Population: 795 thousand
photo by Toshi Kawabata
Fukui Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chubu region on Honshu Island. That capital is the city of Fukui.
Fukui is well know for its beef grown in the Wakasa area of Western Fukui Prefecture, its crabs which are prized for their guts called kani-miso, and for soba noodles.
Fukui has the largest rate of car ownership in all of Japan, and for good reason. The public transport is not as well developed as in other areas of Japan, such as the Tokyo or Kansai areas. However, it is possible to access most areas by train or bus.
- FUKUI CITY
- The city is located in the north-central part of the prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
The city has suffered two major disasters: the World War II bombing that has destroyed nearly 86% of the city and a major earthquake in 1948. Since then the city has regained its energy and vitality and is increasingly becoming a popular destination for people all over the world.
Its biggest two attraction, Eiheiji Temple and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum are located just outside the city but can be easily visited in a half-day trip.
The Eiheji Temple it is a Zen training temple consisting of 70 buildings connected by wooden walkways build over an ancient forested hill. Its magnificent Main Gate is the oldest structure at Eiheiji and dates from 1749.
The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is one of the best dinosaur museums in the world and is located just outside the city limits.
Other famous attractions are Fukui Castle, the Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins, one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Japan and Asuwa River.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- Fukui Prefecture is a mix of beautiful scenery, historic architecture and delicious sea food.
Tojinbo Cliffs in northern Fukui, a formation of mass rocks that stretches over 1 km.
The cliffs' rocks were originally formed 12- to 13-million years ago during the Miocene Epoch due to various volcanic activities but their shape has been formed through the years by the erosion from the raging sea waves.
Teramachi street in Ono city, a castle town known as the Little Kyoto of the Hokuriku area where you can feel the Japanese tradition while touring the old stone-paved streets in a rickshaw.
Shizuhara Adventure boat in Ikeda Town, a natural river rafting course stretching over 2.1 km.
The Echizen Historical Costume Parade of Fukui, a spring Festival held every April. People dressed up as historical feudal warlords parade through the city. Men are dressed in armor while the ladies wear beautiful kimonos.
The cherry tree tunnel. Over 600 cherry trees form a long colonnade along the banks of Asuwa River, chosen ad one of the best 100 cherry blossom-viewing spots in Japan. The scenery is particularly beautiful in spring when the trees are in full bloom creating a magnificent 2.2 km tunnel of flowers. Many of the trees are lit up every year.
Nishiyama Park in Sabae city is the most famous place on the coast of Japan for its approximately 43,000 azaleas that bloom at the beginning of summer. Around 1000 cherry trees can be admired at the beginning of spring. The park also includes numerous facilities such as an Adventure Forest and a Japanese garden. An annual azalea festival is held from the beginning to the middle of May.
Mikata-goko lakes, west-southwest of Tsuruga city is an area with five small lakes, each lake being of a different nature - salt water, fresh water or brackish water ( water that has salinity but not as much as seawater). The area scenery can be enjoyed by taking a high-speed pleasure boat that cruises four of the lakes in approximately one hour, or a 11.2 km scenic road, Mikata-goko Rainbow Line that runs on the ridge of the mountains.
- GETTING THERE
- By plane
The nearest airport to Fukui is in Komatsu. Buses connect Komatsu Airport with Komatsu Station, from which you can take a Hokuriku Line local train for the 50 minute run to Fukui.
If coming internationally, the best airport to arrive in is Kansai Airport in Osaka. From Kansai Airport, you can reach Fukui by train in about 3 1/2 hours.
Fukui is a major station on the JR Hokuriku line, which links Toyama with Maibara. A connection to the Kosei Line at Tsuruga provides a direct link to Kyoto and Osaka.
Fukui is connected to Kyoto and Osaka 1-2 times per hour by the Thunderbird train. This train makes the run from Osaka to Fukui in about 1 hour, 50 minutes. From Kyoto, the run takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
If coming from Tokyo, take the hourly Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari service that stops at Maibara station. From Maibara, take the Shirasagi to Fukui.
The Dream Fukui overnight bus service runs from both Tokyo and Shinjuku to the Keifuku Bus Terminal in Fukui (9 hours, ¥8300 one-way). Two departures nightly.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- Fukui has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is plentiful throughout the year, even in the driest month, and is particularly heavy in December and January.
The hottest month is August, with an average daily temperature of 27°C , while the coldest is January with an average of 3.9°C .
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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