Departing from Kanazawa at 8:30 AM, a tour group embarks on a journey to explore the historic sites of Fukui Prefecture. After a 40-minute train ride, they arrive at Fukui Station, where dinosaur statues greet them. The group then ventures into Fukui Castle Town, marveling at the well-preserved historical district, original castle walls, and a shrine adorned with delicate origami cranes. But the real highlight awaits as they climb Atagozaka Hill to reach one of the most renowned Zen Buddhist temples in Japan – Eiheiji.

Key Points

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Key Points

  • Take a 40-minute train ride from Kanazawa to Fukui Station, where visitors are welcomed by impressive dinosaur statues.
  • Explore the well-preserved historical district of Fukui Castle Town, including the castle ruins, a shrine adorned with origami cranes, and Zuigenji Temple.
  • Climb the 300-step Atagozaka Hill for panoramic views of Fukui’s modern skyline and the distant Fukui Castle ruins.
  • Visit the renowned Eiheiji Temple, one of the head temples of Zen Buddhism, founded in the 1200s and known for its impressive temple grounds.
  • Immerse in the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Fukui Prefecture, combining historical sites and the serene Eiheiji Temple.

Departure From Kanazawa Station

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Departure From Kanazawa Station

Departing from Kanazawa Station at 8:30 AM, the tour group begins its journey to explore the historic sites of Fukui Prefecture.

The approximately 40-minute train ride transports them to Fukui Station, where they’ll be greeted by the sight of dinosaur statues adorning the area around the station. This sets the stage for a day of discovery, as the group prepares to explore the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.

With a packed itinerary ahead, the tour members are eager to embark on their adventure, anticipating the unique experiences that await them in the charming Fukui Castle Town and the revered Eiheiji Temple.

Train Ride to Fukui Station

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Train Ride to Fukui Station

The approximately 40-minute train ride whisks the tour group from Kanazawa Station to Fukui Station, where they’ll be greeted by the sight of dinosaur statues adorning the area around the station.

This short but scenic journey through the Japanese countryside provides a chance to relax and take in the passing landscapes before arriving at their next destination.

As the train pulls into Fukui Station, the group will eagerly disembark, ready to explore the historic castle town and the revered Eiheiji Temple, the heart of Zen Buddhism in Japan.

The stage is now set for an immersive cultural experience filled with ancient architecture, spiritual teachings, and stunning natural vistas.

Exploring Fukui Castle Town

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Exploring Fukui Castle Town

As the group steps out of Fukui Station, the first stop on the itinerary is the impressive Fukui Castle town. They’ll explore the castle ruins, which still boast original walls and a moat, providing a glimpse into the region’s storied past.

Within the castle grounds, the group will:

  • Visit the prefectural office and police headquarters, which are located within the historic site
  • Explore a shrine known for its delicate origami cranes
  • Tour Zuigenji Temple, which houses two rooms from the former Fukui Castle

Wander the streets of the castle town, soaking in the atmosphere of this well-preserved historical district.

Visiting Fukui Castle Ruins

Stepping through the castle gates, visitors are greeted by the impressive sight of Fukui Castle’s original walls and moat, a testament to the site’s storied past.

Within the castle grounds, the prefectural office and police headquarters stand as a reminder of the castle’s role as an administrative center.

Nearby, a shrine adorned with origami cranes offers a peaceful respite, while the Zuigenji Temple provides a glimpse into the castle’s history, with two rooms from the former fortress preserved.

Exploring the ruins, travelers can imagine the bustling activity that once filled this historic site, now a tranquil oasis in the heart of Fukui City.

Shrine With Origami Cranes

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Shrine With Origami Cranes

Within the castle grounds, visitors come across a shrine adorned with vibrant origami cranes, offering a serene respite from the historic ruins. This shrine is a beloved local landmark, drawing visitors to marvel at the delicate paper creations suspended from the rafters and trees.

The origami cranes symbolize hope, peace, and healing in Japanese culture. Visitors often leave their own folded cranes as an offering or prayer.

The shrine’s tranquil atmosphere and picturesque setting make it a popular spot for photography, with the modern city skyline providing a striking contrast in the background.

Guided tours explain the significance of the origami cranes and the shrine’s role within the larger Fukui Castle complex.

Spending time in quiet contemplation at this shrine is a highlight for many visitors to the Fukui Castle Town.

Zuigenji Temple Exploration

Nestled within the grounds of Fukui Castle, Zuigenji Temple offers visitors a glimpse into the castle’s former grandeur, housing two meticulously preserved rooms from the original Fukui Castle structure.

These rooms, known as the Sho Shoin and the Yohi Shoin, provide a unique opportunity to step back in time and imagine the castle’s past splendor.

Visitors can marvel at the intricate architectural details and the serene atmosphere that pervades the temple. As they explore these historic chambers, they gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Fukui and the enduring legacy of the Fukui Castle.

The Zuigenji Temple stands as a testament to the region’s fascinating history and the resilience of its people.

Climbing Atagozaka Hill

From Kanazawa: Eiheiji Buddhist Temple & Fukui Castle Town - Climbing Atagozaka Hill

Atagozaka Hill rises above Fukui City, beckoning visitors to ascend its staircase and take in the panoramic views from the summit. The 300-step climb is a popular workout for locals and a must-do for travelers.

At the top, a small shrine offers a peaceful respite before taking in the sights:

  • Admire Fukui’s modern skyline, with high-rise buildings and the Asuwa River winding through the city.
  • Spot the castle ruins in the distance, a reminder of Fukui’s historic past.
  • Look out over the temple-dotted hills that surround the city.

Catch your breath and enjoy the tranquility of the hilltop before descending back down.

Arrival at Eiheiji Temple

After descending Atagozaka Hill, the group boarded a bus for the approximately 30-minute journey to Eiheiji Temple, one of the head temples of the Zen Buddhist sect.

Founded in the 1200s, Eiheiji is renowned for its impressive temple grounds and its role in preserving Zen teachings.

As the bus approached the temple, the travelers caught their first glimpse of the ornate buildings and serene landscapes that make Eiheiji such a significant pilgrimage site.

Stepping off the bus, they were immediately struck by the tranquil atmosphere and the sense of history that permeated the grounds.

With eager anticipation, the group prepared to explore this iconic Zen temple and learn more about its rich spiritual legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Photography Allowed Inside the Temple Buildings?

Photography is generally allowed within the temple grounds of Eiheiji, but is typically prohibited inside the main temple buildings out of respect for the sacred nature of the spaces. Visitors should follow the instructions of temple staff.

What Is the Dress Code for Visiting Eiheiji Temple?

Visitors to Eiheiji Temple are generally expected to wear modest, conservative attire. Shorts, short skirts, and sleeveless shirts are typically discouraged, as the temple is a sacred site for Zen Buddhism. Respecting local customs is encouraged.

Are There Any Vegetarian or Vegan Food Options Available?

Eiheiji Temple offers vegetarian and vegan meals, as it follows traditional Buddhist cuisine. Visitors can enjoy shojin ryori, a plant-based Japanese temple cuisine, during their visit. Advance reservations are recommended to ensure meal availability.

Can We Purchase Souvenirs or Gifts at Eiheiji Temple?

Yes, visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts at Eiheiji Temple. The temple grounds feature a gift shop selling traditional Japanese items, such as incense, calligraphy, and Buddhist-themed merchandise that make great mementos of the visit.

Is There an Audio Guide or English Information Provided at the Sites?

Audio guides and English information are limited at the sites. Visitors should expect to rely on tour guides or written materials to learn about the history and significance of Fukui Castle Town and Eiheiji Temple during the tour.


The tour group’s exploration of Fukui Prefecture’s historic sites culminates at Eiheiji Temple, one of Zen Buddhism’s head temples.

With its impressive temple grounds and serene atmosphere, Eiheiji provides a fitting end to the day’s journey through Fukui’s rich cultural heritage.

From the well-preserved Fukui Castle Town to the intricate origami cranes adorning a local shrine, the group has experienced Fukui’s diverse cultural offerings.

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