Fukui Travel Guide

A prefecture prized for its seafood, history, and culture, Fukui is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Zen Buddhism or a soft spot for amazing shellfish.

Fukui Featured Food Experiences

Fukui Featured Restaurants


Fukunoi Ichinomatsu

Lunch: ¥5,000-9,999
Dinner: ¥10,000-14,999


Lunch: ¥1,000-1,999
Dinner: ¥1,000-1,999


Lunch: ¥60,000-80,000
Dinner: ¥60,000-80,000

Located on the west coast of central Japan, you’ll find Fukui to the north of Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. The beautiful, rugged coastline is peppered with fishing towns and villages which harvest deliciously sweet prawns and pricey snow crabs which are prized around the country.

The capital city that shares its name is separated from the coast by mountains, located in a mountain-flanked valley once ruled by a branch of the formidable Matsudaira Clan. Their domain, known as Echizen, nowadays comprises the northern portion of the prefecture. This land has birthed some fantastic delicacies over the years, including some delectable varieties of soba noodles, and world-class seafood.

If you’re at all interested in Japanese history, then you really should visit Fukui at some point. Here you can explore the gardens of the Matsudaira Clan — Yokokan Gardens — a beautiful spot seemingly suspended in time, and in the city of Sakai you’ll find Maruoka Castle, which dates back to 1576.

If a few centuries of history aren’t enough to tickle your fancy, then how about a few dozen million? If you head to Katsuyama, you’ll find one of the world’s best dinosaur museums (the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum), which features world-class paleontology exhibits sure to capture the imagination of families, academics, and amateur Indiana Joneses alike.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to eat in Fukui?

Fukui’s coastal waters have the perfect climate for Japanese snow crabs — one of the most sought-after seafood delicacies, which are only in season from November to March. The area is also famous for its soba noodle dishes, including echizen oroshi soba: an Edo era dish of soba topped with grated radish and bonito flakes, drenched in dashi soup stock.

What are the best things to do in Fukui?

If you’re traveling with your family, then you’ll struggle to beat visiting the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama for entertainment value. The more spiritually inclined will be happy to learn that the headquarter temple of Soto Zen Buddhism is located in Fukui too: Eiheiji Temple, which dates back to 1244 AD.

Where to Try Snow Crab in Fukui?

If you’re hunting for a taste of Fukui’s most prized delicacy, the restaurant Kawaika in Sakai City (just to the north of Fukui City) is the place to go. Here you can reserve in advance to enjoy perfectly-cooked Japanese snow crab which will raise the bar for what you expect from premium shellfish dishes.

What is Fukui famous for?

Fukui Prefecture is well-known as a place of spiritual significance, as Eiheiji Temple was founded here by the originator of Zen Buddhism in Japan, Dōgen — still an active monastery of his Soto sect. The prefecture is also famous for its unique ocean climate, which produces deliciously sweet prawns and unbeatable snow crabs in winter.

What to buy in Fukui?

Obama City (no relation to the former president) in Fukui is a hub of lacquerware chopstick production, where collectors can enjoy a seemingly endless range of unique, high-end chopsticks to choose from. The Echizen area is also famous for its handmade paper, which utilizes centuries-old techniques to create premium Japanese washi, used in the past for everything from Buddhist sutras to Japan’s first official banknotes.
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