Fukui is characterized by its rocky shores, and the Tojinbo Cliffs are Fukui’s most famous rocky outcropping. The cliffs are basaltic cliffs, which gives the rocks their distinct geometric shape. The basalt rocks break up vertically, making hexagonal columns that reach up from the sea to the top of the cliffs. The cliffs stretch out for about one kilometer. There are many legends of monks and priests being thrown off of the cliff by townsfolk and jealous admirers, and of their ghosts roaming the cliff sides looking for victims.
Fukui Dinosaur Museum
If you are interested in Dinosaurs and Paleontology, the Fukui Prefecture Dinosaur Museum is a must-visit. The only dedicated dinosaur museum in Japan, the Museum is located in Katsuyama, near the quarry in which the first fossils were found. It is considered one of the three world’s greatest dinosaur museums, and definitely earns that title. They have a children’s play area, as well as a “dino lab” where you can touch and interact with real fossils. Inside, you can view dioramas and replicas of the Fukuisaurus, one of the species of dinosaur found at the site.
Maruoka castle is the oldest castle in Japan, and was built in 1576, close to 500 years ago. It is one of the few remaining castles with the original central building still intact. The castle itself was completely destroyed in the 1940s by a large earthquake, but was rebuilt in 1955. It was originally much larger, with fortifications and buildings around the perimeter, but most of it was demolished and replaced with a park and museum to showcase the old weapons and armor. Depending on the season, there are also festivals that happen around the castle.
The Eiheiji Temple is one of two main Zen Buddhist temples in Japan, and as such, is the main temple of the largest religious group in Japan (by count of temples). The Temple grounds are rather spacious, with over 70 buildings complete with a main gate, dining hall, study hall, bath and toilet area, and memorial hall for the deceased. While the temple structure has burned down several times over the course of history, it stands strong today, and is the center for training to become a Zen Buddhist monk. Even if you don’t plan on becoming a monk, you can still visit the visitor’s center, and enjoy the surrounding nature as long as you follow the rules.