Zen is a form of Buddhism, and it’s well known around the world. Eiheiji in Fukui is a world-renowned Zen temple.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Computer, practiced Zen. He even thought about going to Eiheiji to become a monk. It’s said that Apple products have been influenced by Zen (in their simplicity, for example).read more
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
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
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 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
Happiring is a medium-sized shopping complex next to JR Fukui Station in the city of Fukui. Inside Happiring, there’s Fukui City Tourist Information Center, a convenience store, gift shops, restaurants, and a science museum.
At Fukui City Tourist Information Center, you can get tourist information about Fukui in English from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.read more
There’s a ginkgo tree there that’s a symbol of Fukui.
Fukui Shrine, which is dedicated to Matsudaira Shungaku, was built in 1943. Matsudaira Shungaku (1828-1890) was one of the most famous feudal lords of the Fukui clan. He was known as one of the four remarkable Japanese feudal lords of the end of the Edo period(1603-1868). You can see a statue of him to the left of the main building of the shrine.read more