Indoor and Outdoor Art
The Brilliant Heart Museum is located along the northern coast of Fukui. In addition to a large window with a view of the nearby Oshima Island, this exclusive museum features installations by art director Toda Seiju. In particular, the windows in the ceiling are specially shaped to create rainbows throughout the space, making use of natural lighting throughout the day. The museum is open only on Fridays, weekends, and holidays, and reservations are required. Visitors can enjoy the art and the view along with their choice of either matcha green tea or wine, included with admission.
The Kanaz Forest of Creation, in Awara, features not only an indoor venue for art exhibitions and events, but a forest full of outdoor art installations. The outdoor space has walking paths that guide visitors to fifteen works of art, surrounded by nature. Placing this art outside creates scenery that varies over time, as the seasons change and the weather ages these works. This park also serves as a location for outdoor events, such as art and craft markets.
Find Beauty in Historic Sites and Japanese Traditions
The Solemn Beauty of Lanterns
In Japan, August brings O-bon, the time of year when the souls of the dead come closest to the world of the living. As part of this season of remembering, the floating lanterns of Eiheiji have become a symbol of late summer in Fukui. This traditional Japanese religious ritual uses lanterns floating on a river or the sea, as a way of mourning for the souls of those who have passed away. At Eiheiji , this August evening begins with a ceremony in which a Buddhist sutra and the names of the dead are read aloud. Following this, some 10,000 lanterns are floated down the Kuzuryu River as a quiet prayer. The event draws many people from the local community, both for the religious ceremony and for the magical scenery. These lanterns are dedicated not only to the memories of specific people, but also to personal wishes for the future. After the event, the lanterns are collected, and burned by the monks of Eiheiji in a purification ritual the following day.
In Katsuyama, another summer lantern event is held at the Great Buddha of Echizen. Unlike the one at Eiheiji Temple, this one takes place inside the Great Buddha Hall. People write prayers and wishes on strips of paper, then tie them to paper lanterns. The candles inside these lanterns lift them up and away, like tiny hot air balloons, to light this huge hall and the Buddha statues inside.