First Time in Sakai City

What Sort of Place Is Sakai City?

Sakai City is a gourmet paradise home to many of Fukui Prefecture's culinary pleasures. This includes delicacies like Echizen crab from Mikuni Minato which is served to people like the Imperial Household, along with Wakasa beef, Maruoka soba noodles, deep-fried tofu, momi wakame seaweed, and lots of local sake. The city is also one of Fukui Prefecture's top tourist destinations, boasting attractions like the dynamic columnar cliffs of Tojinbo, a National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument of Japan; Maruoka Castle, the site of one of Japan’s 12 original castle towers; and Mikuni Minato, which prospered as a port of call on the Kitamaebune shipping route, and hosting events like the Mikuni Festival in May, one of the region's three biggest festivals. In addition, Sakai City is a convenient base to explore the charms of Fukui Prefecture. It’s close to both Fukui City, the prefectural capital, and Awara Onsen, a famous hot spring town. It also offers smooth access to the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, one of the world's top three dinosaur museums, and Daihonzan Eiheiji, a renowned Buddhist temple with a history of more than 700 years. Access to Sakai City from the Kanto and Koshinetsu regions also improved dramatically with the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train to Fukui Prefecture in the spring of 2024. Sakai is a warm, welcoming city promising extraordinary experiences. It’s a place that you’ll want to return to time and time again!

How to Enjoy Sakai City

  • Food

    Savor incredible food like Mikuni Minato's Echizen crab, Fukui sweet shrimp, and Echizen oroshi soba noodles.

    Facing the Sea of Japan, Sakai City is able to offer many exquisite seafood delicacies, including Echizen crab, which is considered as the best crab in Japan in terms of name recognition and quality, and the sweet and plump Fukui sweet shrimp. This city also attracts hordes of visitors with its beloved comfort foods such as Echizen oroshi soba, a buckwheat noodle dish served with grated radish in dashi stock; sauce katsudon, where thin, crispy fried pork cutlet soaked in sauce is served over rice; and mizu yokan, a staple winter dessert in Fukui Prefecture.

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  • Sightseeing

    Full of natural, historical, and cultural treasures such as the Tojinbo Cliffs and Maruoka Castle.

    Sakai City offers a wealth of tourist attractions across all genres, from nature to history, that are guaranteed to stimulate your curiosity. One of the attractions that you shouldn’t miss is Tojinbo, a stretch of precipitous cliffs where you can feel the dynamism of nature. If you’re a history buff, you have to check out Maruoka Castle, the only castle in the Hokuriku region that still has its original castle tower. There’s also Mikuni Minato, an area that once prospered through the Kitamaebune cargo ship trade, which has managed to preserve its retro townscape full of traditional “machiya” townhouses and rows of elegant lattice doors. Lastly, there’s the Takeda area in the city’s east, home to beautiful weeping cherry trees in spring and the oldest thatched roof house in Fukui Prefecture, the Senko no Ie.

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  • Hot Springs/Accommodation

    Enjoy seasonal beauty and hot springs at Tojinbo Mikuni Onsen and Maruoka Onsen.

    Don’t miss out on the hot springs in Sakai City! There are plenty of hot spring inns that you can enjoy any time, such as Kyukamura Echizen-Mikuni, which offers magnificent views of the Sea of Japan, and Takekurabe, where you can bask in gorgeous scenery that changes with the seasons. There are also about 20 traditional Japanese inns and bed and breakfasts in the Mikuni area that will let visitors indulge in menus that generously use local ingredients. Some popular examples are Mikuni Ocean Resort & Hotel, where all guest rooms have a view of the ocean so that you can watch the beautiful sunset, and Auberge Homachi Mikuniminato, which lets you fully experience Fukui’s culture and cuisine.

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  • Experiences

    Experience a range of traditional, cultural, and outdoor activities.

    From centuries-old events to all kinds of outdoor activities, there’s a wide variety of activities to enjoy in the area. Feast your eyes on the Mikuni Festival! One of the three major festivals in the Hokuriku region, this event has been held every May for 300 years now and carries with it an air of thrill and excitement that can only be experienced at a festival in a port town. There’s also the Mikuni Fireworks Show in August, which is held along the coast. But there’s more to the beach than just summer fun - even in the winter, you can easily try marine activities such as stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking!

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