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Zen and the Art of Fukui, Japan

Just four hours northwest from Tokyo by train, the Fukui Prefecture borders the Sea of Japan and is one of the mainland’s best-kept secrets. Its northern region features magnificent, snow-covered peaks and jagged basalt cliffs, while the south is a yawning stretch of rolling hills just waiting to be explored. In addition to its under-the-radar appeal and breathtaking scenery, Fukui also beckons with ancient sites, an enduring tradition of craftsmanship, fresh seafood, and a contagious Zen vibe.
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5-15 Shihi, Eiheiji-chō, Yoshida-gun, Fukui-ken 910-1228, Japan
About 10 miles from Fukui City, at the center of the prefecture, Eihei-ji Temple is a palpably spiritual place nestled amid 82 acres of mountains, moss, and shady cedars. “The Temple of Eternal Peace” was established in 1244 by the great Zen...
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Japan, 〒913-0063 福井県坂井市三国町安島
This series of basalt rocks jutting out into the Sea of Japan is a sight to behold. The cliffs were formed by magma being carved away by the sea over millions of years, which created deep chasms and precipitous bluffs that tower up to 80 feet...
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Wakasa, Mikatakaminaka District, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
In the southern part of the prefecture, the Wakasa region is acclaimed for the exquisite quality of its crafts. Wakasa lacquerware—and more specifically, Wakasa chopsticks—have been a coveted collector’s item for over four centuries. A single pair...
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Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
The port of Fukui teems with a boundless array of seafood from deep-water shrimp that turns cherry red, to Echizen crab with their brilliant shells, and even Wakasa blowfish. Every winter, Fukui’s restaurants overflow with Echizen crab, or the “...
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Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Echizen City has been the center for making washi—traditional Japanese paper—for centuries. Washi is created using natural elements such as the mitsumata plant and gampa bark and is used for everything from calligraphy paper to ceremonial gifts....