world.
The Asuwa Shrine has a history of more than 1500 years and is known to be a sacred place for those who want to be blessed with children.The god enshrined here has many divine powers, but the shrine is especially famous for ensuring pregnancy and easy childbirth but also for safety during construction and warding off evil.
In addition, on the grounds of the shrine, there are living monuments such as weeping cherry trees and Japanese maple trees.
Dinosaurs run rampant in the plaza at the west exit of JR Fukui Station!
This is a plaza in front of the station with moving monuments of "Fukuiraptor," "Fukuisaurus" and "Fukuititan" that used to live in Fukui Prefecture.
Fukui City Central Park is located in the center of Fukui City, and is developed as a park at the location of the former West San-no-Maru and West Ni-no-Maru of the Fukui Castle ruins. The park has a visitor center and other facilities, as well as a large open lawn where citizen-organized events are regularly held.See more
Ichijodani / Togo
An area that is irresistible for history lovers at the popular "Ichijodani Asakura Ruins", which has become a hot topic in TV commercials.
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Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruin is the ruins of a castle town of the Asakura clan, who ruled Echizen for five generations (1471-1574). At that time, the castle town was in no way inferior to Kyoto. The town has been restored, and now the mansions, temples and roads are just like they used to be. The ruins are still being excavated, and artifacts, such as tea sets, stationery and other objects of value to research have been discovered. This is a rich archaeological site that has been designated as a site of special historic significance and scenic beauty as well as an important cultural property. There are only a few such archaeological sites in Japan.See more
Mt. Monju is a mountain made holy by Taicho Daishi who climbed it thirteen centuries ago in 717 AD. It consists of three ridges: Omonjyu, Shomonju and Okunoin. Mt. Monju is the central peak of the five mountains that make up the Ochi Mountains: Mt. Haku, Mt. Hino, Mt. Ochi, Yoshinogatake and Mt. Monju.
At an altitude of 365 meters on the mountainside, there is a small temple called Omonju that houses a statue of the bodhisattva Manjusri that was built by Taicho himself and is still worshiped as a Buddha to this day.
The mountain can be climbed in all seasons, and you can enjoy a variety of plants and flowers. In the spring there are camellias, dogtooth violets and late-blooming cherry blossoms; in the summer, there are green trees and plants; and in the autumn there are the changing leaves before winter. You can also see Japanese serows, which are a rare species of wild antelope-like mammal. Also, an endangered plant called Amana latifolia Erythronium has been found for the first time on the Sea of Japan side of Japan.
The Ichijo Waterfall has a drop of about 17 meters and a width of about 2 meters. It is truly a majestic waterfall.
It is said that Taicho Daishi trained here and created this waterfall. It is also well known as a training spot for Miyamoto Musashi’s rival, Kojiro Sasaki.
Echizen Cape has been selected as one of the "100 Best Sunsets in Japan". The beauty of the coast, which is lined with strange rock cliffs such as "Kotorimon," fascinates visitors.
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Koshino Swimming Beach is on a calm coastline with a long, clean, sandy shore. It is also reputed for its clear water. It is a safe beach for small children. Many people visit from inside and outside the prefecture to enjoy windsurfing and other marine sports. The area is also famous for its fishing.See more
Takasu Swimming Beach is a beautiful beach that boasts some of the clearest water of all beaches in Japan. The Takasu-Ayukawa coast is located in the Echizen-Kaga Kaigan Quasi-National Park. In the winter, you can have fresh seafood, such as Echizen crab and sweet shrimp. During the summer, the beach is crowded with people coming to swim.
There are famous sights nearby, such as Hokojima and Gamejima, as well as promenades along the coast, making this area ideal for a holiday stroll.
The Echizen Misaki Suisen Land, or Echizen Cape Daffodil Land, is located on a hill overlooking the Echizen coast. You can enjoy a panoramic view that changes depending on the time and season. In summer, you can see the lights of fishing boats in the distance, and in winter, you can enjoy the lovely daffodils blooming all around you.See more
The Garagarayama (Rattle Mountain) Campground is a mountainside camping area where you can enjoy outdoor recreation and sports. With a magnificent view overlooking the Sea of Japan, you will be able to enjoy various kinds of recreation at this resort facility, known for its unconventional name. There are log cabins with private hot spring baths, a dog run, and other amenities. How about spending some relaxation time in nature?See more
You can enjoy beautiful Echizen daffodils at the Daffodil Dome, which is the main attraction at the Echizen Suisennosato Park. You can appreciate the daffodils year-round. This facility is the first ever in Japan to succeed in keeping the flowers blooming throughout the year. With the opening of the Daffodil Dome, more people are able to appreciate the beauty of the Echizen daffodils. Two-thousand flowers are cultivated and exhibited at all times. The sweet smell of the lovely daffodils is very inviting.See more
The ancestors of Oda Nobunaga have a history of serving as priests. The shrine owns many cultural properties such as national treasures (exhibited at the Oda Cultural History Museum), and you can feel the sacredness of the shrine. It is also known as a place with spiritual energy.See more
Hoko Island is made up of andesite columnar joints. It was named Hoko Island due to the fact that the rock columns look like rows of halberds, a kind of pole weapon known as a ‘hoko” in Japanese. The view of the Sea of Japan from the top of the island is exceptional, and strolling the beaches searching for seashells is a popular activity.See more
Suburbs of Fukui City
The area is dotted with spectacular spots, including "Fukui Fresh Ichiba" where you can find fresh ingredients, and many museums.
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“Minka,” or traditional folk houses, built during the Edo period were relocated from all over Fukui prefecture and restored in the Osagoe Minka Garden. This “minka garden” truly recreates the look and lifestyle of the Edo period.See more
Out of the many people enshrined at the Fukui-Ken Gokoku Shrine, is one Sanai Hashimoto, a brilliant doctor who lived during the closing years of the Edo Period.
His quotes are written on paper and put inside a “daijyobu” charm that people can carry to protect themselves from illness. The “I’m okay” charm is only available at this temple and is popular with people who say that they desire an unshakeable faith.
On the shrine grounds there is a sturdy pillar called the “Kyuryu Chutei Pillar,” which symbolizes this unshakable faith. And nearby is another, called the “Senobi Stone,” which allows you to compare your height with that of Dr. Hashimoto.
Many people come to pray for success or victory, especially students, who come in large numbers to pray during examination season, between November and March.
Daianji Temple is a Rinzai sect Myoshinji temple, built in 1658 by the fourth feudal lord of Fukui, Mitsumichi. For more than 350 years since its foundation, the building has not been damaged by war or earthquake and remains almost the same as when it was first built.
Hundreds of cultural properties are preserved inside the temple, including the Rakan drawings, an important cultural property designated by the national government. The temple is also open to the public.
Behind the main hall of the temple is a cemetery with the mausoleums of the successive feudal lords of Fukui. The cemetery is called “Senjojiki,” or a Thousand Tatami Mats because it contains 1,360 tatami-sized pieces of “shakudani” stone, a stone found in Fukui that is famous all over Japan. The sight of the line of 4-meter high tombstones is breathtaking.
The temple grounds also contain an iris garden, where a festival is held every June for visitors to enjoy the thousands of budding irises.
"The garden and the thatched hut still retain the atmosphere of the end of the Edo period, away from the hustle and bustle. It is now used as a ryotei (Japanese-style restaurant).
The remains of a scepter stone quarry can still be seen on the site, and scepter stones are also used for paving stones and bridges."
This museum is popular for its unique exhibits, including a history zone themed on the "history of things and manufacturing" in Fukui and a topic zone called "Life in the Showa Era," which recreates townscapes and farmhouses from the 1950s to the 1960s.See more
"One of Fukui's traditional soul foods is sauce katsudon and oroshi soba.
The special sauce that they use is an original sauce with a natural sweetness using plenty of vegetables such as apples, tomatoes and onions."
Eiheiji / Okuetsu
An area recommended for adult trips, such as Eiheiji Temple, which was rated as two stars in "Michelin Green Guide Japan", and Rokuroshi Kogen, which is rich in nature.
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With a height of 17 meters, surpassing even that of the Great Buddha of Nara, the Echizen Daibutsu is the largest indoor statue of the Great Buddha in Japan. There is also a beautiful Japanese garden where you can enjoy white plum blossoms, red plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, azaleas, autumn leaves and maple trees. You can enjoy all four seasons at this garden.See more
Katsuyama City accounts for 80% of dinosaur fossils discovered in Japan, and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is one of the world's leading dinosaur museums.
There are fossils, dioramas, very realistic reconstructions of dinosaurs and forty full dinosaur skeletons on exhibition in this spacious museum.
[Japan Heritage Fukui, Katsuyama Stone Story]
Japanese Cultural Heritage: Reading the Stones of Fukui and Katsuyama
Heisenji Hakusan Shrine was originally a Buddhist temple of the Hakusan Faith, founded by Taicho Daishi in 717; however, it was officially designated as a shrine during the Meiji Era, when the government wished to make a clear distinction between temples and shrines.
The shrine grounds are covered with a spectacular moss that covers the ground like a carpet, and 200-300 year old cedar trees stand in rows. The natural beauty of the surroundings soothes the souls of those who visit.
And right next to the temple parking lot is an ice cream shop that is very popular with the locals. Their soft serve ice cream is made from the fresh milk of hand-milked Jersey cows.
The construction for the Echizen Ono Castle started in 1575 and was completed four years later. The castle, which is built on two levels, stands on a mountain overlooking Ono City and provides excellent views from its three-story donjon. The current castle was rebuilt in 1968 and houses relics of the castle lords who have lived here over the generations. These objects are on display in the castle.See more
Eiheiji Temple is a priesthood meditation complex founded by Dōgen Zenji in 1244.
Located beside a babbling brook in a secluded alpine valley on the side of Mt. Daibutsuji (lit. Mt. Great Buddha Temple), the complex consists of over 70 buildings of various sizes clustered around the main hall, bell tower, pagoda, and other essential temple structures.
Over 200 monks-in-training practice Buddhism here night and day. The grounds of the temple complex are about 100,000 tsubo (330,000 square meters) and surrounded by a thick forest of old-growth cedar trees, said to be over 700 years old. This quiet environment is perfectly suited to a sacred place of meditation for those entering the Buddhist priesthood
There is a legend about this mysterious pond that, mirror-like, reflects the nature around it. The ancient legend says that a monster serpent is trapped inside after having been chopped up and shut inside by Taicho Daishi, the famous Buddhist priest who built a temple high on Mt. Haku.
There are streams that flow into the pond, but never out. Strangely enough, the water level is always constant.
Tojinbo / Awara Onsen
An area with Tojinbo, a cliff with rough cliffs, and Awara Onsen, one of the best hot spring towns in Fukui Prefecture, designated as a national natural monument.
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Surrounded by vast lawns and blessed with nice views of the sea, Shibamasa World is a water resort with many attractions, such as roller coasters and other rides. The huge water slide called “The Monster Wing" is very popular in the summer.See more
The Mikuni Sunset Beach stretches across the northwestern part of Mikuni Port.
It is popular with families with small children because of its shallow waters.
Every year on August 11th, the largest fireworks festival in the Hokuriku area is being held here.
Including 5000 fireworks such as gimmick fireworks and starmine, various other fireworks such as Niagara Falls brighten up the night sky. The beautiful fireworks reflecting on the Sunset Beach are absolutely gorgeous.
Also, during the peak season, this beach is popular with young people that go yachting and windsurfing.
Awara Onsen is a hot spring resort town that is familiarly known as “Kansai’ Antechamber.” The town was given this nickname because of its elegant atmosphere. They have welcomed many customers since 1887, the opening of the hot spring.See more
Echizen Matsushima, a small island floating on the clear sea, is carved with vertical, horizontal and diagonal crystalline rocks. This naturally sculpted work of art is truly breathtaking. There is also an aquarium on the island. Once you get there it will feel as if you have stepped into a different world. Echizen Matsushima is a highly recommended spot to visit.See more
Maruoka Castle, which was built in 1576 during the Sengoku period, is said to have the oldest architectural style among the twelve existing castle donjons in Japan.
In the beginning of April, cherry trees surrounding the castle are in full bloom, and are a truly magnificent sight.
Tojinbo is a nationally designated scenic spot with a spectacular view of the Sea of Japan.
Rough waves crash against 25-meter high cliffs that stretch as far as 1 km. It is a truly impressive sight. You can also ride a pleasure boat and enjoy the view of the magnificent cliffs from the sea.
The massive "Zuijin Gate" was donated by wealthy merchants from the town of Mikuni-minato, who prospered in the Kitamae-bune trade. The craftsman who worked on the gate was also from the town. You can truly tell that the gate was built during a time of prosperity.
The shrine is only a 15-minute walk from Mikuni-jinja Station.
Sabae / Nan-etsu
Even in Fukui, where many "traditional crafts" are rooted in Japan, the area where traditional crafts such as glasses, Echizen lacquer and Echizen Japanese paper are popular.
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The Takefu Knife Village is an internationally-recognized production area of forged knives. Its knives have been selected to form a permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The 700-year-old traditional technique originated in 1337, when a master of Kyoto during the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties, came to the Echizen region and made not only fighting swords but also sickles for farmers.See more
The Imadate District, where Echizen Washi Village is located, has a 1500-year history of producing Echizen washi, or Japanese paper. The area boasts of its high quality paper and advanced techniques.
At the Echizen Washi Village, you can observe the craftsmanship of Echizen paper-makers, experience making your own washi, and visit other facilities related to the making of Echizen washi. The paper-making shops are lined up along a 230-meter long street that intertwines natural beauty with a traditional Japanese village.
The Megane Museum is a symbol of Sabae, the city of eyeglasses. You can learn the history of the production of glasses, experience making glasses in the museum workshop, or visit a shop that sells original products from approximately 45 companies around Japan. You can even have your glasses custom-made.See more
The traditional taste of 90 years in business. You can experience making your own soba at the Experience Dream Factory and enjoy the taste of freshly made soba right on the spot. You can also just simply take a tour of the factory.See more
Otaki Shrine is the only shrine in Japan that enshrines the God of Paper.
In the late Edo Period, the roofs of the main shrine and front shrine were joined to create a structure with a complex geometry and a sculpted, decorative appearance. The whole building looks like a single sculpture. It blends into the forest background in a fantastical way that charms the worshipers.
During the Edo Period, Imajo-juku prospered as a post town on the Hokkoku Highway that connected Omi Maibara (in current day Shiga Prefecture) and Naoetsu (in current day Niigata Prefecture) passing through Echizen Imajo. The town has many historic landmarks that recall the look and feel of bygone times.
An event called the "Kaido Roman Imajo-Juku" is held in mid-September to remember with nostalgia the old post town.
The Fukui Prefectural Museum of Ceramics was opened in 1971 to promote Echizen ware, which is numbered among the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. You can learn the history of Echizen ware, purchase exhibited items, and watch demonstrations on how to make pottery. You can also make your own Echizen ware by attending a pottery class.See more
A papermaking house used during the Edo period was relocated and restored into what is now called the Udatsu Paper & Craft Museum.You can see how traditional craftsmen make Japanese paper using old-fashioned tools and drying the paper out in the sun.See more