The Tojinbo Cliffs: A renowned tourist spot in Fukui

(Source: 福井県観光連盟)

October/15/2022

The Tojinbo Cliffs (東尋坊) are a series of cliffs in Sakai, Fukui that are about a kilometer long and about 25 meters high. The cliffs are made from columnar jointing of pyroxene andesite. (Pyroxene andesite is a type of rock, and a columnar joint is a column-shaped crack in stone.) The columnar joints in the Tojinbo Cliffs are among the largest in the world. The only places that have similarly large ones are Mount Kumgang in Korea and the western coast of Norway. read more

Kehi Jingu Shrine: A shrine that has one of Japan’s three greatest wooden torii gates

September/17/2022

Kehi Jingu Shrine (氣比神宮), which is in Tsuruga, is one of the best-known shrines in Fukui Prefecture. It has one of Japan’s three greatest wooden torii gates and is a symbol of Tsuruga. 

The shrine was built in 702. In the Middle Ages it was destroyed in a battle, but in 1614 it was restored. The main shrine was a designated national treasure until World War Two, but it was devastated in the war. After the war it was rebuilt. read more

Kehi no Matsubara: one of Japan’s three most beautiful pine tree parks

(Source: 福井県観光連盟)

September/17/2022

Kehi no Matsubara(気比の松原), which is a designated National Place of Scenic Beauty, is a pine tree park with a beach. It’s a well-known sightseeing spot in Tsuruga, Fukui. In the past, a lot of important historical figures have been there.

It faces Tsuruga Bay, is about 1.5 kilometers long and has an area of about 400,000 square meters. There are about 17,000 pine trees in the park. The contrast between the white sandy beach and the green pine trees is beautiful. (Matsubara means pine fields.) read more

Eiheiji: The Buddhist temple where Steve Jobs wanted to become a monk

June/13/2022

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

Cherry blossoms in Nishiyama Park: One of the best spots to see cherry blossoms in Fukui

April/9/2022

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: The eternal teacher for the people in Fukui

He is Hashimoto Sanai. (Source: 福井市立郷土歴史博物館)

February/19/2022

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: the only department store in Fukui

December/23/2021

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: an American who was loved by the people of Fukui, Japan

(Source:福井市立郷土歴史博物館所蔵)

July/3/2021

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

March/31/2021

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

March/27/2021

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