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Fukui 福井県

The crags created by the shoreline's raging waves are breathtaking. Home to Eihei-ji Temple, a Soto-shu monk sanctuary.

Fukui is located in the northwest part of the Chubu region and faces the Sea of Japan to the north. On its east side lies the land made up of a mountainous country linked to the Tateyama Mountain Range and Fukui Plains. By contrast, its western part consists of a stretch of hills and a relatively narrow flatland. The city of Fukui, the center of local administration and economy, thrived as the former castle town of Shibata Katsuie, a war lord in the 16th century during the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period), then later 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 in those days, including the Yoko-kan-teien Garden and Saiko-ji Temple, with the Shibata Katsuie Museum annexed to it.
 
On the coast of the Sea of Japan in northern Fukui is Tojinbo, known for its mass of rocks eroded into crags by the raging waves. The columnar joint configuration of pyroxene andesite (an assembly of pentagonal or hexagonal rocks) found there is so rare that it is the only example of its kind in Japan, and similar rock formations are known to be found at only two other places in the rest of the world. Southeast of the city of Fukui stands Eihei-ji Temple environed with Japanese cedars, some more than 600 years old. As the headquarters of Soto-shu 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 Echizen-yaki, one of the six oldest kinds of potteries found in Japan, Echizen-washi (Japanese paper) with a history dating back some 1,500 years, as well as local lacquerware and works made of agate.
 

Directions

From Tokyo:
2h 20 min to Maibara Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 1h 5 min from Maibara to Fukui Station JR Hokuriku Line.

 

From Osaka:
1h 50 min to Fukui Station by JR Hokuriku Line.

 

Japan Photo Library