- 1 Fukui - seat of government in the northern part of the prefecture and an important crossroads historically and today
- 2 Echizen City - second largest city in the prefecture and ancient capital of the prefecture. Famous as the one-time home of the celebrate author Murasaki Shikibu and for its traditional papermaking (washi) industry
- 3 Obama - a small fishing city, renowned for having the same name as the US President, as well as a large marketing campaign based on that coincidence
- 4 Ono - historic castle town. Often referred to as 'Little Kyoto'.
- 5 Tsuruga - a small harbor city on both the Hokuriku Toll Road and the Hokuriku Rail Line, and home to two of the JAPCO Nuclear Power Stations
- 6 Sakai - Home to an original castle and the famous Tojimbo Cliffs
- 7 Sabae - the center of the Japanese eyeglass industry and home to a museum to the industry
- 8 Katsuyama - mountainous city with popular ski slopes and a very nice dinosaur museum; two dinosaurs, Fukuiraptor and Fukuisaurus, were discovered in Katsuyama
- 1 Eiheiji — home to the head temple of the Soto Zen school of Buddhism, established in 1244
- 2 Hakusan National Park
- 3 Nyū
- Echizen — Echizen's rocky coastline is famous for its beauty and for delicious crab, and other seafood
- Mihama — literally "Beautiful Beach", a small ancient fishing village where apparently Oda Nobunaga spent a night after a rough battle
- Ikeda — a rural town home to one of Japan's few vine suspension bridges (kazurabashi).
Fukui is directly across the Sea of Japan from the Korean Peninsula. Its harbors are frequented by Russian and Korean cargo vessels.
Although the present characters for Fukui (福井) mean "lucky well", the city was originally given the name "福居" in 1623 by its daimyo Matsudaira Tadamasa. The name was changed during the Genroku era for uncertain reasons—one theory even claims that it was due to a clerical error.
The dialect spoken in Fukui is widely different between south and north. The southern dialect, called Wakasa-ben, is near to the Kansai dialect, however the northern dialect, called Fukui-ben, has a sing-song-y rural feeling to it. The Mihama dialect in southern is like many country dialects in Chubu.
Fukui is accessible via the Hokuriku Tollway by car from all parts of Chubu, and several different bus lines make stops at Tsuruga and Fukui City from places like the new Chubu International Airport and Nagoya, home of the 2005 World Expo.
Fukui has the largest rate of car ownership in all of Japan, which is necessary because public transport is not well developed. Still, it is possible to access most areas by train or bus.
JR trains run go south to Kyoto and Osaka and north to Kanazawa. Most JR trains stop at Tsuruga, Takefu, Fukui, and Awara. There are a few private train line with their own stations that are better for shorter distances, though more expensive than the local JR trains.
For most rural locations, buses only run several times per day. Be sure to check on the last bus time, which can be mid-afternoon, depending on location.
- Marvel at the geological beauty of the Tojimbo Cliffs (Sakai)
- Journey to the secluded Eiheiji Temple (Eiheiji)
- Enter Maruoka Castle, one of only twelve original castles left in the nation (Sakai)
- Stroll about Yokokan Garden (Fukui)
- Roam the Dinosaur Museum in the town where multiple new dinosaur species have been uncovered (Katsuyama)
- See the "top three" torii gate at Kehi Shrine (Tsuruga)
- Explore the historic ruins of Ichijodani (Fukui)
- View Myotsuji Temple's pagoda, a National Treasure, and continue on to other pilgrimage temples (Obama)
The prefecture has many great beaches and historical sites.
Fukui is well known for its beef from the Wakasa area of Western Fukui Prefecture, its echizen-gani (crabs) which are prized for their guts, called kani-miso, and for oroshi soba buckwheat noodles with grated radish. 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 sauce katsudon, which is instead covered by a sweet and salty sauce similar to Worcester sauce.
- Akiyoshi. There are many branches of the locally-owned yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) restaurant throughout Fukui (including near most JR stations). 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.. There are many branches of the locally-owned yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) restaurant throughout Fukui. All branches have a picture menu, and most have an English one. Look for a red lantern sign at the entrance, and a line of business men eating and drinking at the counter.
Water in Fukui comes from mountain springs. Some say the rice is the best in Japan, but people in a dozen other prefectures make the same claim. Regardless, put the rice and water together and you get some excellent sake.
- Kanazawa — the largest city in the Hokuriku region
- Kyoto — the old capital of Japan is the obvious destination if you're heading south