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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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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...