Fukui in a day

Posted by in Mike's blog

tojinbo-fukui-bridge

We received an offer that we could not refuse. It went something like this:
“Mike, I would like to meet your friend (Mat) from Canada. Let’s go see some places in Fukui prefecture together, I’ll drive”.

That was the beginning of what may forever be the most adventurous day we will have in Fukui. It was also the beginning of our first road trip in Japan! Together with Mat and Michiko, we started our journey from Awara at 10:00am.

Our first stop was the Tojinbo cliffs, which featured very tall cliffs with intense rock formations that we are allowed to climb all over and explore. It’s one of Fukui prefecture’s biggest tourist attractions. The Bunny had her share of climbing over rocks and jumping from cliff to cliff as well – with mommy and daddy’s close supervision of course.
Tojinbo is also a place where lots of Japanese people commit suicide. There’s a high success rate because the cliffs are quite dangerous near the tall edges. Our church (Bunkyo Gospel Centre) is involved in a ministry to some of the people who decide not to jump – and there are people who work at the cliff to provide on-the-spot crisis assistance.

Next we went for a hike around Oshima, a small island near the cliffs. There might be a story to Oshima. There’s always a story! To us it was a nice place for a nature walk.

After stopping for lunch at a nice noodle restaurant, we proceeded to Maruoka castle. We have been there once before on our own during a festival. This time it was less crowded and we opted to not take the bunny up the intense ladder/staircases that require the use of a rope to climb.

Fukui has more things, but Ishikawa prefecture is quite close as well…we decided to make the trip to Kanazawa. Readers outside Japan likely haven’t heard of Kanazawa: it’s the closest big city to Fukui. By “big”, I mean it has a population of half a million people. It’s also home to Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s “top 3” most beautiful gardens. I have a sneaking suspicion that nobody wants to declare any one thing the best of the best here, so there are a few “top 3” things around.

We drove north and spent an hour at Kenroku-en. Many of the trees there were supported by extra beams so that they could achieve impossible shapes and sizes. As far as landscaping and gardening goes, I most likely haven’t seen anything that compares to this. Here are some pictures.

On the way home we made sure to stop for some delicious curry at “Go! Go! Curry”. The curry was fantastic, and we noticed that there are two of these restaurants in New York City! Those 2 shops may be the closest place to Kitchener to find Japanese curry…which means a trip to NYC may or may not be in order after we have returned to Canada.

We got home around 10:00pm, and we were exhausted after a day of great fun. Michiko’s generosity made it all possible. Road trips are a great time to not only travel, but to share experiences and make memories with good friends.