With its many forests, famous ski slopes, and exciting water parks, Fukui offers plenty of ways for the whole family to have fun in the great outdoors. For a more relaxed pace, there are farms where visitors can pick their own fruit, and places that offer adventures of the mind, where visitors can learn about science and outer space.
The town of Ikeda, in the eastern part of the prefecture, is 92% forest by area. Here, a project is underway to make use of the natural environment, to create experiences that connect people of all ages with one another and with nature. One of the most popular of these is Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda, which is famous for its Mega Zipline: a two-stage zipline course that runs nearly a full kilometer, with a panoramic bird’s-eye view of Ikeda’s forests. The facility also has a variety of overnight camping options, from bungalows to tents suspended up in the trees, as well as popular camping activities like outdoor grilling. To enjoy the natural scenery from a different perspective, visitors can ride the Adventure Boat: a raft ride on a two-kilometer course along the Asuwa River. River trekking is available too, for a more leisurely experience in and around the river. More relaxed recreation options are also available in Ikeda, such as Kodomo to Mori and Kodomo to Ki. These wood-themed play facilities for children feature toys, a ball-pit, and play equipment to climb, as well as arts and crafts, all using local wood. For older visitors, Wood Labo Ikeda offers a DIY workshop with space for woodworking, as well as hands-on sessions for making items like message boards and clocks.
Hands-On Learning about Science and Outer Space
Fukui even has ties to outer space: Fukui has launched a micro-satellite, and there are places here that offer ways to learn about space. Angel Land Fukui is a children’s museum that aims to help children develop an interest in science, space, and the world as a whole. The museum seeks to provide a practical approach to scientific concepts that can sometimes be hard to understand. Visitors can explore hands-on science exhibits, and watch in-person science shows that demonstrate scientific phenomena. Another place to learn about space is Seiren Planet, the Fukui City Museum of Astronomy, located next to Fukui Station. The facility aims to provide a fun, easy-to-understand, and intimate look at the fascinating mysteries of outer space, through educational displays and a domed planetarium theater equipped with an 8K projector.
Pick Your Own Fresh Fruit
A popular way to enjoy the changing seasons with the whole family is to pick fresh fruit, and plenty of farms in Fukui offer this hands-on experience. In the north, particularly in Awara and Mikuni, there are many places to pick various seasonal fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, figs, Asian pears, kaki persimmons, and akebi chocolate vine. These farms generally let visitors pay a set amount to pick and eat as much fruit as they like, usually for 30 to 60 minutes, and many farms also sell fruit to take home. In addition to fruit-picking, Awara Fruits Land sells soft-serve ice cream made with fresh fruit grown on the premises.
Make the Most of the Seasonal Weather
Cool Off in Summer with Water Parks
Summer means cooling off in swimming pools, and in Fukui, some pools offer more than just a place to beat the heat. Shibamasa World in Mikuni is one of western Japan’s largest water parks, with swimming pools and roughly 50 water slides. There are many other amusement park attractions here, such as go-karts, laser clay pigeon shooting, bumper cars, and a roller coaster. For families with children, Shibamasa World’s Kids Paradise features a kid-friendly climbing wall, mazes to explore, a collection of creative toys from around the world.
Away from the coast, in Ono, is Attaka Land. This facility offers a heated indoor pool year-round, and in summer, visitors can enjoy outdoor pools, including a wave pool, a flowing “lazy river” pool, and water slides. After swimming, guests can relax with a warm bath and a meal at the restaurant.
Fukui’s heavy snowfalls make it a popular destination for winter sport enthusiasts. Skijam Katsuyama is one of the largest ski resorts in western Japan, with slopes that offer runs up to 5,800 meters long. The resort features a total of 14 different trails, suited to everyone from beginners to experts. Rental equipment is available for both skiers and snowboarders, and lessons are available in English, for beginners to learn the basics. After a day of fun in the snow, relax in open-air hot spring baths near Skijam, with a view of the natural beauty of the mountains. Skijam also has a resort hotel, perfect for those who want an early start to a day of skiing or snowboarding.