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Japan Regional Information

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Fukui

Tojinbo with crags created by the raging waves
Eihei-ji Temple, a sanctuary in which novices and itinerant monks devote themselves to asceticism
Fukui is located in the northwest of Central Japan and faces the Sea of Japan on the north. On its east side lies the land made up of a mountainous country linked to the Tateyama mountain range and the Fukui Plains. Its western part, by contrast, is formed with a stretch of hills and a relatively narrow flatland. The city of Fukui, the center of local administration and economy, thrived as the castle town of Shibata Katsuie, a war lord in the 16th century, then as the seat of the government of a daimyo in the Tokugawa family from the 17th century to the 19th century. The city is dotted with historic remains that reflect its prosperity from those days, including the Yoko-kan garden and the Saiko-ji Temple with Shibata Katsuie Museum annexed to it.

On the coast of the Japan Sea in northern Fukui is Tojinbo known for its mass of rocks eroded into crags by raging waves. The columnar joint configuration of pyroxene andesite (an assembly of pentagonal or hexagonal rocks) is so rare that it is the only one of its kind in Japan and similar rock formations are found only at two places in the rest of the world. Southeast of the city of Fukui stands Eihei-ji Temple environed with Japanese cedars more than 600 years old. As the headquarters of Sodoshu (a Buddhist sect), the temple is inhabited by nearly 200 novices and itinerant monks devoting themselves to asceticism. Fukui is also known for many traditional handicrafts, like the Echizen-yaki, one of the six oldest kinds of potteries in Japan and Echizen-washi (Japanese paper) with a history of 1500 years.

Getting there
2 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo station to Maibara Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. About 1 hour 5 minutes from Maibara Station to Fukui Station by JR Hokuriku Main Line. About 1 hour 55 minutes to Fukui Station from Osaka Station by JR Hokuriku Main Line.
 

  • Echizen Kaigan coast
    100km long coast with oddly shaped rocks and precipices
    Wild Echizen daffodils in all their glory in the depth of winter
    The Echizen Kaigan coast stretches from Suizu in the Tsuruga Bay at the center of Fukui to Tojinbo. It is a coast famous for its 100km long beautiful shoreline along the Sea of Japan, and is located within the Echizen-Kaga Quasi-National Park. The coast has a row of sea cliffs and oddly shaped rocks formed by the rough waves of the Sea of Japan. Around the Echizen-misaki Point in particular, there is Torikuso-iwa rock that rises straight out of the sea with a height over 50m, as well as Kochomon, that has a dark brown erosion cave 15m high and 30m wide, the largest cave in the Echizen-Kaigan coast. There is also Echizen-misaki Lighthouse built at the top of a 132m tall cliff where you can see Tojinbo and the Tsuruga-hanto Peninsula on clear days.

    The area around the Echizen-Kaigan coast has a mild climate thanks to the warm Tsushima Current. Snow seldom settles here although it is located in the Hokuriku Region along the Sea of Japan where the winter is generally extremely severe. Wild daffodils bloom in full glory around the Echizen-misaki Point from December to March.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Maibara Station, then take JR Hokuriku Main Line from Maibara Station to Fukui Station. If you are coming from Osaka, take JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 55 minutes from Osaka Station to Fukui Station. Take Keifuku Bus for 1 hour from Fukui Station to Sou.

     

  • Eihei-ji Temple
    Eihei-ji Temple, located 16km in the southeast of Fukui-shi City at the center of Fukui, is the headquarters of the Sodoshu Sect of Buddhism with 15,000 branch temples nationwide. It was originally built by Reverend Dogen in the 13th century. At the end of the 16th century, however, the disciples of Ikkoshu, another Buddhist sect attacked Eihei-ji and burned the entire premises. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and has remained the same ever since.

    In the vast precincts with an area of 330,000m, there are seven monastery buildings. Sanmon, a temple gate building, Butsuden, a sanctum where the monks pray for peace and harmony of the people, Hodo where priests recite Buddhist scriptures and preach and host various religious rites, Sodo, the monks quarters where monks practice discipline, a kitchen called Koin and Tosu that houses bathrooms and lavatories. These monasteries are surrounded by over 70 Dou halls connected with corridors. Some 300 ascetic disciples and itinerant priests devote themselves in strict ascetic practice even today. There is a disciplinary hall for the general public to practice Zen meditation and they are allowed to stay at this hall and experience part of the ascetic disciplines of the monks.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Maibara Station, then take JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Maibara Station to Fukui Station. If you are coming from Osaka, take JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 55 minutes from Osaka Station to Fukui Station. From Fukui Station, take Keifuku Dentetsu Echizen Main Line, Eihei-ji Line for 1 hour to Eihei-ji Station.

     

  • Tojinbo
    Rugged precipices eroded by rough waves
    A rock pillar that is one of only three in the world
    Tojinbo is a rugged, precipitous cliff eroded by rough waves on the coast of the Sea of Japan in northern Fukui bordering Ishikawa. It is located within the Echizen-Kaga Quasi-National Park. The sheer cliff stretches for over 1km, and is designated as the precious natural monument. A rock pillar made of columnar jointing (joint of columnar rocks in a pentagon or hexagon shape) of pyroxene andesite in Tojjibo is not only the only one of its kind in Japan, but there are only two others like it in the entire world.

    One especially dynamic site is the lagoon called Tojinbo Oike with a 50m tall cliff and a water depth of 17m. You can see it not only from the top of the rocks, but also from a pleasure boat on the sea and from the 54.7m tall Tojinbo Tower as well. There is also the scenic Oshima Island and strange shaped andesite rocks around Tojinbo. In winter, you can observe the phenomenon called "Nami-no-hana" or flowers of waves. They occur when the broken waves are caught in the reefs and turned into bubbles that the violent winds then fan up in to the air.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Maibara Station, then take JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Maibara Station to Fukui Station. If you are coming from Osaka, take the JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 55 minutes from Osaka Station to Fukui Station. Then take Keifuku Dentetsu Mikuniawara Line for 35 minutes from Fukui Station to Mikuni Station, and take Keifuku Bus for 15 minutes from Mikuni Station to Tojibo.

     

  • Wakasa Bay
    Has high clarity of seawater with a deeply indented coastline
    It was a strategic point of trade with the continent
    Wakasa Bay is located in the northwestern part of Fukui, facing the Japan Sea and lies between Echizen-misaki Point of east and Kyo-ga-misaki Point of west. It has a beautiful coastline with a high clarity of seawater with a great view beneath it. The area from Kehi-no-Matsubara in Fukui to Tango-hanto Peninsula is designated a quasi-national park.

    Mikata-go-ko that is made up with five lakes is located on the east shore of Wakasa Bay and has a variety of fish and is very popular among the fishing lovers. The Five lakes are connected by a waterway and a sightseeing boat is available. You can also enjoy the great scenery of Wakasa Bay and Sekumi Port from the Mt. Baijodake observation point

    Mihama-cho is located at the west side of Wakasa Bay which has a beach called Suisho-ga-hama blessed with white sands and green pine trees. This beach is known for "Nakisuna" (the singing sands) because of the sound you will make when you step on the sand of the beach. Obama, facing onto Obama Bay, was the accumulation point of commodities and an important trading spot not only domestically but also with Korea and China from old days. There remains many stores and houses of Sancho-machi in the city that show the influences of the continental culture and also historical spots such as Mantoku-ji Temple with Karesansui Garden where the hills and waters are expressed just by topography, reminding one of what it used be like in the city.

    Getting there
    By JR Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Maibara Station. By Limited Express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 30 minutes from Maibara Station to Tsuruga Station. From Osaka Station, by Limited Express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes to Tsuraga Station. By JR Obama Line for 20 minutes from Tsuruga Station to Mihama Station, 40 minutes to Obama Station.

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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