Maruoka Castle: site of one of Japan’s 12 castle towers that remain from ancient times


Maruoka Castle(丸岡城, Maruoka-jō) is one of the best-known sightseeing spots in Fukui. Every year about 120,000 people go there. The castle tower there is one of only 12 remaining in Japan, and it’s so precious that it’s been designated as an important cultural property.

(The 12 towers referred to here are ones that were built in the Edo period (1603–1868) or earlier and that still exist. There are a lot of other castle towers in Japan, but they’re mostly restored ones.) read more

Fukui Castle Ruins: site of one of the tallest castle towers in old Japan


Fukui Castle was built in 1606 by Yuki Hideyasu, who was the lord of the Echizen Fukui domain. Until 1871 the castle was used mostly by the Echizen Matsudaira family, who were the lords of that same domain. Sadly the castle tower was destroyed by fire in 1669.

You might be surprised to find out that the Fukui prefectural government building, the prefectural police headquarters, and the prefectural assembly hall are all within the site of the Fukui Castle Ruins. read more

The ginkgo tree in Fukui Shrine: The symbol of Fukui

The ginkgo tree in Fukui Shrine1


There’s a ginkgo tree in Fukui that, along with the phoenix, is known as a symbol of the city.

The ginkgo has green leaves in spring and summer. Its leaves change from green to yellow in autumn, and it has no leaves in winter.(If you want to know more about the ginkgo, please read my previous post: Hirase Sakugoro: a unique researcher who overturned common conceptions of plants) read more

The Asuwa River: a river that runs through the central part of Fukui

Asuwa River 1


The Asuwa River (足羽川), which is about 60 kilometers long, is located in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. Mt. Kanmuri (in Ikeda-cho in the prefecture) is the source of the river, which runs through the central part of Fukui.

In my opinion there are three good points about the Asuwa River:

1. Along it there are about 600 cherry blossom trees. read more

Excavating fossils near Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum


People sometimes call Fukui Prefecture “the Dinosaur Kingdom” because it has the largest site in Japan for the excavation of dinosaur fossils. The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is in the city of Katsuyama, and I went there today.(This is the website of Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum.) read more

Starting from a small stone: Fukui’s dinosaur story

You can see this at Fukui Station.


What does the word dinosaur remind you of? For me, it reminds me of the movie Jurassic Park, which I watched at a theater with my father and brother.

Dinosaurs lived from about 230 to 66 million years ago. They dominated the Earth for 160 million years. It’s largely believed that most of them became extinct because of a meteor impact. A lot of researchers think that dinosaurs evolved into birds. read more

I went to the 2019 Azalea Festival at Nishiyama Park in Sabae.


Nishiyama Park is a historic park, which is designated as one of Japan’s top 100 historical parks. I wrote about the history of this park in a previous post(2018 Autumn Leaves Festival at Nishiyama Park in Fukui Prefecture), so please read it.

Nishiyama Park is a good place to visit all year round. In April, you can see cherry blossoms, in May, you can see azaleas, and in November, you’ll see autumn leaves. Also, you can see a snowy landscape in January and February. read more

Cherry Blossoms(Sakura) along the Asuwa River in Fukui: Asuwa Sakura Tunnel


There’s a tunnel of cherry blossoms(sakura), which appears once a year along the Asuwa River in Fukui City. I personally call it the Asuwa Sakura Tunnel. It’s about 2.2 km long and there are about 600 cherry trees. The Asuwa River has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 best spots for viewing cherry blossoms. A lot of people come and see them every spring. read more

A 370-year-old Japanese weeping cherry tree in Asuwa Shrine in Fukui


Cherry blossoms are very special for Japanese people. Every year, when spring is approaching, they get excited. The timing of the flowering of the cherry blossoms is forecasted by the Japan Weather Association. A lot of people in Japan look forward to seeing the flowers.

Motoori Norinaga(1730-1801), a famous Japanese classical scholar, wrote a poem about the Japanese spirit and the cherry blossoms: read more