It takes about 40 minutes to get from Fukui Station to Nishiyama Park on the train. You can enjoy seeing the cherry blossoms and azaleas in spring, and the maple trees in autumn there. The park has a long history and has been designated one of Japan’s top 100 historical parks. It’s a major tourist destination in Fukui.read more
Hashimoto Sanai（橋本左内） (1834–1859) was born in Fukui, Japan, and in his life he was a doctor, a samurai (Japanese warrior), and a politician. He was one of the contributors to the creation of democracy in Japan in the 19th century. His reputation in Japan is high, and he’s especially admired in his home city of Fukui. His teachings and influence are deeply engraved in the DNA of the people there.read more
Seibu Fukui (西武福井) is well known locally and a symbol of the prefecture. People in Fukui go to the department store on special occasions. It’s the only department store in Fukui, and it has about a 90-year history.
Department stores are large outlets that sell high-quality daily necessities including food and clothes. There are only about 200 department stores in Japan. I might be wrong, but I think department stores sell expensive and high-quality products, while shopping centers sell cheaper items. When you go to a department store, you have to wear appropriate clothing.read more
Echizen uni(越前うに in Japanese) is salted sea urchin. Echizen(越前) is the name of a region in Fukui. Uni(うに), or sea urchin, is a small sea creature with a round shell covered with spikes. Echizen uni is a specialty of Fukui.
Do you know what the top three delicacies are in the West? (By delicacies, I mean foods that are rare and delicious.)read more
You can see colorful life-sized chrysanthemum dolls and numerous kinds of chrysanthemums for free at the Takefu Kiku Ningyo Festival. (Kiku means “chrysanthemum” and ningyo means “doll.”) Kiku Ningyo festival is one of Japan’s cultural traditions.
The Takefu Kiku Ningyo Festival has a 70-year history and is one of the three best Kiku Ningyo Festivals in Japan. It’s held every year from early October through early November at Takefu Chuo Park(武生中央公園), Fukui.read more
Wada Tsunashiro (1856–1920) was born in Obama, Fukui, Japan. In 1873 he got into Kaisei School, where he learned mineralogy from the German mining engineer Carl Schenck. (Kaisei School was the predecessor of the University of Tokyo.) In 1884 he went to Germany and studied mineralogy. In 1885 he came back to Japan and took a post at the University of Tokyo, becoming the first professor of mineralogy in Japan. He’s considered the founder of modern mineralogy in the country.read more
Akiyama Tokuzō(1888-1974) was a Japanese-French chef who served as imperial chef for the Taisho and Showa emperors. His life story was made into a novel and a TV series, so he’s popular in Japan.
Akiyama was born in Takefu, Fukui. He was the second son of a couple who ran a restaurant, and he was very mischievous when he was young. He went to live in a Zen temple when he was 10 because he admired a young Zen monk. There he practiced Zen meditation, chanted Buddhist sutras, and did religious mendicancy. However, he was forced out of the temple a year later because of his mischief. Then, he got interested in his family business of cooking.read more
The Olympic and Paralympic Memorial Awara International Karuta Tournament was held on June 6th in Awara, Fukui, Japan. It was held without spectators because of the coronavirus, and only seven players who live in Japan came for the event. (A lot of karuta players from around the world were supposed to play.) They were from Pakistan, Sweden, Brazil, and some other countries, and they were all in their teens or 20s.read more
William Elliot Griffis (1843–1928) was an American who taught physics and chemistry in Fukui. He also wrote a lot of books that presented Japan to the world. Thanks to his great achievements and character, he was loved by people in Fukui.
Griffis was born in America in 1843. In 1865, when he was 22 years old, he got into Rutgers University. At that time Japan was in a turbulent period. The nation had been closed from 1639 to 1853, and during that period it had rarely had diplomatic relations. However, in 1853 Japan had opened its doors and begun rapidly adopting Western culture. It was as part of this trend that Griffis was invited to Fukui when he was 27 to teach physics and chemistry.read more