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Fukuchiyama

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Fukuchiyama (福知山市) is a city in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. As of April 2021, Fukuchiyama had a population of approximately 75,500 people.

Understand[edit]

The Fukuchiyama area has been inhabited for several thousand years. The route leading through it makes it a gateway to the Sanin Region, and for over 500 years it had been a castle town. The Kikuchi Family became the lords for the domain for 13 generations, and after Japan's feudal system was abolished, the area was rapidly developed due to Japan needing quick transport routes to the Sea of Japan for the Russo-Japanese War. Fukuchiyama prospered as a center for sericulture (silkwork cultivation) and indigo dyeing, but these industries have largely disappeared. Some industrialization since the 1970s have kept the local economy going.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The closest airport is Osaka Itami (ITM), which also handles a huge number of Japan's domestic flights. Fukuchiyama can be reached by either highway bus or JR train. The fastest way by train takes a total of about 90 minutes and involves taking a local train to Takarazuka Station and changing to the Konotori Ltd Express train (total fare ¥2970; adult unreserved seat). There are also 7 daily rapid train services from Itami to Fukuchiyama (one in the early morning, the rest from late afternoon) taking 2 hours and costing ¥1980. Kobe Airport (UKB) is another option but it takes longer and there are far fewer flights handled there. From Kobe Airport, take the Port Liner train to Sannomiya and either take a highway bus or go to Amagasaki Station for the limited express train. If arriving at Kansai International Airport (KIX), the trip to Fukuchiyama can take 3-4 hours depending on how good your connections are, but it is often faster and cheaper by train to take the rapid service from KIX to Osaka Station and then catch the Konotori Ltd Express (about 3 hrs, ¥4720 adult unreserved seat). A more expensive way is via Kyoto by the Haruka Ltd Express and then the Hashidate Ltd Express (3-4 hrs, ¥5610 adult unreserved seat).

By train[edit]

The JR Fukuchiyama Line connects Fukuchiyama to Osaka. The Sanin Main Line connects the city from Kyoto to the northern regions of the prefecture and onward to Tottori. In addition, there is a private railway, the Tantetsu Miyafuku Line, connecting Fukuchiyama with Amanohashidate on the Sea of Japan coast.

The JR Rail Pass as well as several JR West cover the trip to/from Fukuchiyama from the Kansai and Chūgoku Regions, however the entire trip is not covered by the Kansai Area Pass or non-JR Kansai Thru Pass.

By car[edit]

Those traveling by car can get to Fukuchiyama from Osaka or Kobe in about 90 minutes, taking the E27 Expressway and exiting at the Fukuchiyama Interchange. The city is also accessed from Rte 9 from the west and southeast, Rte 429 from the southwest, Rte 176 from the south, as well as other more rural roads. There are also highway buses leaving from Osaka (Osaka Station, Namba, and Osaka Itami Airport) as well as Kobe.

Get around[edit]

There are both bus stops and taxi stands at the front of Fukuchiyama Station. The Fukuchiyama Tourist Info Office also has 12 rental bicycles (8 regular, 4 electric) available next to the JR Fukuchiyama Station (9AM-5PM). A ¥3000 deposit is required, and the charges for regular bicycles are ¥400 for the first 2 hours, thereafter ¥100/hour, and for electric bicycles ¥500 for the first 2 hours, thereafter ¥200/hour.

For those going to more isolated or mountainous areas, Fukuchiyama also has several car rental outlets.

See[edit][add listing]

Fukuchiyama Castle
  • Fukuchiyama Castle Park (福知山城公園), 5 Naiki, 077-323-9564, [1]. 9AM-5PM, Closed Tue. The original castle was built by the Yokoyama family but was ordered to be dismantled during the Meiji Period. This castle was rebuilt in 1986 and houses exhibits of the original castle and artifacts from around the area. ¥330.  edit
  • Fukuchiyama City Sato Taisei Memorial Art Museum (福知山市佐藤太清記念美術館), 32-64 Okano, Fukuchiyama (Inside the Fukuchiyama Castle Park), 077-323-2316. 9AM–5PM, Closed Tue. Offers art works connected to local feudal history as well as sights of natural beauty in the region.  edit
  • Tanba Kannonji (Ajisaidera) (華観音寺(あじさい寺)), 1067 Kannonji, Fukuchiyama (15 min walk from Isa Stn), 077-327-1618 (fax: 077-327-4427), [2]. Fukuchiyama has a jewel of a place that is nearly completely unknown to all the tourist guidebook "experts", and that is Tanba Kannonji, or more popularly known among the locals as Ajisaidera, or the Hydrangea Temple. While this place has a history going back 1300 years, every June, especially in the second half of the month, the 10,000+ hydrangea flowers simply overwhelm the senses and it is one of the finest sights in the Kansai Region.  edit
  • Japan Oni Cultural Museum (日本の鬼の交流博物館), 909 Ōemachi Busshōji, 077-356-1996 (fax: 077-356-1996), [3]. 9AM–5PM, Closed Mon. A museum dedicated to Japanese oni (demons). Rental car recommended. ¥300.  edit
  • Choanji (長安寺), 577 Okunobe, Fukuchiyama, 077-322-8768, [4]. 9AM-5PM. A beautiful temple in the woods. Also at its best during the autumn leaves season in November. ¥300.  edit
  • Obara Shrine and Ubuya (大原神社 産屋), 191-1 Miwacho Obara, Fukuchiyama, 077-358-4324, [5]. This shrine was established in 852 and associated with praying for safe childbirth. Be sure to see the verdant moss covered path from late spring. The Ubuya hut has a history going back 300 years and was made as a sacred place for easy childbirth.  edit
Futasegawa Tsuribashi Bridge
  • Yakuno Basalt Park (やくの玄武岩公園), 98-1 Yakunocho Ogura, Fukuchiyama (Down Rte 9 west of downtown near city limit), [6]. Chosen as a Prefecture Designated Natural Monument and one of Kyoto's Best 200 Natural Sites, the Ogura Basalt is a natural wonder left over from an ancient volcanic eruption with several columnar joints and a nice waterfall. The rocks are lit up at night until 9 PM, giving it a unique atmosphere. There is infrequent bus access, or take the train to Kami-Yakuno Stn and walk south 3.2 km.  edit
  • Tenneiji (天寧寺), 1474 Oro, Fukuchiyama (35 min walk west of Shimo-Amazu Stn), 077-333-3448, [7]. This is a Rinzai Sect Zen Buddhist temple established in 1365 that is deep in the mountains and free from the tourist mobs. The carpet of moss in mid-summer is beautiful as well as the autumn colors in November.  edit
  • Futasegawa Gorge (二瀬川渓谷), Oecho Busshoji, Fukuchiyama. This one of the more famous natural scenic places in Kyoto, and seen in several domestic movies and television shows. The winding mountain stream passing through numerous rocks and boulders makes a relaxing and nice sight, and even better in November with the autumn leaves. Rental car recommended.  edit
  • Moto Ise Naigu Kotai Shrine (皇大神社(元伊勢内宮)), 217 Oecho Naiku, Fukuchiyama (15 min walk from Ōekoko-mae Stn), 077-356-1011, [8]. 8AM–4PM, Sat-Sun 8AM–4:30PM. This shrine is connected to Japan's most sacred shrine, the Grand Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture, but it is even half a century older. It has one of the only two black lumber torii gateways in the country, and there is a picturesque ravine. There are 3 shrines to see - the outer Geku, the inner Naiku, and the Amanoiwato Shrine which is built on the mountainside and requires climbing up a chain rope to get to it.  edit
  • Dogenji (洞玄寺(ぼたん寺)), 2-1256 Isa, Fukuchiyama (10 min walk from JR Isa Stn), 077-327-5036, [9]. This temple is popularly known among the people as Botanji, meaning the Peony Temple. From late April to Early May there are countless beautiful peony flowers that come into their full glory, and are a marvel to behold.  edit
  • Sandan Ike Park (三段池公園), 077-323-6324 (fax: 077-323-6314), [10]. 9AM-8PM, Closed Wed. This beautiful park surrounds a tranquil large pond and is popular for its cherry blossoms and azaleas in April, but even more so for its immense autumn colors in November. The park also offers a children's planetarium, small zoo (see below), and botanical garden.  edit
  • Enmanin (円満院), 879 Yakunochohata, Fukuchiyama (7km north of Shimo-Yakuno Stn), 077-337-0573. This mountainside temple has a nice rock garden as well as several impressive statues, but its most famous point among the locals is being one of the ajisaidera or hydrangea temples, with a garden that explodes into color every June. Being deep in the mountains, a rental car is recommended.  edit
  • Fukuchiyama City Zoo (福知山市動物園), 377-1 Izaki, Fukuchiyama (Part of Sandan Ike Park), 077-323-4497, [11]. 9AM-5PM, Closed Wed. Focuses mostly on smaller animals, primates, and birds, such as kangaroos, red pandas, gibbons, penguins, and spider monkeys. ¥220.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Mount Ōe, (From Ōeyamaguchi-naiku Stn take the bus bound for Oeyama-no-Ie and hike up 1 hour). This is a surreal mountain and the source of many legends in the region about demons (oni), and there is some good hiking when in autumn you can occasionally view the "Sea of Clouds" where fog covers the area except for the mountain tops poking through. There are 3 mounting hiking routes going through broad leaf forests, consisting mostly of beech trees.  edit
  • Fukuchiyama Onsen Yoro no Yu (福知山温泉 養老の湯), 81-13 Osada, 077-327-6000, [12]. 10AM–11PM. Offers both indoor and outdoor sodium chloride baths, as well as saunas and jacuzzis.  edit
  • Nikoniko Onsen, 22 Hirominecho, Fukuchiyama, 077-323-2525. Offer sodium and calcium chloride natural springs good for injuries, stiffness and muscle pain.  edit
  • Yakuno Kōgen Onsen, 2179 Yakunocho Hirano, Fukuchiyama, 077-338-0001, [13]. 12PM-10PM, Sat-Sun 10AM-10PM, Closed Wed. Has large baths with mountain views, open air baths (rotenburo), stone baths, jacuzzi, dry and mist saunas, plus waterfall baths. ¥600.  edit
  • Miwaso (三和荘), 4 Miwacho Terao Gongen, Fukuchiyama (Down Rte 9, south of downtown), 077-358-2310, [14]. 3PM-10PM, Sat-Sun 11AM-10PM. A hot spring hotel with both indoor and outdoor baths and restaurant. Hot springs are free for overnight guests. ¥600.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Fukuchiyama has several local artisans making foods and sweets that are ideal as souvenirs or omiyage.

  • Hanayome Osen Rice Crackers (衣川製菓), 150-1 Wakuichicho, Fukuchiyama, 077-324-8282, [15]. 9AM-7PM. Maker of traditional Japanese crackers and other snacks since 1965.  edit
  • Oeyama Meibutsu Oni Manju Steamed Red Bean Buns, 374-1 Oecho Tadewara, Fukuchiyama-shi, 077-356-0040. Sold at the Shinji Seikaho store, these oni or demon sweet bean buns offer something unique.  edit
  • Goryodaiko Jusanri (川見風月堂), 27 Higashi Nakanomachi, Fukuchiyama, 077-323-8336, [16]. For sale at the Kawami Fugetsudo shop, there are numerous traditional Japanese sweets including sugary chestnut buns.  edit
  • Tanba Fukuchi Pie and Tanba Kuromame Black Bean Pie (シャルム), 2041 Ebara, Fukuchiyama, 077-334-1855, [17]. 9AM-6PM. Sold at a shop called Sharumu, sweet black bean treats are another specialty in the region.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Umegaki Vineyards (梅垣ぶどう園), 116 Miwacho Shimokawai, Fukuchiyama (Down Rte 9, south of downtown), 077-358-2015. A large grape farm established in 1980 with some very sweet delicious grapes annually. Seasons vary by variety, but often are ripe around September.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Towa Shūzō (東和酒造), 115 Ueno, Fukuchiyama, 077-335-0008 (fax: 077-335-0604), [18]. 9AM–5PM, Closed Sun. Fukuchiyama has a good local sake brewer with a history going back to 1717, making numerous kinds of sake, some of them limited editions.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Sunroute Fukuchiyama (ホテルサンルート福知山), 4-1 Suehirocho, Fukuchiyama, 077-323-1888, [19]. Offers simple, clean, decent accommodations from this nationwide domestic hotel chain located close to Fukuchiyama Station. ¥6850~.  edit
  • Fukuchiyama Sun Hotel (福知山サンホテル), 2080 Hori, Fukuchiyama (2½km SE of Fukuchiyama Stn), 077-323-6161, [20]. checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Modern clean hotel with hot springs and above average sized rooms. With free parking. ¥5300~.  edit
  • R Inn Fukuchiyama (アールイン福知山), 3-20-1 Ekinancho, Fukuchiyama, 077-325-5000, [21]. A 9-floor modern western style hotel that also gives free admission to two local hot spring places. Located a stone's throw from the Fukuchiyama Station south exit. ¥7000~.  edit
  • Fukuchiyama Ark Hotel (福知山アークホテル), 1-24 Suehirocho, Fukuchiyama, 077-324-3333, [22]. checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Nice and clean hotel with the usual amenities and has bicycle rentals for ¥500 per day. ¥6700~.  edit

Contact[edit]

For the latest info on events and sights, contact the Fukuchiyama Tourism Association (福知山観光協会, Fukuchiyama Kankō Kyōkai) Tel. 077-322-2228 or see the tourist information office next to Fukuchiyama Station North exit (9AM-5PM).

Get out[edit]

  • Kyoto - The former capital of Japan for well over a thousand years, together with Nara comprise the traditional soul of Japan.
  • Miyazu - Famous for Amanohashidate, traditionally known as one of the three most beautiful places in Japan.
  • Kobe - Cosmopolitan port city, with the scenic Harborland and Meriken Park, Chinatown, Sorakuen Garden, Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum, and sake district with numerous brewers.
  • Himeji - Renowned as having the grandest and best original surviving castle in Japan, along with the gorgeous Kokoen Garden and mountaintop temple, Engyoji.
  • Osaka - Kansai's biggest urban city, with tons of night life, modern recreation, and a place that never sleeps.
  • Nantan - Popular for its preserved old town Miyama, keeping alive a traditional way of life from centuries ago.

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