Tsuruga, Japan

The serene calm of this largest city in the Wakasa region of Japan is one steeped in culture and poetic tales. The brilliant, wandering, Edo poet Matsua Basho was inspired to write a haiku about the glimmer of the moonlight over Tsuraga Bay, and the plethora of artisan crafts from lacquerware to washi (Japanese paper) keep the traditions of cultural beauty alive today. The area is home to one of the most picturesque pine groves in the country at Kehi-no-Matsubara, where white-sand beaches fringe the fragrant green boughs of the magnificent pines. The area of Mikata-goko is home to five sparkling, small lakes with colors ranging from turquoise blue to jade green, and the region is home to a number of important, brightly painted shrines. The Kehi-jingu Shrine was reared in 702 and a massive, vermillion, wooden torii gate was re-constructed in 1645. Museums abound, and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is popular with families wanting to explore the origins of the prehistoric world, while the moving Port of Humanity Museum honors the humanitarian work of Chiune Sugihara, credited with saving as many as 6,000 souls from the Nazis. Whether your interests lie in natural scenery, authentic experiences or historic sites, a day spent on these captivating shores will have you writing poetry of your own.

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Points of Interest

  • Tsuruga Humanity Museum
  • Traditional Crafts
  • Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins
  • Kehi-Jingu Shrine
  • Eiheiji Temple
  • Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
  • Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse
  • Nihonkai Sakana-machi Fish Market

More about Tsuruga, Japan Points of Interest

  • Tsuruga Humanity Museum

    Tsuruga's history as the "port of humanity" is displayed at this emotion-filled museum dedicated to the efforts of Japan's consular agent Chiune Sugihara, who offered "visas for life" to Polish children orphaned during the Russian occupation and Jewish refugees escaping persecution by the Nazis.

  • Traditional Crafts

    Tsuruga's artisans and craftsmen invite guests into their workshops to learn and participate in time-honored traditions, handed down through the generations, such as washi (Japanese paper), lacquerware workshops, bamboo doll making, and sword and knife work.

  • Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins

    The remains of the ancient castle town have been restored, offering guests a glimpse into the past. Wander the narrow streets and view the samurai residences, merchant houses, gardens and other dwellings that have been faithfully restored.

  • Kehi-Jingu Shrine

    Fronted by a huge, vermillion, wooden torii measuring 11 meters high, magnificent Kehi-Jingu Shrine is the largest in the area and has been considered the most important and iconic in the Hokuriku region since its construction in 702.

  • Eiheiji Temple

    An active monastery and dramatic temple complex, Eiheiji Temple is one of two head temples of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. Founded in 1244, today it is home to 250 practicing monks and consists of 70 buildings that are interconnected with walkways on lush, forested grounds.

  • Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

    One of the world's greatest dinosaur museums and the only one of its kind in Japan, the museum welcomes you to wander through incredible interactive galleries and exhibit halls with 40 dinosaur skeletons, earth science exhibits and a host of hands-on activities for kids.

  • Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse

    Registered as Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan, these two stately brick warehouses, constructed in 1905 for petroleum storage, have been repurposed as an attraction and house dioramas and miniature railcars depicting early Tsuruga townscapes.

  • Nihonkai Sakana-machi Fish Market

    The catch of the day and much more can be found at this bustling marketplace, the largest fish market on the Sea of Japan. With over 70 establishments, guests find it easy to interact with the locals and sample fresh-from-the-waters delicacies.

9 EXCURSIONS

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Hikone Castle & Nagahama

7 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 1 1 0

Today you will visit one of the 12 remaining castles in Japan, Hikone Castle, and enjoy strolling around Kurokabe Square with lots of traditional buildings.

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Strenuous Activity, Includes meal

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$214.95

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Eiheiji Temple & Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins

5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 1 1 5
  • Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins
  • Eiheiji Temple

History comes alive on this full-day adventure that takes in the historic splendor of the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins, a recreated 15th-century townscape, and visits Eiheiji Temple to admire the largest temple in Japan and head of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

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$139.95

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永平寺と一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡(日本語ガイド)(Guided in Japanese)

5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 1 1 9
  • Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins
  • Eiheiji Temple

History comes alive on this full-day adventure that takes in the historic splendor of the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins, a recreated 15th-century townscape, and visits Eiheiji Temple to admire the largest temple in Japan and head of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

Read More about 永平寺と一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡(日本語ガイド)(Guided in Japanese) description

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Traditional Arts and Crafts of Fukui

6 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 1 2 5
  • Traditional Crafts

Feeling crafty? Engage in demonstrations and workshops that celebrate centuries-old Japanese arts and handicrafts. Learn how the exceptional lacquerware of Fukui is made, try your hand at producing 'washi' (Japanese paper), and visit a knife shop to trace the history of bladed tools dating back to early 14th century.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$169.95

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Highlights of Tsuruga

4.5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 2 0 0
  • Tsuruga Humanity Museum
  • Kehi-Jingu Shrine
  • Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse

Make the most of your day in Tsuruga on this comprehensive tour. Get in touch with nature at Kehi-no-Matsubara pine grove, marvel at magnificent Kehi-jingu Shrine, and visit the historic Red Brick Warehouse and the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum.

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Moderate Activity

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$144.95

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人道の港敦賀ムゼウムと気比の松原(日本語ガイド)(Guided in Japanese)

4.5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 2 0 4
  • Tsuruga Humanity Museum
  • Kehi-Jingu Shrine
  • Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse

Make the most of your day in Tsuruga on this comprehensive tour. Get in touch with nature at Kehi-no-Matsubara pine grove, marvel at magnificent Kehi-jingu Shrine, and visit the historic Red Brick Warehouse and the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum.

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Moderate Activity

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$104.95

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Lake Mikatagoko Rainbow Drive & Chopsticks Making Experience

4.5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 2 1 0

Ride the Lake Mikatagoko Cable car for breathtaking mountaintop views of the "Mikata Five Lakes," a collective name for five sparkling bodies of water, each with their own unique color properties. Fill your camera with scenic splendor, then try your hand at making lacquer chopsticks at an informative workshop. Conclude with free time at Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf.

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Moderate Activity

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$179.95

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三方五湖レインボーラインドライブと伝統塗り箸研磨体験(日本語ガイド)(Guided in Japanese)

4.5 hours | Tsuruga | T R 4 - 2 1 4

Ride the Lake Mikatagoko Cable car for breathtaking mountaintop views of the "Mikata Five Lakes," a collective name for five sparkling bodies of water, each with their own unique color properties. Fill your camera with scenic splendor, then try your hand at making lacquer chopsticks at an informative workshop. Conclude with free time at Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf.

Read More about 三方五湖レインボーラインドライブと伝統塗り箸研磨体験(日本語ガイド)(Guided in Japanese) description

Moderate Activity

From

$119.95

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