Fukui Castle has been largely taken over by the prefectural government and police department with huge buildings which totally ruin the castle's historical significance and scenery. What remains, the moat and stone walls and foundations, are impressive.
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Japan has a number of places named "Obama," and the city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture has played up its coincidence of its name with new US President Barack Obama. A citizens' group called "Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai" (Obama Informal Booster Association) has been active in promoting the city on the presidential candidate's and later president-elect's coattails. They even formed the Obama Girls and Obama Boys hula troupe. These pictures were taken on Jan. 20, 2009 when they celebrated the inauguration of Barack Obama. Also see my video at YouTube.
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Featuring Japan's oldest surviving castle tower although it collapsed during the Fukui Earthquake in 1948. Rebuilt in 1955 with most of the original materials. Originally built in 1576 by Shibata Katsutoyo and also called Kasumiga-jo (Misty Castle).
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Spectacular, natural rock columns and walls on the coast. Hiking trails and boat rides give you a closer look at this rare natural monument. Tojimbo is accessible by bus from JR Awara Onsen Station on the Hokuriku Line.
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Established in 702 and nicknamed "Kei-san," Kehi Jingu is a major shrine in the Hokuriku Region. The main torii gate is one of Japan's three most famous wooden toriis. Kehi Jingu Shrine is a 20-min. walk from JR Tsuruga Station or a short bus ride. I visited on New Year's Day 2016 when it was a warm period with no snow.
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Held during the Bon season in Aug., toro nagashi is candle-lit paper lanterns floated on the ocean as a Buddhist offering to the spirits of the deceased. Tsuruga holds its mass toro nagashi (6,000 lanterns) on its famous Kehi no Matsubara beach at 6:30 pm, and then shoots off a grand fireworks display. Photos taken on Aug. 16, 2006. Also see the video at YouTube.
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