The Awara Hotel Yagi was established more than 120 years ago, and in fact, was the first onsen in the now large Awara Onsen area in Fukui Prefecture. It has a great outdoor onsen bath, a really beautiful lobby area looking out into a traditional Japanese garden, and large comfortable tatami style rooms. I elected to have my meals in my room, and although sitting on the tatami floor was a little difficult, it was actually quite nice. The food (local vegetables and seafood, for which Fukui is justly famous) was surprisingly delicate in taste, and the woman who served me, dressed in a beautiful kimono, spoke very good English, which made the experience even more pleasant. Along with dinner the second night, I had a nice bottle of local sake, which really hit the spot! In the evening, when I got back to my room from a busy day of sightseeing at the Tojinbo Cliffs, and Eihei-ji Temple the second evening, my futon was already laid out for me on the tatami floor. I went downstairs to enjoy the outdoor onsen bath, then came back to my room and fell into a deep sleep!
Awara Onsen, located in the north-west corner of Fukui, is accessible by two train lines. The JR Hokuriku Line, which stops at Awara Onsen station is actually a bit far from the center of the town. The Echizen Line stops at Awara Yunomachi station right in the middle of town, and is most convenient. Hotel Yagi, like other hotels in the area, also provide pick up and drop off service, but be sure to arrange it in advance. But it is actually only a short walk from the local train station to the hotel-very pleasant on a cool July evening.
There is a lot going on in the area, with geisha parties (Awara geisha are apparently famous in Japan), a bunch of drinking and food shops near the station, and amusement parks and golf courses also nearby. Fukui city, the capital of the prefecture is 30-minutes away by train, and the jumping off point for most activities in this very beautiful, rural region.