The nearest airport to Fukui is in Komatsu. Buses connect Komatsu Airport with Komatsu Station for ¥260, from which you can take a Hokuriku Line local train for the 50 minute run to Fukui (¥820).
If coming internationally, the best airport to arrive in is Kansai International Airport in Osaka. From the Airport, you can reach Fukui by train in about 3.5 hours by taking the Haruka limited express train to Shin-Osaka, and transferring across the platform to the Thunderbird, described below.
Fukui is connected to Kyoto and Osaka 1-2 times per hour by the Thunderbird train. This train makes the run from Osaka to Fukui in about 1 hour, 50 minutes. From Kyoto, the run takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes. The price for the service is ¥5700 from Osaka and ¥4600 from Kyoto.
If coming from Tokyo, take the hourly Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari service that stops at Maibara station. From Maibara, take the Shirasagi to Fukui (3 1/2 hours, ¥14000).
There is no charge for the above services with the Japan Rail Pass.
The Dream Fukui overnight bus service runs from both Tokyo Station and Shinjuku to the Keifuku Bus Terminal in Fukui (9 hours, ¥7,800-9,200 one-way). The price varies between seasons. Two departures nightly.
Fukui Railway runs a tram that makes the city more accessible and is relatively cheap. Trams conveniently depart from Fukuieki Station (outside JR Fukui Station). There are two lines, one traveling north and the other south. The northern line runs to Tawaramachi Station (convenient for the art museum, history museum, and Yokokan Garden) while the southern line runs all the way to Echizen-Takefu Station in Echizen. Within city limits the final station is Sanjuhassha Station, although most visitors will find most attractions accessible from Asuwayama-Koenguchi Station.
While there are enough sites within walking distance of the station to tour on foot, many sites are too far apart for walking to be a viable option. In many cases, it's best to at least use public transport to get you within reasonable distance to start your walk.
- 1 Fukui Castle (福井城). The castle was built in 1606 by Yuki Hideyasu after he was given control of the province as thanks for siding with the victors in the Battle of Sekigahara. The castle name (as well as the city and prefecture) comes from a lucky well (福の井) which you can still visit today on the castle grounds. The castle has some well-preserved walls and moat but none of the buildings remain. The prefectural office is located within the ruins where parts of the castle once stood, but visitors are free to roam the grounds outside of the prefectural office. Free.
- 2 Fukui City History Museum (福井市立郷土歴史博物館), 3-12-1 Hoei. Contains interesting displays on the history of the local area from early civilizations to its days as a castle town to the bombings in WWII. ¥210 (¥340 includes entry to Yokokan Garden).
- 3 Yokokan Garden (養浩館庭園). A small but scenic strolling garden. ¥210 (¥340 includes entry to History Museum).
- 4 Bhutan Museum (ブータンミュージアム), 3-15-12 Ote. Touted as the only museum of its kind outside of Bhutan, the museum has a variety of Bhutanese cultural items on display for visitors to see and learn more about. They also feature many pictures of scenery and famous places in Bhutan. Fukui City has a special relationship with the kingdom of Bhutan, so cultural exchanges between the two take place annually. There are also many books for those with more time who really want to learn more about the country.
- 5 Fukui Fine Arts Museum (福井県立美術館). 9AM-5PM. The prefectural art museum with special exhibits throughout the year.
- 6 Fukui City Museum of Natural History (福井市自然史博物館). 9AM-5:15PM. A museum showcasing the local flora, fauna and geology.
- 7 Osagoe Minkaen (おさごえ民家園). 9AM-5:15PM. A small folk village with historic thatched-roof houses on display as an open-air museum. ¥100.
- 8 Fukui City Art Museum (福井市美術館). 9AM-5:15PM. The permanent exhibit contains many sculptures by Hiroatsu Takata, but special exhibits are the biggest draw. Check to see what will be featured during your visit to determine if it's worth your time to visit. ¥100.
- 9 Ichijodani Historic Site (一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡).
- 10 Ichijodani Asakura Family Museum (一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡資料館). 9AM-5PM. A museum showcasing artifacts excavated from the nearby Ichijodani Asakura Historic Site. ¥100.
- Aossa- Aossa de aossa! A relatively newer shopping mall that created a lot of excitement when it first opened in 2007, but then turned out not to be worth all the fuss. It has a cafe and some clothing stores on the first floor and a movie theatre above. It is conveniently situated right across from Fukui Station.
- LPa/Lovely Partner (福井市大和田２丁目１２１２番地） - a popular shopping mall that is unique to Fukui prefecture. Above it is the cinema, Korona World.
- Katsudon - While most of Japan prefers to eat its katsudon (breaded pork cutlet on top of rice) topped with a sweet omelet, Fukui is famous for creating the sauce katsudon, which is instead covered by a sweet and salty sauce similar to Worcester sauce. It is ubiquitous on menus throughout the prefecture.
- Oroshi Soba - Cold or hot buckwheat noodles with grated Japanese radish. Restaurants serving oroshi soba can be found throughout the prefecture. A budget and convenient restaurant is Imajo Soba (今庄そば) in the Fukui St building.
- 1 Maruhachi (まる八), 1-1-9 Miyuki, ☎ . 11AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM, closed on Thu. Serves oroshi soba and katsudon among others.
- 2 Akiyoshi (秋吉), 2-12-17 Junka, ☎ . 5PM-3AM, closed on Sunday. This is a Katamachi (片町) branch of Akiyoshi, a locally owned yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) restaurant which has many branches hroughout Fukui and the larger area. All branches have a picture menu, and most have an English one, if you ask (or they notice that you're not Japanese). Look for a red lantern sign at the entrance, and a line of business men eating and drinking at the counter. The surrounding street of Katamachi is full of other izakaya, Japanese-style pubs.
- 3 Ogawaya (小川家). One of the most famous sauce katsudon restaurants in the city.
- 4 Yoroppaken (ヨーロッパ軒). One of the most famous sauce katsudon restaurants. It's quite typical for there to be a line outside waiting to enter.
- 5 Fukushin (ふくしん). A sauce katsudon restaurant known for its generous portions of pork.
- 1 CASA (カーサ) (Located in the same building as Nakau on three floors: B1 has the main stage, F2 and F3 have bars and sometimes DJs). A weekend night club with DJs and dancing.
- Eiheiji Temple (永平寺). Established in 1244 by Zen Master Dōgen, a testament to the ability of the Japanese to fuse architecture and nature in a seamless and timeless structure. Visitors are welcome to tour the monastery and for ¥8000 per night (¥3000 per night for stays of more than a few days) can experience training according to the Sōtō Zen tradition. The temple is located about 15 km outside Fukui; either take a direct bus from Fukui Station (4 daily, 30 min, ¥720) or a train to Eiheiji-Guchi (25min, ¥440yen) and then a connecting bus (15min, ¥410).
- Sakai for Tojimbo
- Awara for Awara Onsen
|Routes through Fukui|
|Kanazawa ← Kaga ←||N S||→ Sabae → Takefu → Maibara|
|Kaga ← Sakai ←||N S||→ Sabae → Takefu → Tsuruga → Maibara|
|END ←||W E||→ Eiheiji → Katsuyama → Ono|