Located along a dramatic coastline of the Japan Sea, the beautiful Fukui Prefecture encompasses an area of 4,189 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 803,000. For travellers starting out in Tokyo, travel time from the city into Fukui is about 3.5 hours using a combination of the shinkansen (bullet train) and JR (local Japan Rail) lines. The entire ride is of course fully covered by a Japan Rail Pass which can only be purchased overseas. As with most prefectures in the country, the capital city bears the name Fukui as well. Many of the attractions of this coastal region however are not located in the capital but can easily be accessed by local train or bus.
One such attraction situated north of the city is Tojinbo. It is a rugged cliff formation that runs for about a kilometre along the coastline and reaches as high as 30 metres above the sea. It offers a spectacular view of the ocean with its yawning chasms and heart-stopping vertical drops.
At the base of one of the rock faces is a dock where you can take a boat ride and experience the crags from a different vantage point. Tourists flock from all over the world to enjoy this amazing natural water-carved wonder.
Another interesting site to add to your itinerary when visiting Fukui is Mikuni Sunset Beach. Its crystal-clear waters are warm, inviting and great for swimming—or, if you prefer, you can try your hand at fishing off the cement pier that runs for a few hundred metres out to sea. The area itself is littered with cafés, restaurants and traditional Japanese hotels and from some of them you can enjoy the splendour of the setting sun.
From May to October you can participate in yoga on the sands at various times throughout the weekend. At night the beach is crowded with a vibrant night market and nightlife which at times are accompanied by amazing fireworks displays. For those who decide to visit in the winter, you might not be able to enjoy swimming or fishing, but you can certainly keep warm at the famous Mikuni Onsen (hot spring). Of course, in any season you will be able to indulge in an abundance of fresh seafood.
This part of Japan is not without its family attractions as well. For those visiting with smaller children, there is Takefu Chrysanthemum Doll Flower Park. This venue features many entertainments for the little travellers in your group. You will find everything from Ferris wheels to Viking ships to Thomas the Tank Engine rides and much more. The park also has many scheduled exhibitions so there is always something new to experience.
Gomadofu: A different kind of tofu served in a most amazing way.
On the culinary side—and apart from the seafood—another local delicacy is gomadofu, which is tofu made of sesame. However, in Fukui they add their own special twist to the dish: the tofu is served with a miso sauce. The combination of the light tofu with the sweet miso is delicious either eaten alone or as a topping on rice.
Whether you’re coming for the stunning cliffs, the sandy beaches or the fresh seafood, Fukui is a definite must when you visit Japan.