Zen, Alive. Fukui

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The word “Zen” comes from Zen Buddhism, one of the sects of Buddhism. Zen Buddhism is largely divided into Soto school and Rinzai school. Fukui Prefecture has Eiheiji Temple, the main temple of Soto school, where priests in their apprenticeship from all over Japan do ascetic practice every day.
Zen Buddhism is famous for Zen meditation sitting cross-leged.

The Highlight of Winter in Fukui

Echizen Gani Crab

Beneath the Brilliant Red Leaves

On December 19, I got on a train at Echizen Railway’s Fukui Station and took the Mikuni Awara Line up to Mikuni. The goal of my trip: to enjoy some of that Fukui winter delight, Echizen Gani Crab.

the castle in the sky

Echizen Gani Crab is one of the best known types of seasonal seafood from the Sea of Japan. Many centuries ago, court nobles in the then-capital of Kyoto wrote about it in their diaries, and even today, Echizen Gani Crab is Japan’s only regional crab considered fit to offer to the imperial family. Look for the yellow tags — they’re a sign of genuine Echizen Gani Crab, and because crab season starts in early November, they’re a sign of the start of winter in Fukui, too.

Echizen Ono Castle

Echizen Ono Castle is located in the heart of Ono City, and is famous for its autumn colors. The trees on this small mountain, surrounding the castle, turn brilliant shades of red and yellow.

Fukui enjoys an incredible variety of outstanding seafood. There are plenty of shops and restaurants along the coastline that offer fresh seasonal seafood, including Echizen Gani Crab, of course.


Here, visitors can see live Echizen Gani Crabs being cooked in a large pot, a common winter sight in Fukui.

spectacular view of Ono City against a backdrop of mountainsEchizen Ono Castle and the beautiful autumn leaves

Echizen Gani Crab turns a bright orange-red when cooked. Its beautiful appearance and incredible flavor make it truly first-class seafood, fit for royalty, with a price to match.

Echizen Ono Castle

Freshly boiled crab! Its remarkably sweet flavor is absolutely unforgettable.

It turns out that there’s a QR code attached to the tag, too! If you scan it, you can see a video showing the excitement of catching Echizen Gani Crabs and selling them at auctions.

Oshozu Spring

The narration is in Japanese, but the images speak for themselves!

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