Did you know that Fukui prefecture is the happiest prefecture in Japan? Well, that’s according to a research by Hosei University Graduate School that measured the factors of livability, lower accident frequency, welfare fulfillment, and local satisfaction. Fukui is also famous for its dinosaur museum, which is the only dedicated dinosaur museum in all of Japan. If you’re planning to visit Fukui, I would highly recommend checking out these fantastic attractions!
Start off by making your tummy happy
Craving for some good local food? Just a 5-minute walk from Fukui station is a popular soba noodle restaurant called “Echizen Tsurugisoba Honten”. This is one of the local cuisines that represent Fukui prefecture. They have a large menu selection menu to satisfy your tastebuds! And if you’re planning to drop by during lunch time, do expect a crowd of customers! Here, soba noodles are made by hand and go well with grated daikon. The price is also reasonable, starting from just 880 yen. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking to try authentic Fukui cuisine
Name: Echizen Tsurugisoba Honten
Address: 2-4-31 Chuo Fukui-city Fukui Prefecture 910-0006
Official Website: http://www3.fctv.ne.jp/~turuki/
Walk down memory lane at Ichijoudani Asakurashi Ruins
Keen to embark on a historical journey? Hop on a bus from #5 bus stop at the west entrance of Fukui station, then get off at Buke Yashiki Mae and take a short stroll to Ichijoudani Asakurashi Ruins from Sengoku era(1493-1576). Its scenery is so beautifully tranquil! This area was once ruled by the Asakura clan who had control over the former surrounding area, Echigo no Kuni. The clan held power for 103 years, and you can feel a sense of history in the air. Here’s a fun fact: With its samurai residences and townscapes restored in beautiful condition, this spot holds many prestigious titles including Japan’s Special Historic Site, Special Site of Scenic Beauty and Important Cultural Property. It’s also officially designated as a “Sacred Land” by Fukui prefecture.
Name: Ichijoudani Asakurashi Ruins
Address: Kidonouchicho Fukui city, Fukui 910-2153
Pray for Self-Beauty at Shibata Shrine
Speaking of “Sacred Land”, Shibata Shrine is another attraction that has earned this title in Fukui prefecture. It’s especially popular among women because of the folktale of Oichi. This shrine is dedicated to the lord Katsuie Shibata and Oichi, who was once believed to be the most beautiful woman during the Sengoku era (1493-1576). Until today, many women come here to pray for good luck in finding a life partner. Get a prayer’s paper (300yen) and write down your wish, then float down the piece of paper on the water at the place for prayers…and your wish may be heard! This shrine is a must-visit if you want to get lucky in love!
Name: Shibata Shrine
Address: 1-21-17 Chuo Fukui-city Fukui 910-0006
Admire the cherry blossoms in Asuwa River
Designated by locals as the “Sacred Land of Happy”, Asuwa River is home to a cherry tree lined path that blossoms every spring. The view is simply spectacular! Locals and tourists alike come here to capture stunning photos of cherry blossoms in full bloom…or to simply soak up the beautiful atmosphere. The contrasting view of the fresh greenery and an endless blanket of pink trees is a sight to behold. I felt instantly refreshed and fully charged just by walking along the path! Here’s an interesting anecdote: It’s said that Ryoma Sakamoto, a revered historical figure, used to regularly travel across this river by boat back in the day.
Name: Asuwa River
Address: 1, 2 Tsukumo, Yurakucho and other areas by the river in Fukui city, Fukui
Get up close with an ancient cherry tree
Asuwa shrine is a famous attraction in Fukui city and inside of the shrine, there’s a 370-year-old drooping cherry tree. If you do visit, don’t forget to purchase a fortune telling slip with a cherry tree motif…it makes for a beautiful souvenir! To get here, you can walk from Fukui station to Asuwa shrine. However, I would personally recommend renting a bicycle called “Fukuchari” that you can find in selected places throughout the city. It only costs 200 yen for four hours, and even if you exceed the time it’ll be just 500 yen per day. The best part is, you can conveniently return it to any of the numerous rental locations located across the city.
Name: Dropping Cherry Blossoms in Asuwa shrine
Address: 108 Asuwakamicho Fukui city Fukui, 918-8007
Thanks to its livability and beautiful attractions, it’s no wonder that Fukui prefecture is known for its high level of happiness. I would highly recommend visiting during the cherry blossom season in early spring!
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