Fukui is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan and it can be reached very easily from Kanazawa by train, bus, or car. There are many attractions of interest in the area around Fukui City which can be reached by bus or train from Fukui Station. However, traveling between these attractions can be complicated, so you may find it easiest to visit this area by rental car.
The Main Attractions
The Ichijodani ruins are a partially reconstructed 15th century castle town. Many samurai houses, merchants buildings, and gardens have been restored here and there is a splendid view from the castle ruins on top of the hill. Trains from Fukui Station to Ichijodani Station take 16 minutes and cost 240 yen.
Maruoka Castle was built in 1576 and has the oldest castle tower in Japan. There is a park with cherry trees around the castle and a small history museum nearby. A train from Fukui Station to Maruoka Station takes 12 minutes for a fare of 240 yen. From there the castle is a 15 minute bus ride away for a fare of 200 yen.
Eiheiji Temple is a large Zen temple complex which was founded in 1244. The name of the temple means “temple of eternal peace” and this is certainly a quiet reflective place nestled in cedar woods on a mountainside just outside of Fukui. It is possible for foreign visitors to stay here and join in Zen training, but applications should be made a month in advance. The Japanese maples here are famous for their autumn colors. Buses for Eiheijiguchi Station leave Fukui Station every hour and take 25 minutes for a fare of 450 yen. You can then transfer to a bus for the Eiheiji Temple which takes 10 minutes for a fare of 410 yen.
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is the only dedicated dinosaur museum in all of Japan and is regarded as one of the world’s great dinosaur museums. Many of the fossils on display were discovered in the local area. The museum is in the town of Katsuyama which can be reached by train from Fukui Station in 52 minutes for a fare of 770 yen.
How to Get There
Fukui is very easy to get to from Kanazawa either by train, bus, or car. The fastest route is by a limited express rail service, and the cheapest route is by bus. However, because many of Fukui’s main attractions lie outside the city center, you may find that a rental car is more useful for getting around. Let’s take a look at these options.
Fukui Station is connected to Kanazawa Station by the Hokuriku Main Line. Traveling by local train will get you there in 1 hour and 30 minutes for a fare of 1,320 yen. Traveling by a limited express service such as the Thunderbird, Shirasagi, Dinostar, or Oyasumi Express will get you there in 47 minutes for a fare of 2,500 yen.
The JR Highway Express Bus company runs one daily service from Kanazawa Station that stops at Fukui Station. The service bound for Kyoto and Osaka departs from bus stop #5 at Kanazawa Station’s East Gate bus terminal. The bus leaves Kanazawa Station at 10.20 and arrives at Fukui Station at 11.55. The fare is 1,200 yen. You can book tickets directly at Kanazawa Station’s Transport Information Center or book tickets online at Kousokubus.net.
Fukui can be reached by car from Kanazawa via the Hokuriku Expressway. The journey should take around 53 minutes and cost 2,370 yen in toll fees. Of course this does not include the cost of renting a car. For more information on local driving check our article on Car Rental in Kanazawa.
Article photos by Michael Lambe. Photos by mTaira, Chun Kit Ho, Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.