Echizen

Echizen (越前) is a city in Fukui (prefecture).

Understand

Its Japanese name refers to the ancient province of Japan, Koshi, which covered the area known as Hokuriku today. Echizen means "the beginning of Koshi." The region has a long history as an important military base and castle town, though nothing is left of its castles today. The city promotes itself as the city of Murasaki Shikibu, who stayed here for a year and is said to have been greatly influenced by her life here. Echizen is also home to many temples and shrines.

In 2005, the cities of Takefu and Imadate were combined to form Echizen city. However, it is often still referred to as Takefu, including the names of the highway interchange and train station. This fact, along with the fact that two of Echizen's neighbors are Echizen town and Minami-Echizen town can cause of confusion.

Get in

By plane

The nearest airport to Echizen is in Komatsu. Buses connect Komatsu Airport with Komatsu Station for ¥260, from which you can take a Hokuriku Line local train or limited express train to Takefu station in Echizen.

If coming internationally, the best airport to arrive in is Kansai Airport in Osaka. From Kansai Airport, you can reach Fukui by train in about 3 1/2 hours by taking the Haruka limited express train to Shin-Osaka, and transferring to the Thunderbird or Raichō, described below.

By train

Echizen is served by Takefu Station on the JR Hokuriku line, which links Toyama with Maibara. A connection to the Kosei Line at Tsuruga provides a direct link to Kyoto and Osaka.

Echizen is connected to Kyoto and Osaka 1-2 times per hour by the Thunderbird and Raichō limited express services. All Raicho trains and a handful of Thunderbird trains serve Takefu Station. Both of these trains make the run from Osaka in about 1 hour and 40 minutes and from Kyoto in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The Shirasagi limited express also stops at Takefu Station on runs from Nagoya via Maibara. Trains reach Echizen from Maibara in 50 minutes.

If coming from Tokyo, take the hourly Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari service that stops at Maibara station. From Maibara, take the Shirasagi to Takefu station (3 hours and 20 minutes).

There is no charge for the above services with the Japan Rail Pass.

Get around

In addition to the JR Hokuriku line which runs through Echizen (stopping at Takefu station), Echizen is served by buses and trains operated by Fukui Railway.

Driving is by far the best way to get around within the city. Echizen is accessible from the Hokuriku Expressway at the Takefu Interchange, and is also accessible from Highway 8, which runs through the city.

See

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. There are great sculptures in this gate; 16 Buddhist saints, a dignified lion, a carp swimming up the rapids, and more. The huge Buddha made by Shakudani rocks is also a must see.

Inspired after visiting the temple in 1983 the poets Tekkan Yosano and Akiko Yosano wrote 14 tankas expressing how beautifully Goshoji Temple was wreathed with the fallen leaves, and how much we are blessed by Buddha.

Buy

Eat

Rt 8., a major road linking Fukui prefecture with Kanazawa, runs through Echizen City, so there are many local and national chain restaurants along the road.

Sleep


Go next

Routes through Echizen

Komatsu Fukui  N  S  Nagahama Maibara



This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, June 13, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.