Fukui Prefecture

Discover dinosaurs and the spirit of Zen

By Larry Knipfing   Nov 3, 2011 - 5 min read

Although Fukui is most famous for its spectacular Tojimbo Cliffs, and one of the worlds best dinosaur museums, the prefecture is also one of Japan’s most beautiful. Fukui is rich in history and tradition, stunning scenery, delicious local foods, great skiing, hot spring resorts and beaches, and lots and lots of interesting things to do.

As you travel Fukui’s countryside, you are constantly surrounded by the simple rural beauty of the rice farms (Japan’s most famous rice, koshi-hikari, originated here), the mountains, and the sea.

Fukui, which is situated in west-central Japan, faces the Japan Sea and is so beautiful that 15% of the entire region has been designated as a quasi-national park. Bordering Ishikawa to the north, Gifu and Shiga to the east and Kyoto to the west, Fukui is divided into two main areas: Echizen Province to the north, and Wakasa Province to the south.

Here are a few quick highlights of some of the delights of Fukui. There are actually dozens of wonderful things to do and places to see in each of the cities and towns below.

Echizen Province


This is a wonderful hot spring resort town.


The spectacular Tojimbo Cliffs are located here, along with the sleepy port town of Mikuni. Sakai is also home to Maruoka Castle.


Home to that great Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, a castle, and one of Japan’s most beautiful temples, Heisen-ji.


The capital city, Fukui is the jumping off point for the entire prefecture. The fascinating, historical Ichijodani Valley and the beautiful Yokokan Garden, are located here.


Home to one of Japan’s oldest and most famous temples. Eihei-ji Temple is headquarters of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. 200 monks train and practice here year round.


Chock full of scenic mountains and lakes, and skiing, Ono is also known for the purity of its water. 

Teramachi is a castle town known as “Little Kyoto” and features Japanese tradition, old stone-paved streets and rickshaw.


Sabae is known for its clever ‘hands-on’ approach to things. Enjoy “try it” tours of eyeglass, kimono, and sake production facilities, for example.


Know for its crafts (Japanese paper, knives, lacquer, pottery) and delicious winter crab, as well as the venerable Tsurugi Shrine, which holds 14 festivals during the year.

Minami Echizen

More crafts, and more nature. In summer, the incredible lotus ponds near Nanjo are not to be missed.


Ikeda is also famous for its abundant nature (mountain hikes, waterfalls, Shizuhara rafting, and Kanmuri-sao onsen) and historical landmarks. Ukan Shrine is host to Noh Theater performances on February 15th each year.


Matsubara Beach and the bordering Kehi Pine Forest are beautiful.

Wakasa Province


Best known for its beautiful Five Lakes, and delicious plums.


Taijo Temple is one of Wakasa’s most interesting places to visit.


This is a beautiful little town, also famous for its support of American President Obama!


A great place to drive, cycle or hike, Ooi is rural Japan at its best. Its Noka Waterfall is lovely.


Known for its great beaches and views of the sea from the surrounding hills and mountains, Takahama is beautiful year round.

Fukui Access Information

Getting to Fukui

From Tokyo

  • By Train: JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara. Change to JR Hokuriku Line Limited Express to Fukui (3hrs 30min)
  • By Air: JAL and ANA both have flights to Komatsu Airport. From there, take a shuttle bus (45min) to Fukui city.
  • By Bus: Night buses leave Tokyo and Shinjuku daily, and arrive in Fukui in the early morning.

From Osaka

  • By Train: JR Kosei Line Limited Express to Fukui city. (2hrs)
  • By Bus: Various buses run between Osaka and Fukui. (3hrs)

From Nagoya

  • By Train: JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara. Change to JR Hokuriku Line Limited Express to Fukui (2hrs)
  • By Bus: Various buses run between Nagoya and Fukui. (3hrs)

Getting around within Fukui Prefecture

This is a great map of the train system within the prefecture.


Fukui Links

Excellent information from the Prefectural Government

Japan Travel Partner

Join the discussion

Kim B 2 months ago
The Tojinbo cliffs were really beautiful when we visited. A really majestic landscape!