Fukui Prefecture, which abuts the northeastern part of Kyoto, has Wakasa Bay with its large-scale rias coastline and the Sea of Japan along with the lush green mountains which represent Hakusan National Park, and is known for its heavy snowfall throughout its area. Katsuyama has the largest number of excavation sites for dinosaurs in the nation and is popular for its museum and areas where you can even take part in a dig for fossils. The prefecture is also known for its optical industry in which its glass frames business has a 96% share nationally and is famous internationally for being the No. 1 maker for harps in Japan.
One popular site is the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. One of the world’s three great dinosaur museums, there are over 40 dinosaur skeletons on display on its huge 4500㎡ grounds. For enjoying the scenery, there are the Tōjinbō cliffs. With a high reputation in Japan as a place of scenic beauty, the 25m-high sheer cliffs are spectacular. Eihei-ji Temple has a long 770-year-old history as the training grounds for Zen Buddhism. The temple even garnered mention in the biography of the late Steve Jobs as the place where he tried to enter as a priest but was stopped. As well, there are other sites such as Maruoka Castle, Ono Castle with its sea of fog, and the Echizen Matsushima Aquarium.
When it comes to Fukui, there is the winter delicacy of Echizen crab. Echizen soba is also another standard dish in which grated radish is placed atop soba noodles. There are also dishes such as steamed mackerel, katsudon with sauce, Mikuni burgers, onsen pizza, Sabae dogs, and Kuzuryū ramen which are popular. Habutae rice cakes are popular as souvenirs.
Traveling to Fukui from Tokyo by train is common. There are 2 ways to get to Fukui: the Tokaido or Sanyo Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Maibara and then transferring to a Special Express train or taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa and then transferring to a Special Express there. Either way, the trip will take around 3 hours and 10-15 minutes. Around major spots such as Tōjinbō and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, there are trains and buses but for other areas, traveling by rental car is handy.
There are plenty of accommodations around areas such as Fukui Station, the onsen district of Mikuni, Awara, Wakasa along the coast and Echizen.