The city is a great spot to visit, and also a nice place to live.
Long history and living traditions.
Rewarding and interesting to visit.
Amazing discoveries, that will pique your curiosity.
Feel refreshed and relaxed amidst natural beauty.
Murasaki Shikibu Park, Map 1
This park was built to honor Murasaki Shikibu, the author of “The Tale of Genji” who lived for a year in Echizen with her father, Tametoki Fujiwara, governor of this area. The park was made to look like a nobleman’s residence during her times. Therefore, the park looks like a very old, magnificent, and elegant garden. This place makes you feel as if you were back in ancient times. Why don’t you come and visit?
Oshio Hachiman Shrine, Map 2
This shrine was built in 887 by Kino Tomonaka, who was exiled to the Echizen area for a crime he did not commit. He continuously prayed to clear his name of the charges for a number of years, and fortunately he was allowed to come back to the capital, Kyoto. To display his gratitude, he built this shrine, which is now a National Important Cultural Property.
Omushi Shrine, Map 3
It is said that this shrine has more than one thousand years of history. It was rebuilt in 1996 to celebrate the shrine’s 2000th anniversary. There are two statues of male gods which are national important cultural properties. The shrine also contains a large rock, called “Oiwasama”, which is said to house the spirit of a deity. Pure water called Ishigami-no-mizu is used by many people to wash their hands or rinse out their mouths. This water was once used as part of the town’s water supply.
Gekkouji Temple, Map 4
Many people starved to death because of famine from 1830 to 1844. To honor the dead, Gekkouji temple was built in 1847, and memorial service’ began to be held then. One important part of this temple is the beautiful big Buddha, made out of copper, which is enshrined in the main hall. People found 500 stones, on which their ancestors’ names had been written, inside the body of the Buddha.
Hoyamaji Temple, Map 5
This temple is dedicated to Senju Kannon, a transformed Buddha that has 1000 hands. It was made by a priest named Taicho in the Nara era. Other statues of Buddha are also located here. For example, you can see the Nehan Buddha, a statue of the dying Buddha. There’s a picture of his crying disciples on the wall behind the statue. A smiling Buddha called Obinzurusan stands at the front gate of the temple. It is believed that you can recover from any illness by rubbing the corresponding part of the statue’s body that corresponds to your ailment.
Hino Shrine, Map 6
This shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Hino, which is also called Echizen’s Mt. Fuji. The shrine and all of the mountain is thought to be a sacred place. There is also another shrine at the top of the mountain. Mt. Hino festival takes place during the summer. Dances are performed to honor the god of Mt. Hino. At night, people climb Mt. Hino with lit torches so that they can see the sunrise in the morning. There is also an “ema” house where you can see prayers for a bountiful harvest written in 1665 on wooden plaques.
Kura-no-Tsuji, Map 7
These old warehouses with white painted walls (1603-1868) are opposite the Soja Shrine. This area flourished in the Edo Era as a stopping point for transporting supplies between the Kansai area and the Hokuriku district. During that area the row of warehouses belonged to merchants. Now, the warehouses are maintained in the district activation program, and are a must-see-spot in the downtown area.
Injoji Temple, Map 8
This temple was built in 1488. It was one of the main branches of the Shinseishu sect of Tendai Buddhism. There are 9 buildings in the temple, which is one of the most famous temples in the city. It’s noted for the front gate which is completely made out of zelkova (a type of elm). The gate includes sculptures of 16 Buddhist saints, a majestic lion, a carp swimming up the rapids, and more. The huge Budda made out of shakudani stone is also a must see.
Soja Shrine, Map 9
This is the main Shrine in Echizen city. Gods from shrines all over Echizen are worshipped together here. The citizens call it “Osonja-san”. A lot of believers visit this shrine during spring, summer, and fall events.
Ryusenji Temple, Map 10
In 1367 Ryusenji Temple was built by Tsugen-jakurei. It’s part of the Sotoshu sect of Zen Buddhism. The temple was favored by the Honda family who were wealthy landowners at the time. The temple has maintained the graves of the Honda family since its foundation.
Takefu Town Hall Museum, Map 11
This hall was built in 1929. In 1995, it was restored to its former appearance, and was reopened as a museum. Now, the museum is involved in a variety of projects, such as the preservation of local documents, introducing the town’s history, music concerts, and cultural seminars.
Teramachi Dori, Map 12
This cobblestone street in the center of town is well known.
Ryumonji Temple, Map 13
This temple was built in the typical architectural style of Zen temples. The temple was founded in 1299 and afterward was turned into a fort. The fort became a base for political and military affairs. Nobunaga Oda, who was in control of the army, set up his camp here to prepare for the war against Yoshikage Asakura and revolting Buddhist followers. Now you can see the ruins of the moat and fort inside the temple grounds.
Kongoin Temple, Map 14
Kongoin temple belongs to the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism, and it looks like an old temple in the mountain. It was built in 1433 and moved to it’s the present location near Takefu Station by Tomimasa Honda in 1610. The Mitama Festival is held on July 15 every year. During this festival, the silent precincts of the temple are lit up with 6,000 candles, and a group of priests process while reading sutras. You can see a solemn and fantastic Buddhist service at the festival.
The House where Chihiro Iwasaki was born, Map 15
This is the house where Chihiro Iwasaki, a well-known artist, was born. She was born in the Taisho Era (1912-1926). The people that lived in the house restored it so that you can see and learn about the culture and lifestyle of that era. Chihiro died, but her pictures are still here for many people to appreciate.
Ajimano Park, Map16
Ajimano park has a deep connection with the Manyoshu, collection of poetry from the a Nara Era (710-790).The Manyoshu includes 63 tragic love poems written by Nakatomino Yakamori, who was exiled to this area, and Sanono Otogamino Otome, who had to live in Nara apart from Yakamori. In this park, there is a stone monument on which 15 famous waka poems are carved. Here you can feel the romance of the Manyo-shu and enjoy seasonal flowers, such as cabbages, peonies ,and more.
Manyo-kan, Map 17
The Manyoshu is a royal collection of Wakas, a traditional style of Japanese poems, from the Nara era, about 1200 years ago. Some of the Manyoshu wakas are said to have been written in Ajiman, a part of Echizen City. These poems are displayed here. When you read them, you can appreciate an ancient love story, the longing for glory, and frustration over failure to succeed.
Manyo kikka-en, Map 18
This is the Chrysanthemums Exhibition Hall. You can see life-size dolls covered with chrysanthemums, which are exhibited during the chrysanthemum Doll Festival held in Takefu Central Park. The flowers are displayed here and continue grow throughout the year. You can view the traditional way of growing chrysanthemums. Some unique flowers are: “nanahon-date,” a flower that branches off into seven directions; “kengai”, a flower whose petals spread out like a carpet of flowers; and “senrin-giku”, a sort of clumped up bunch of flowers. There are many other varieties to see when you visit.
Ruins of Komaru Castle, Map 19
These are the ruins of Komaru Castle which Oda Nobunaga’s follower, Narimasa Sassa, built between 1575 and 1581. Here you can see some roof tiles on which stories about Buddhist revolts against Oda’s repression were written.
Reisenji Temple, Map 20
This is a temple which Yoshitoshi Shiba built in the Muromachi Era (1336-1573). There is a black lacqured wooden statue of Buddha that stands eight meters tall. The Buddha is rare because it is standing, not sitting.
Ajimano Shrine, Map 21
This shrine worships Emperor Keitai. Tsugutoshi Kurotani the grandson of General Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, moved here in the Muromachi Era (1336-1573). Inside the shrine part of the small wall which used to surround Kuratani’s fort remains.
Takefu Knife village, Map 22
At this workshop, local young artisans make handmade cutlery. You can observe how to make cutlery in a round shaped unique building. You can also join a class that teaches how to make a letter opener as a kitchen knife, or how to polish and sharpen knives.
Goshoji Temple, Map 23
Goshoji Temple is one of the headquarters of the Shinshu sect of Buddhism. It is a very solemn experience to walk through the valuable, decorated gate which is made of zelkova wood (a type of elm). The temple was built in Kyoto by Shinran in 1223. It was moved to Echizen City in 1615. The spacious temple contains Shinran Hall, Amida Hall, a warehouse of sutras, and a bell tower. Inspired after visiting the temple in 1983, the poets Yosano Tekkan and Yosano Akiko wrote 14 tankas, a style of Japanese poetry. One of them is as follows:
"How solemn the East Gate is
How beautifully the golden colored leaves
are fluttering and blessing us in the autumn wind "
By Akino Yosano
She expressed how beautifully Goshoji Temple was wreathed with the fallen leaves and how much we are blessed by Buddha.
Jofukuji Temple Garden, Map 24
Jofukuji Temple’s garden is designated
as one of the must see spots in Japan, owing to it’s Japanese style garden with rocks, sand, and moss.
The temple was made by Tairano Yorimori whose elder brother was Tairano Kiyomori, a leader of samurai, in the Kamakura Era (1185-1333).
From here you can see the beautiful Mt. Hino. A big holly tree, about 15 meters wide and standing a top a miniature hill, looks like a mountain. The surrounding moss resembles a wave in the sea. You’ll enjoy this tasteful garden with many seasonal flowers. Camellias are the best flowers in spring, azaleas in early summer, maple leaves in fall, and white holly flowers in winter.
Kakyo Park, Map 25
This park is a place to remember Emperor Keitai’s life in Echizen. The park has a thousand cherry trees. The view of the blooming trees is beautiful. In fall, the leaves are extremely beautiful as they change color. You can enjoy all four seasons here.
Usuzumi Cherry Tree, Map 26
There are old cherry trees on Mt. Sanri. One very old cherry tree called Usuzumi Cherry Tree is about six hundred years old. A long time ago Ohto-no-oh had to part with his girlfriend to be appointed as Emperor
Keitai in Kyoto. Thereafter, the story gees that the blossom’s color became lighter because of her sadness. The cheery tree is therefore called “Usuzumi” which means “almost colorless pink”.
Ougiga Pond, Map 27
This pond was once used as a baby’s bath for Emperor Keitai’s sons later Emperor Ankan and Emperor Senge. It is very clean, like a fountain. Now, it is shaped like a hexagon.
Japanese Paper Plaza, Map 28
This plaza is about 230 meters long. Paper shops and coffee houses are lined along it. There is a musical bench, a fountain with fish, and many kinds of trees. It’s a great place to relax or go for a walk.
Papyrus Center, Map 29
Visitors can make their own piece of paper in 20 minutes.
The Cultural Museum of Paper, Map 30
This museum exhibits historical information about Echizen Japanese paper, and other traditional Japanese papers. Exhibits include milling techniques and the origin of Echizen Japanese paper.
The Craftsman’s Studio in Udatsu, Map 31
This building is a reconstruction of the original milling house of the Edo period. While here, you can view the traditional paper milling process.The present Ichibei Iwano is following in the footsteps of his father. He is the 9th workman of traditional paper making in Imadate. The minister of culture has bestowed the honor of “Living National Treasure” on him and his father.
Okamoto Shrine & Otaki Shrine, Map 32
Both shrines stand side by side on the top of Mt. Gongen, and a combined shrine, which was rebuilt through the advanced skills in constructing shrines in the latter half of the Edo Era (1605-1868), lies at the foot of the mountain. The god of paper called “Mistress Kawakami”, the only god of paper in Japan, is enshrined here. She taught people how to make paper 1,500 years ago. Since 1985 these shrines have been prized as a National Important Cultural Property.
Kojiro Park, Map 33
In this park there’s a statue of Kojiro Sasaki who is watching over the area. Kojiro was a famous fencer who was from Fukui prefecture. Many stones stand silently here. You will truly feel impressed as you remember his life in the past.In the cherry garden next to Kojiro park, various kinds of cherry trees have been planted. This garden allows us to enjoy seeing cherry trees as they change during each season.
Yanagi Falls, Map 34
The village of Yanagi is famous for its falls, five waterfalls of varying heights. They are as wonderful as Ichijo Fall in Fukui City, where a fencer, Kojiro Sasaki, is said to have devised invincible way of killing a flying swallow called “Tsubame-gaeshi.” In particular, “Nuno Fall” has a beautiful flow like a white thin cloth. Many citizens enjoy hiking around the falls.
Ｅxperience Echizen’s culture first hand
Sobauchi dojo – School for making buckwheat noodles (soba).
Here you can make buckwheat noodles (soba). After mixing, rolling, and cutting the noodles, you can eat them right away .This is very popular regardless of gender or age.
Tel 0778-22-6988, Map 35
Tel 0778-21-0272, Map 36
Tel 0778-27-1863, Map 37
Zen meditation experience
Why don’t you put everything else out of mind and try Zen meditation in a temple to take a break from your busy routine?
Tel 0778-22-4586, Map 10
Tel 0778-22-7188, Map 14
Tel 0778-22-2215, Map 13
Tel 0778-27-1118, Map 20
Why don’t you try making traditional Japanese paper? You can make your own paper with pressed flowers and dye.
Office: Papyrus Kan
Tel 0778-42-1363, Map 29
You can experience the knife-making process .You can also watch professionals making cutlery on a tour. Classes are offered for making your own letter opener or a kitchen knife (by appointment only).
Tel 0778-24-1200, Map 38
Office: Knife Village
Tel 0778-27-7120, Map 22
You can harvest various farm products depending on the season. You can even stay at a farmer’s house and make soba!