On March 16, 2024, the Hokuriku Shinkansen line will be extended from Kanazawa to Tsuruga! Here’re some of the best spots along the line!【Fukui】

The Hokuriku Shinkansen line is one route along Japan’s super high-speed Shinkansen often called “the bullet train.” On March 16, 2024, this line, currently running from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station, will be extended to Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture. Six new stations will open past Kanazawa: Komatsu, Kagaonsen, Awaraonsen, Fukui, Echizen-Takefu, and Tsuruga. Going from Tokyo to Fukui without changing trains will become possible, also leading to smoother travel on the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Kyoto and Osaka.

Until now it has taken 3.5 hours to travel between Tokyo and Fukui, with a transfer needed between Shinkansen and regular express trains, but the new extension will cut the time to as little as 2 hours 51 minutes direct, with no transfer required! From hot springs, traditional crafts, breathtaking views in every season, and a wealth of seafood, there are so many reasons to visit the Hokuriku region (Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui). The editorial team of att.JAPAN has scoured the region to gather the latest information on all the places you won’t want to miss.
Hokuriku Shinkansen line map

Click here for more information about Toyama/Ishikawa

Fukui Station

Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple

This is a Zen monastery established by the renowned Zen priest Dogen in 1244, and still today there are many monks engaged in rigorous training. Nestled in the deep mountains, more than 70 buildings stand in the temple grounds. Sanshokaku Hall has 230 ceiling paintings, which presents an overwhelming spectacle. Zazen (meditation) workshops are available three times a day (reservation not required).

Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple写真提供:大本山永平寺

Access JR Fukui Sta. → 30 min by Keifuku Bus “Eiheiji Liner Bus” / Fukui Sta. (Echizen Railway) → 25 min by train → Eiheijiguchi Sta. (Echizen Railway) → 13 min by Keifuku Bus bound for Eiheijimonzen or Eiheiji → Eiheijimonzen stop or Eiheiji stop → 5 min walk
Business hours 8:30–16:30 (admission until 16:00) Fee:Adult 500 yen (additional charge applied for Zazen workshop
Regular holiday Open 365 days
URL https://daihonzan-eiheiji.com/en/

Fun in Fukui to the max on the Echizen Railway!

The Echizen Railway runs through the northern part of Fukui Prefecture, consisting of two lines. The “Mikuni Awara Line” runs from Fukui Station through Awara Onsen to Mikuni Port, while the “Katsuyama Eiheiji Line” connects Fukui to Katsuyama, home to the Dinosaur Museum. The thrilling design of the “Dinosaur Train” adds excitement to every ride.えちぜん鉄道

Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

When in Fukui’s “Dinosaur Kingdom,” don’t miss this!
Fukui is known as the “Dinosaur Kingdom” due to the wealth of prehistoric fossils found here. The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama City is the heart of this world, a facility specializing in paleontology and geology focused on dinosaurs. The exterior design stands out for its two egg-shaped domes. It reopened in July 2023 after extensive renovations.
恐竜博物館From the world of dinosaurs to the science of the earth, study it all in the Main Wing
Delving into the history of life begins on the basement floor. Each level of the facility holds one of three zones from B1 to the 2nd floor. In the “World of Dinosaurs” zone, 50 reconstructed full-body dinosaur skeletons are on display, including fossil specimens and reconstructions of new dinosaur species excavated in Fukui. Standing near the center of the exhibition room is a moving Tyrannosaurus rex over seven meters long. Stand in front of it and wait for the moment when the fearsome beast looks you right in the eye!
恐竜博物館恐竜博物館Uncover the mysteries of fossil research in the New Wing
In the center of the new building stands the “Dinosaur Tower,” a 13 m tall monument depicting five dinosaur species and one type of bird, all discovered in Fukui. Feel as though you’ve entered the world of dinosaurs in the special exhibition room, peer inside a glass storage space, or experience part of the research in full swing! The experience of cleaning and excavating fossils are sure to be lasting memories of your trip.
恐竜博物館 恐竜博物館A full array of souvenirs too♪
The museum shop onsite carries a wide variety of goods only available here, from dinosaur figures and stuffed animals to apparel items and sweets. The restaurant also has a full dinosaur-themed menu.
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

Access Fukui Sta. (Echizen Railway) → 60 min by train → Katsuyama Sta. → 15 min by bus
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30) Fee:Please refer to official website ※Advanced reservations required
Regular holiday 2nd and 4th Wednesday(or the following day when it falls on a national holiday), Dec. 31-Jan. 1, exhibition renewal period
URL https://www.dinosaur.pref.fukui.jp/en/

A Traveler’s Best Friend! “Have Fun in Fukui” 1 Week Free Pass

Choose any three attractions you like, including the Dinosaur Museum, and get in at great value. For a list of participating facilities refer to the website.

URL https://www.tripellet.com/hfPage?id=HFFukui&l=en


A multipurpose complex created by the world-famous Kokuryu Sake Brewery to showcase sake and other elements of Hokuriku culture. At the shop, browse and buy sake and traditional crafts including Echizen ceramics and Echizen lacquerware, while sampling Japan’s iconic liquor as well. Savor a unique dining experience at the hotel restaurant with views of lush nature along the Kuzuryu River. * Entry restricted to those aged 20 years or olderESHIKOTO ESHIKOTO

Access Fukui Sta. (Echizen Railway) → 30 min by train → Eiheijiguchi Sta. → 6 min by taxi
Business hours Varies depending on the store
Regular holiday Wednesdays, 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday of the month
URL https://eshikoto.com/

Echizen Takefu Station

Takefu Knife Village

Takefu Knife VillageGet an up-close view of the traditional blacksmithing process of hammering and forging hot iron. Then, in the workshop, learn how to strike with the hammer and attach a handle to complete your own knife. In the distinctive, white triangular new wing built in 2020 you can shop for knives handmade by artisans, and also see the surreal mirrored display which creates the illusion of blades floating in mid-air.Takefu Knife VillageTakefu Knife VillageTakefu Knife Village


Access Ajimano jinja-mae stop (Fukutetsu Bus) → 10 min walk
Business hours 9:00-17:00
Regular holiday New Year holidays
URL https://www.takefu-knifevillage.jp/

Must-try foods! Fukui’s local dishes

“Sauce Katsudon” is a dish featuring thin slices of pork deep fried in breadcrumbs until crispy, coated in sauce, and served over rice while still hot. “Echizen Oroshi Soba” offers the distinct mix of grated daikon radish, green onions, and bonito flakes. Many restaurants offer both Fukui “soul foods” as a set.ソースカツ丼 越前おろしそば

Tsuruga Station

Explore the Port Town by Bicycle!

Tsuruga Station, the connecting station of Kansai to the Hokuriku Shinkansen. As a port town facing the Sea of Japan, Tsuruga has flourished as a trade hub connecting Japan and Asia since ancient times. Along with the retro vibes of historic streets, new facilities near the station are popping up one after another. “Share bicycles” are a convenient way to freely hop on and off while exploring Tsuruga. If cycling isn’t for you or if traveling with small children, the “Gurutto Tsuruga Circulating Bus” does a great job of covering various tourist spots in the city.

☛Share bicycle ports are located near the station and popular tourist attractions. Climb hilly roads carefree on these power-assisted bikes.
☛Save money and time by getting the bus’s one-day pass!
(Fee: 200 yen per ride, 500 yen per day)

Tsuruga Station Start!

Short walk

A complex in front of the station, opened in 2022. Among the shops here, “Chienamiki” is attracting attention as a bookstore established by the public sector and run by private management, providing a new intellectual experience. View the maze-like bookshelves from the 2nd floor to appreciate the tree-branch design! Chill for a while in a unique setting surrounded by books with a hot drink in the onsite cafe, Nakamichi Genzo Tea Shop.
ちえなみき 中道源蔵茶舗
Rent a share cycle in front of the station

10 min ride

Kehi Jingu Shrine
This ancient shrine, said to have been established in 702, is known for its iconic grand torii gate, an Important Cultural Property recognized as one of Japan’s “three great shrine gates made of wood.”
5 min ride

Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse
Dioramas tell the history of Tsuruga as a prosperous international port city in the early 20th century. Also, enjoy stylish cafes and restaurants.
敦賀赤レンガ倉庫 ジオラマ館Hours:Diorama Hall 9:30-17:30 (admission until 17:00)
*Restaurant Hall: opening hours vary by store/restaurant. Please contact each store.
Close:Wednesdays (or the following day when it falls on a national holiday), Dec. 30-Jan. 2
Fee:Diorama Hall: Adult 500 yen / Elementary school student and younger 300 yen (Free for child under 3)

5 min ride

Kanegasaki Castle Ruins and Kanegasakigu Shrine
The castle ruins are on a small hill with a panoramic view of Tsuruga Bay and the shrine is on the hillside. These castle ruins and shrine grounds are home to around 400 cherry blossom trees reaching full bloom around April. In this season, men and women exchange cherry blossom twigs as a token of their affection at the “Hanakae Matsuri.”
20 min ride

Tsuruga Sta.

Return bicycle

And still much more! The Brilliance of Hokuriku
From the majestic natural setting along the Sea of Japan to historical architecture, traditional crafts, delicious cuisine, and Japanese sake… let’s look at what each region has to offer!

Awara/Sakai, Fukui Prefecture
Tojinbo and its surroundings hold features rarely found in the world. With hot springs and theme parks as well, there’s more than enough for the whole family to enjoy.

Awara Onsen

This hot spring resort celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2023. Various hot spring inns are scattered throughout the area, including one of the largest scale resorts in Hokuriku, the “Mimatsu,” offering 36 rooms equipped with private open-air baths. Near Awara-Yunomachi Station, dip a toe in the free foot bath “Ashiyu.” Enjoy mingling with the locals over some yakitori, ramen, or oden at the adjacent food stall village, “Yukemuri Yokocho.”Awara Onsen足湯Yukemuri Yokocho


A precious geological treasure with a roughly 1 km coastline of columnar joints. Marvel at the white crests of raging waves crashing over the cliffs. Board a tour boat to see up close the magnificent rockfaces and wild waters of the Sea of Japan.Tojinbo

Echizen Matsushima Aquarium

People love walking on top of the glass, coral-reef tank and the “Penguin House,” where the adorable birds swim through an underwater tunnel as if soaring in the sky. Additionally, the Mizudako (giant Pacific octopus) Pavilion, centered around the world’s largest octopus, Mizudako, just opened on March 7 this year. A convenient place to stop by on a visit to Tojinbo just a 5-minute drive away.Echizen Matsushima Aquarium Echizen Matsushima Aquarium Echizen Matsushima Aquarium Echizen Matsushima Aquarium

Regular holiday Open 365 days Fee:Adult 2,200 yen
URL https://www.echizen-aquarium.com/

Maruoka Castle

Built in 1576, this is one of the rare remaining castles with its original castle tower. Climb the steep stairs while holding onto a climbing rope to be rewarded with an astonishing view from the top of the tower! Around 400 Someiyoshino cherry trees grow on the castle grounds, making it a lively “hanami” spot in spring.Maruoka Castle

Business hours 8:30-17:00 (admission until 16:30) Fee:Adult 450 yen, Child 150 yen
Regular holiday Open 365 days

Wakasa, Fukui Prefecture
The stunning view of Wakasa Bay and the delicacies from the mountains and sea make this a place not to be missed.

Rainbow Line Summit Park

From the mountaintop park roughly 400 meters high, see the Mikata Five Lakes certified under the Ramsar Wetland Convention. “Mikata Goko” (Mikata Five Lakes) is the collective name for the five lakes, among which slightly differing shades of blue can be seen due to varying levels of salinity and depth. Whether from the footbath, sofa terrace or any of the seven terraces, the views are breathtaking. Borrow one of the free rainbow umbrellas to take photos that pop on social media.Rainbow Line Summit ParkRainbow Line Summit Park

Rainbow Line Summit Park

Regular holiday Closed for 5 days at the beginning of February Fee:Adult 1,000 yen, Child 500 yen (includes cost of lift / cable car)
URL http://www.mikatagoko.com/eng/

Mikata Five Lakes Cruise from Mihama Town Lake Center

Enjoy the magnificent scenery from the surface of the lake on a battery-powered sightseeing boat. This vessel, the first of its kind running entirely on renewable solar energy, can be boarded at the Mihama Town Lake Center. Small, battery-propelled boats for up to four people are also available for anyone to easily experience navigating the waters with no license required.Mikata Five Lakes Cruise from Mihama Town Lake Center Mikata Five Lakes Cruise from Mihama Town Lake Center

Fukui Prefectural Varve Museum

Varves are striped lake sediments that accumulate annually in lakes and marshes over many long periods of time. At this museum, the world’s longest, 70,000-year-old varve discovered in Lake Suigetsu, is on display in perfect condition without a single year missing, allowing us to see past climate changes and human history. Enjoy a unique snack with varve-themed sandwich at the attached cafe.Fukui Prefectural Varve Museum Fukui Prefectural Varve Museum

Healthy and delicious Wakasa Mackerel!

Fresh mackerel caught in Wakasa Bay is one of the highlights of the regional cuisine. Once transported to the ancient capital Kyoto, it played an important part in the development of Kyoto’s famed food culture. With its rich yet firm texture, mackerel is enjoyed in a variety of ways, from sashimi and mackerel sushi to mackerel sandwiches.焼き鯖寿司

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