Zen, Alive. Fukui

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Fukui may not be full of large shopping malls or sightseeing destinations that attract large groups of tourists from overseas, but the lush environment, terroir and distinct climate of Fukui have led to the creation of our outstanding traditional slow food and sake cultures, while Fukui's history and climate have shaped our traditional arts and crafts. Our deep Zen-like spirituality has been handed down from generation to generation, becoming the cultural and historical heritage that lives on today.

Enjoying the Charming Atmosphere of

― Awara Onsen ―

Enjoying the Charming Atmosphere of Awara Onsen

I started my day by boarding a train at Fukui Station on the Echizen Railway’s Mikuni-Awara Line, with Awara-Yunomachi Station as my destination.
Time for a relaxing day in a hot spring town!

Echizen Railway’s Mikuni-Awara Line Awara-Yunomachi Station

Awara Onsen is one of Japan’s top hot spring towns —over a million visitors visit this charming little town each year.

charming little townhot spring towns

My first destination was just across the street from the station: Yunomachi Plaza. This plaza offers a free foot bath for visitors, with five separate baths to soothe travelers’ weary feet.

foot bathfoot bathfoot bath
geisha training

Next to the foot bath is the Dento Geinokan, or Traditional Performing Arts Center, which is ordinarily used for geisha training. Visitors can make reservations for geisha entertainment, or even to try these performing arts for themselves (fees required for each).
In addition, the former house of Fujino Genkuro, a Chinese literary master, has been moved here and serves as a museum today.

former house of Fujino Genkuro

This hot spring town is home to many ryokan inns, all of which offer tasteful and relaxing Japanese-style atmospheres.
One unique thing about Awara Onsen is that the characteristics of the baths’ water vary at each ryokan inn — these elaborate baths are a popular attraction!

ryokan innsryokan innsryokan innsryokan inns

The Yumeguri Tegata is a great way to enjoy the baths at a few inns, too!

The Yumeguri Tegata

There are three stickers on the back, and each time you visit a bath, they’ll peel a sticker off, for a total of three visits.

Yukemuri Yokocho

After relaxing in the baths, I headed to Yukemuri Yokocho. This little alley of cozy restaurants offers plenty of options, like oden and ramen, and the people there are always in the mood for a friendly chat.

Yukemuri Yokocho

It’s a great chance to meet some of the locals, which is always the best part of traveling! Whether it’s hot baths or warm hospitality, the spirit of Zen helps soothe both body and soul.

【Awara Onsen】

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