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.
at the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum
I started the day with a train ride, taking the JR Hokuriku Main Line down to Tsuruga Station, then riding a community bus (a small bus operated mainly for locals, to meet local transportation demand) for about 10 minutes. My destination for today: the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum, located at Tsuruga Port.
The area along Tsuruga Port features a park with beautiful greenery, offering a place for locals to relax and enjoy themselves.
Tsuruga Port was an international port from 1902 through 1941, serving as a hub of transportation to and from Europe. This port accepted orphaned Polish children in 1920 and Jewish refugees in 1940 — the only place in Japan where these people could come ashore.
The Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum features panels and videos that present not only the history of Tsuruga Port, but also stories from those days and other information, helping us to understand the value of life even today.
The precious materials on display include newspaper articles from the time about the orphaned Polish children arriving in Tsuruga, hardships experienced by the Jewish refugees during their travels, and their arrival. There are also many heartwarming stories about interactions they had with local residents.
There is also a section about Chiune Sugihara, who issued transit visas to Jewish refugees to allow them to travel through Japanese territory. Jewish refugees fleeing persecution by the Nazis flocked to the Japanese Consulate in Lithuania. Sugihara, who was the consular agent at the time, contacted the Japanese Foreign Ministry for the issuance of visas, but he was not granted permission. This troubled him so much that he ultimately decided to disobey the ministry and issue the visas. These visas saved the lives of many refugees as a result of his decision, and have come to be known as the “Visas for Life.”
Tablet computers with audio guides in six languages, including English, Chinese, Korean, and Russian, are available at the museum. Ask the staff for details.
Even as times change, it is important that we never forget the value of life and the value of peace. Experience a place in Fukui where the spirit of doing what is right — the spirit of Zen — lives on, where you can look deep within yourself.
Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum
Snow Lanterns and Winter Fireworks in a Castle Town
The Echizen Ono Winter Story Festival
Delicate Winter Blossoms in Fukui
A Stylish Way to Enjoy the Flavors of the Season
Seasonal Dinner at an Izakaya Pub
Experiencing Fukui’s Food Culture with a Soba-making Hands-on Experience at
Echizen Soba Village
Inheriting and Preserving Traditions for the Future
Echizen Pottery Designated Japan Heritage
Learning about the Value of Life
at the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum
Experiencing the Heart of Zen
through Zazen Meditation at Daijoji Temple
Exploring the Natural Beauty and the History of Wakasa
Uriwarinotaki and Kumagawa-juku Historic Post Town
Enjoying the Charming Atmosphere of
A Mystical World of Water and Flame
The Omizu-Okuri Rite
A Unique Festival to Mark the Start of Spring
The Katsuyama Sagicho Festival
Enjoying the Finest Seafood in Fukui’s ZEN Environment
Nihonkai Sakanamachi Seafood Market
Coming in Contact with Traditional Technique
The Highlight of Winter in Fukui
Echizen Gani Crab
Beneath the Brilliant Red Leaves
The Autumn Colors of Echizen Ono Castle