Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Bonsai Exhibition of Ume Trees with Blossoms in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture


Charms of Japan

The annual event, "Bonsai Exhibition of Ume trees with blossoms" is held from

January 10th to March 10th, 2019 at Keiunkan in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture.

It is the largest and the oldest one in Japan.

About 90 pots are exhibited, and some of them are 3 meters tall and 400 years old.



As soon as the visitors walk into the venue, they'd enjoy the sweet smell of the blossoms.

The beautiful colors of the blossoms amaze them for sure. Bright red, white and pink stand out in the Japanese traditional rooms and it brings up the gorgeous atmosphere of the exhibition.


I visited the exhibition a few years ago and it was impressive to see all the amazing Ume trees. It is going to be held until March, so I would love to go back there!

If you have a chance, how about visiting the Bonsai Exhibition of Ume trees with blossoms?



Try your fortune at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto


Kyoto and Nara

I visited the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto the other day. Although it was after the New Year holidays, the shrine was busy with visitors, mainly foreign tourists.


Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is famous as the god of prosperous business and abundant harvests. Also, the shrine is believed to grant easy delivery, recovery from disease and academic achievements.


One of my purposes in visiting the shrine was to try my fortune at "Omokaru-ishi Stone" in the precinct. The "Omokaru-ishi Stone" is located in the back of the thousand toriis. It is said that when you lifted the stone, if you felt lighter than you expected, your wish would come true. But if you felt heavier than you expected, it would be difficult to comes true.


There was a line in front of the stone. Looking at them, a woman tried to lift the stone, but she couldn't do at all. So I was afraid that the stone was so heavy.


Finally, my turn came, I made a wish and lifted the stone. Actually, it was lighter than I expected, so I was simply happy to think that I will have a good year.


If you go to Kyoto, why don't you try your fortune at the "Omokaru-ishi Stone" at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine?(H.S)


The entrance gate is the right in front of JR Inari Station.


Many visitors in front of Romon gate


How to use washing water


A cool fox with a big key in its mouth


Popular photo spot: one thousand toriis


From the opposite direction


The "Omokaru-ishi Stone"

Distant view of Mt. Hakusan from Mt. Yoshinogatake in Fukui


Life in Fukui

Distant view of Mt. Hakusan from Mt. Yoshinogatake


Last weekend, the weather was fine, and I climbed Mt. Yoshinogatake in Eiheiji-cho, Fukui Prefecture. Although the altitude of the mountain is only 547 meters, it is good for me to be able to enjoy hiking relatively easily even in this season. Moreover, here is the short approach that it takes less than 30 minutes by car from the center of Fukui city. There was hardly any snow on the climbing road from Matsuoka Kamiyoshino village, and it was a comfortable hike about 1 hour climb and 40 minute descent.


Mt. Yoshinogatake is one of Echizen Gozan (The famous five mountains in Echizen). I think that the Echizen Gozan has a strange combination of a high mountain like Mt. Hakusan and low mountains like Mt. Yoshinogatake and Mt. Monjusan, but each of the mountains has a common legend that a famous monk of the Nara period "Taicho" opened the ways to climb them and founded shrines there.


Following the sign, from the top square, and I walked for a few more minutes, there was a place named "Hakusan Observatory", from which you can see the beautiful appearance of the shining white Mt. Hakusan. It has little snow this winter and the front mountains look like ones in late autumn, so the contrast between them is prominent.
*"Hakusan" means a white mountain.


The top of the Mt. Yoshinogatake

Echizen Coast Suisen (daffodil) Festival 2019 in Fukui


Places to visit

There are many places to visit and things to do in Fukui throughout the year.

In winter, eating crabs and going to hot spring are my favorite things to do.

There is another thing that is enjoyable during winter in Fukui is

"Echizen Coast Suisen (daffodil) Festival".


Today, I would like to introduce the festival and the area that has the beautiful daffodils.


Suisen Land

Photograph: Fukui Tourism Guide

Suisen Land


The Echizen coast of Fukui Prefecture is known as one of

the three great Japanese daffodil fields. From around December to March,

about 15 million daffodils bloom at Echizen Suisen Land.

At the Echizen Suisen Land, visitors can enjoy seeing not only the flowers,

but also the amazing views of the Sea of Japan and the lighthouse at the same time.

It is very soothing to take a walk around the Echizen coast being surrounded

by the sweet smell of the flowers.



suisei festival

There are events held during the daffodils season in Fukui.

Aranami Festa

Date: January 12th and 13th

Place: Kono Seaside Park in Minami Echizen-cho


Suisen and Kani (crab) Fair

Date: January 19th and 20th

Place: Michi no Eki Echizen in Echizen-cho


Exhibition of Suisen flower arrangement

Date: January 18th~21st

Place:Fukui Shimbun Kaze no Mori Hall


If you have a chance to visit Fukui during the daffodil season,

how about visiting he Echizen Suisen Land and or the events of the flowers?




I would like to share a video of Mr. Fumio Takeuchi's Echizen suisen Secchuka 4K aerial photography. Enjoy!

Shibata-jinja Shrine and the chains of Funabashi


Places to visit

I visited the Shibata-jinja Shrine for my New Year's prayers. The Shibata-jinja Shrine is about three-minute walk from Fukui Station, which is conveniently located. The Shibata-jinja Shrine enshrines a Japanese military commander in the period of warring state, Katsuie Shibata and his wife, Oichi, who resided in Fukui. So the shrine has a deep involvement in Fukui's history.


After his castle fell in 1583, the retainers of the time built a stone shrine at the castle tower site and enshrined the spirit of Katsuie. And in the Meiji Period, the stone shrine became an official shrine and it was the beginning of the Shibta-jinja Shrine.


In the precinct, there are statues of Katsuie, his wife Oichi and her three daughters, so people visit the shrine as one for bond with the divine virtues such as a bond of married couples, brothers and sisters and family.


Also, the chains of Funabashi, which were used for a bridge over the river, introduced on our website GEN, are exhibited in the neighboring museum. I was surprised that they were bigger and heavier than I expected. The museum is admission free and it has a resting space and the restroom. When you come to Fukui, please drop by. (H.S)


"Goshuin" (stamp given at shrines or temples) of the Shibata-jinja Shrine


The Oichi's statue stands quietly in the precinct. (Photo is from the shrine's website)


Description of the chains of Funabashi


Picture of the chains of Funabashi


The actual chains of Funabashi


Here is the video that the local people mentioned about the chains of Funabashi.