Japa’s sweltering summer is finally here! You know the drill: pack some SPF, sandals and your best summer hat, and get started searching for ways to escape the heat. But, before you buy a ticket to a more popular summer destination, hear me out.
What if I told you there was an underrated prefecture perfect for a summer getaway? Look no further than Fukui. Home to temples, nature escapes and dinosaurs, this underrated vacation destination is guaranteed to make you fall in love.
Here are four destinations to make Fukui your next summer getaway!
1. Soak in the sun at Mizushima
Escaping to an uninhabited island for the summer sounds like something only celebrities do. But in Fukui, it’s as easy as jumping on a little ferry and taking a 5-minute ride to paradise. Mizushima is a must for beach goers. The white sand and clear water make the island feel like a mini Hawaii.
Since the shade is limited on the island, you may want to pack a tent or wear some protective coverings. AKA, time to break out your most fashionable hat and beachwear and have an epic photoshoot. The island’s beautiful scenery is perfect for photo-ops.
If you’re not about posting on the ‘gram, how about fishing for sea urchin? The remoteness of this island allowed a couple of friends to catch some fresh, wild sea urchin with their bare hands. Of course, they ended up barbecuing and eating them later. I didn’t partake, but it shows how this island has something for everyone!
2. Japan’s longest and highest zipline
The Mega Zipline at Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda is no joke. It boasts a total length of one kilometer and a height of sixty meters above the ground. Thus, this adventure is not for the faint of heart. However, the instructors and safety equipment were top-notch.
Although it was my first time ziplining, it was worth the pounding in my chest beforehand. The glide was smooth and stable, and the views were astonishing. We were zooming by mountains and tall trees, flying by curious hawks, and seeing nothing but our lone shadow greeting us on the ground far beneath us.
Picnic Adventure Ikeda is also great for a camping trip. There is an adventure park, climbing courses, river rafting and cottages. I think being able to say, “I rode the longest and highest zipline in Japan,” is also pretty cool.
3. Splash at Shibamasa World
If you’re a fan of water parks, Shibamasa World is worth a visit. The park is on the older side, giving it that special charm that brings you back in time. In summer, it opens a waterpark with giant waterslides called “supersliders.” Climb up tall staircases and plummet down tubes into refreshing pools of water, or chill in the wave pool. It also just happens to be Japan’s biggest water park.
If getting wet isn’t your style, Shibamasa World has rollercoasters, carnival rides, bumper cars, archery and boats. There’s even a camping zone with a scenic view of the Sea of Japan. Then, you can indulge in good old BBQ like hotdogs and hamburgers.
4. Meet the Fukui dinosaurs
Did you know that there were unique dinosaur fossils discovered in Fukui? That’s why there are actual dinosaurs called the “Fukuiraptor” and “Fukuisaurus.” So it’s a no-brainer that Fukui boasts Japan’s number one dinosaur museum and is even recognized worldwide as a top dinosaur museum.
Fukui is serious about their dinosaurs. That becomes apparent when you walk in and are met with a towering animatronic T-Rex waiting to greet you. The museum’s atmosphere is immersive. There are lifesize animatronics and a large-scale amount of real preserved dinosaur bones and fossils!
The exhibitions are almost too cool to believe. Even if you’re not a big fan of dinosaurs (like me), it’s still an enjoyable and interesting excursion.