A little late, but here is this week’s Exploring Japan, Fukui prefecture!
Fukui is situated in western Japan on Honshu, facing the Sea of Japan. It has a population of 803,755, one of the smallest in Japan, and shrinking quickly. The capital is Fukui. The five largest cities are:
Fukui has more nuclear reactors than any other prefecture with 14 reactors.
Maruoka Castle – Located in Maruoka, this castle has Japan’s oldest original main tower, even though it collapsed at one time. It was rebuilt with the original material.
Echizen Ono Castle – This castle is located in Ono, and is a reconstruction.
Things to see and do
I’m quite interested in seeing Tojinbo, a rock formation on the coast of Fukui. Another interesting place outside of major cities is Eiheiji temple, which is one of the two most important temples of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism.
In Fukui city, there’s plenty to see. One place I’d love to see is the Ichijodani Asakura Family Historic Ruins, which is an entire town that was excavated, including the ruins of Ichijodani Castle. You can also see the ruins of Fukui Castle and Kitanosho Castle. The Asuwa River would be amazing to see while the cherry blossoms are blooming, having over 600 cherry trees.
Echizen may be a small city, but it has an incredible number of shrines, temples, and castle ruins. Oshio Hachiman Shrine was built in 887, and is an important national cultural property. Some castle ruins that can be visited are Komaru Castle, probably the only ones worth visiting. The rest are mostly memorial sites and markers. Murasaki Shikibu Park was built in honour of the author of The Tale of Genji. She lived in Echizen for a short time. Rozan Park on Murakuni Mountain has a great view of the region. There are historic areas of the city, including Kura-no-tsuji, which has historic warehouses. And you can also see waterfalls, such as Yanagi Falls and Minowaki no Tokimizu. There’s so much to write about, so maybe a tour of the entire city is in order.
Obama is well-known for its similar name to American President Barack Obama. It also has a nice beach area and the ruins of Obama Castle. Myotsuji temple has a 3-storey pagoda that is a national treasure.
Ono is a historic city that not only has the castle, but also Tera-Machi, a street with a lot of temples. Hokyoji is a Zen Monastery that is supposedly beautiful. You can also study zazen in Ono.
Sakai city has Maruoka Castle, and Tojinbo is nearby. But it also has the famous Awara Onsen.
Fukui is famous for a few things, including soba noodles, Echizen crabs, and beef that comes from Wakasa. As the water is very clean in Fukui, it claims to have the best rice in Japan, as well as very good sake.
Have you been to Fukui? What would you recommend?