Goma dofu (sesame tofu): a well-known Fukui’s Zen food

(Source: Fukui Photo Gallery)


Goma dofu (sesame tofu), a dish in shojin ryori, is a specialty of Fukui. Goma in goma dofu means sesame. Dofu means tofu, which is a well-known food made from soybeans.

What is shojin ryori ?

Shojin ryori is a type of Buddhist cuisine that contains mainly vegetables and grains. It doesn’t contain any meat or fish. Strict Buddhist monks have compassion for all living things, so they don’t eat meat or fish. read more

Happiring: a shopping complex next to JR Fukui Station

(source: Fukui Photo Gallery)


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

Mizu yokan (red bean jelly): a well-known Japanese winter sweet in Fukui

Mizu yokan in Fukui
These are Mizu yokan in Fukui (source: Fukui Photo Gallery)


Mizu yokan (水ようかん、水羊羹 in Japanese) is a well-known dessert in Fukui. It’s also called decchi yokan.

Mizu in mizu yokan means water in Japanese. Yokan is one of the most well-known Japanese sweets. Mizu yokan contains more water than usual yokan. In general, the ingredients for mizu yokan are adzuki bean paste, sugar, and kanten agar. read more

Fukui Shrine and what’s a Shinto shrine?

Fukui Shrine1


Fukui Shrine has three characteristics.

  1. It’s dedicated to Matsudaira Shungaku.
  2. It’s a very modern Shinto shrine.
  3. 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

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

Hirase Sakugoro: a unique researcher who overturned common knowledge about plants

The image of Hirase Sakugoro 1
He is Hirase Sakugoro. (Source : イチョウ精子発見の検証)


The ginkgo, which is primarily known as a street tree, turns its leaves from green to yellow in autumn. It’s often called a living fossil because it’s one of the oldest tree species, and its existence can be traced back over 200 million years. It means that it coexisted with dinosaurs. read more

Echizen crab(gani): The only crab that’s been presented to the Imperial House of Japan

Echizen Crab1
(source: Fukui Photo Gallery)


Every winter a lot of tourists come to Fukui to eat Echizen crab, which is called 越前ガニ, or Echizen gani, in Japanese. (Echizen is the name of one region in Fukui and Gani means crab in Japanese.) It’s a well-known Fukui specialty.

Echizen crab is a male snow crab caught in the sea near Fukui. The females are called Seiko-gani, and they’re smaller than Echizen crabs. read more

Tsukumo Bridge used to be unique, and was painted by Katsushika Hokusai.

Tsukumo Bridge and cherry blossoms
Tsukumo Bridge and cherry blossoms along the Asuwa River


Located in the central city of Fukui, Tsukumo Bridge spans the Asuwa River. I wrote about the Asuwa River once before.(The Asuwa River: a river that runs through the central part of Fukui)

In my opinion, there are four interesting points about Tsukumo Bridge(九十九橋 in Japanese).

  1. It has a more than 400-year history.
  2. Half of the bridge was made of wood, and the other half was made of stone, so it was well known in Japan.
  3. Katsushika Hokusai, a world-famous ukiyoe painter, painted it.
  4. There’s a touching legend about the bridge. (The story of hitobashira(human pillar).)

Tsukumo Bridge was built about 400 years ago by Shibata Katsuie, a military commander who laid the foundations of the city of Fukui. The bridge was a very important entrance to this castle town. The stone used to build the bridge was the Shakudani type, which is a Fukui specialty. read more

Katsuki Books: A bookstore that represents Fukui

Katsuki Books in Fukui

This is the main branch of Katsuki Books.


The main branch of Katsuki Books, which was located near Fukui Station, went out of business on August 30th, 2020. It had opened in 1959, so it had been doing business for about 60 years.

Katsuki Books is special to people in Fukui because it represents the prefecture. In Chihayafuru, a well-known Japanese manga about competitive karuta, Arata Wataya, who’s the heroine’s friend and is from Fukui, works part time at a bookstore called Katsugi Books in Awara, Fukui. I think the Katsugi Books in Chihayafuru is an homage to Katsuki Books in Fukui. (What is Chihayafuru? and what is karuta?) 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