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.)
It’s considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful pine tree parks, alongside Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka and Niji no Matsubara in Saga.
The park has also been chosen as one of the best 55 places for bathing and is in the best 100 for nature, pine tree colonies, and recreation trails in Japan.
There’s a beach in the park, so you can enjoy swimming there in summer. There’s also a recreation trail, and you can enjoy taking in the pine trees while walking.
Admission is free, and the park is open 24 hours every day except two or three days of the year for maintenance. There are five restrooms in the park.
It was once a garden in Kehi Jingu Shrine. If you don’t know about this shrine, please see the relevant entry. (Kehi Jingu Shrine: A shrine that has one of Japan’s three greatest wooden torii gates)
A lot of important historical figures have been to Kehi no Matsubara, such as Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), Katsu Kaishu (a great politician – 1823-1899), and Takahama Kyoshi (a famous poet and novelist – 1874-1959).
Why are there lots of pine trees along Tsuruga Bay?
Nobody knows, but there’s a legend about it.
In the reign of Emperor Shomu (724-749), a great band of foreign invaders approached Japan. Then, the land of Tsuruga suddenly vibrated, and several thousand pine trees appeared along the beach in just one night. A flock of white herons, which are the messenger birds of Kehi Jingu Shrine, perched on the trees, resembling flags fluttering in the wind. The invaders thought that they were the flags of an army of tens of thousands of soldiers, and quickly went away.
A lot of important historical people have been to Kehi no Matsubara, one of Japan’s three most beautiful pine tree parks. Pine trees are evergreen, so you can enjoy viewing them throughout the year. Check them out if you go to Tsuruga.
ー－Access to Kehi no Matsubara:
It takes about 10 minutes from JR Tsuruga Station to Kehi no Matsubara by taxi. Alternatively, it takes about 30 minutes from Kehi Jingu Shrine to walk there.