Surrounded by forested hills, Fukui is home to the headquarters of Zen Buddhism at the Eiheiji Temple. The city boasts a beautifully preserved castle keep and the remains of a Muromachi-era town, as well as one of the world’s leading dinosaur museums.
Things to do in Fukui
Visit the 13th-century Zen Buddhist temple and active monastery of Eiheiji, nestled within a cedar forest on the slopes of Nihonmatsuyama. Explore the sleeping quarters and study rooms of its modern Kichijokaku hall, then wander along the walkways that lead between its historic Sanmon Gate and the Joyoden Hall, where the ashes of the temple’s founder are housed.
Step into the prehistoric world of dinosaurs at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, one of the top dinosaur research centres in the world. Admire the skeletons of local Fukui-raptor and Fukui-saurus, as well as a life-size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex, before seeing the working research lab.
Admire the original 16th-century keep of Maruoka Castle, which is the oldest of its kind in Japan and features a small museum where armour and artefacts are on display. The keep has retained its wooden interior structures, with ropes aiding you as you clamber to the top floor for magnificent views of the surrounding plains.
A short drive east of Fukui takes you to the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Historic Ruins, a partially reconstructed castle town dating back to the Muromachi Period. Wander amidst the walled homes of samurai and explore the furnished merchant houses, then take in the valley panoramas from the foundations of the Asakura Lords’ residence.
Getting around Fukui
Fukui is one hour’s drive south of Komatsu Airport and connected to both Osaka and Kyoto by regular trains. Buses travel throughout the city and access most of its surrounding sights.