Hokuriku is a region located in the northwestern part of Honshu, Japan’s main island. It consists of four prefectures namely Fukui, Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama. It is also known for having the highest volume of snowfall for inhabited places around the world. Don’t let the cold weather drive you away! You can enjoy going around 3 of the best places in the region: Eiheiji Temple, Kanazawa and Wajima.
Eiheiji is a large temple founded by Eihei Dogen, a Japanese Buddhist priest. It is located 15 km east of Fukui, the capital city of Fukui Prefecture. It is a training monastery of monks and nuns and is considered one of the headquarters for Zen Buddhism. The name Eiheiji comes from the Japanese word “ei” meaning eternal, “hei” meaning peaceful and “ji” meaning Buddhist temple.
The temple is being visited by 800,000 people annually due to its preserved natural existence. Some guests who have Zen experience can join the religious training provided that they make an appointment fitting in the schedule.
Kanazawa is regarded as Hokuriku’s old capital. It literally means “marsh of gold” due to a small mass of gold which washed up when a peasant was digging. It is popular for its castle which was rebuilt after it burned down many years ago. One distinctive characteristic of Kanazawa is the clustering of temples near the entrances. Some of the temples were lined up along a long straight road. The local cuisine focuses on kinds of seafood such as shrimp, sushi and sashimi. It also produces high-quality sake made in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Wajima is known for very warm summers and very cold winters. It is popularly known for a lacquerware called “Wajima-nuri.” It uses a very fine technique in producing lacquer. Some people even used it to decorate the doors of shrines in the past. It is best to buy during the Wajima Morning Market which is open daily from 8 am until noon. Apart from lacquers, you can also check out other stalls selling different goods such as handicrafts and seafood.
Make the most of your stay in Japan by heading to Hokuriku region. The unique experiences you can get in this area are irreplaceable.
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