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Meet Artisans and Culture of the Real Japan in a March 27 Virtual Tour of Fukui

Sign up here for a special free event on March 27 as we team up with local Fukui craftsmen and experts in culture and local cuisine to bring you into places never before opened to the global audience.

JAPAN Forward

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Sign Up to Meet Traditional and Modern Japanese Crafts Face to Face

Find the essence of Fukui Prefecture In a free live streaming event via Zoom Webinar on March 27, between 1 and 2 P.M. JST. You will be accompanied by navigators Naomi Mano and Arielle Busetto on the ground, viewers will be introduced to the essence of Fukui Prefecture. 

Sign up here.

The first twenty will receive a free set of lazer-cut origami Echizen Washi to make their own washi paper crane!


Echizen Area is in Fukui Prefecture, off the coast of the Japan Sea.

What It’s All About

This is a period in which many, like me, might be yearning for the thrill of visiting somewhere new, discovering the unexpected and tasting novel cuisine. There is only so much you can gain from glossy TV-style travel series.

Understanding that people want to travel despite the continuing pandemic-related restrictions, the Fukui Prefecture governmentーlocated in the Chubu region of Japanーis trying something different.

By teaming up with local craftsmen and experts in local cuisine, the local government is set to bring you into places never before opened to the global audience.

Navigators Naomi Mano and Arielle Busetto on the ground will introduce you to each of the participating craftsmen, cultural cuisine experts as you tour together. You can book your place in the webinar here.

Crab Cuisine, Served at Heisei Ryokan
Hiroshi Ishikawa, Head of Ishikawa Paper Mills

After all, it’s an area that ticks a lot of boxes for those interested in Japan. For one thing, it’s a city that historically has had deep links with cities at the center of Japanese culture, such as Kanazawa and Kyoto. It’s also a region flourishing with traditional Japanese crafts and food delicacies.

Shojin Ryori at Suisen, Hakujukan, Eiheiji
TAKEFU KNIFE VILLAGE, Cooperative Working Space, Echizen-shi

Virtual travelers will visit four areas: the city of Sabae, two craft areas in the town of Echizen, the prefectural capital of Fukui, and Eiheiji. For an insider’s view, Mano and Busetto will introduce you to individual local artisans, the best cuisine of the region, and even delve into the spiritual heart of one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan.

Picture Courtesy of Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple

Hearing from people on the ground, it becomes quickly apparent that Fukui is the place where cultural traditions, crafts, and links to history continue to flourish to this day. There is something to learn here, in terms of culture, history, and even sustainability.


Try Virtual Travel to Remote Fukui Prefecture

Arielle Busetto, at Housaigama, Echizen-shi
Naomi Mano, at Tsuchinao Sikki, Sabae

What is virtual travel in this case anyway, you might ask?

In short, it’s a live streaming video event which involves reacting and looking back at a trip into the region. By inviting virtual participants along to experience the navigators’ travel on the ground, listening to explanations on the go and fresh reactions afterward, it aims to bring viewers a real feel of what it’s like to visit the heart of Fukui Prefecture, and help you discover great reasons to come back again in the future.

Arielle Busetto and Naomi Mano in front of Furnitureholic, Echizen-shi.

Fukui: Where History and Modernity Go Hand in Hand

The prefecture is rich with arts, crafts and Japanese delicacies. Here’s some of what you will see:

Craftsman at Tsuchinao Sikki, in Sabae
Soba at Daikonya Restaurant

Sabae has traditional lacquerware and swordmaking, Echizen-shi is known as the birthplace of Washi paper, as well as hand-made cooking knives. Echizen-cho is a distinct part of the town highly regarded for its potteryーand the delicious crab caught off its coast. Finally, Eiheiji is home to one of Japan’s most famous Buddhist temples, and well known for its Zen Shojin Cuisine.

Detail of Washi, at Iwano Heisaburo Paper Mills, Echizen-shi

Traveling through these areas, it also becomes clear that the local craftsmen have much to teach us about how to make products in a sustainable way. They have been making products ethically for tens of years, providing lessons key to our current understanding of the world.

Yuko Yamaguchi, Furnitureholic, Echizen-shi
Toyokazu Yoshida, Housaigama, Echizen-cho

So join us in thinking positively and travel with us by participating in this virtual event. Meet artisans and visit places that will inspire you and prepare you for the next time you are in Japan!

Event Information

Where: Zoom Webinar, the booking page can be found here.

When: from 1 to 2 P.M. JST, March 27, 2021

Hosts: Tokyo-based Naomi Mano and Arielle Busetto. Naomi Mano has decades of experience as a bridge for people visiting Japan for business, travel, and more. She is Chairman of the Japan MICE Association, as well as CEO and founder of the successful company LUXURIQUE, which plans luxury travel experiences for customers in Japan, among many other accolades.

Arielle Busetto is a journalist for the publication JAPAN Forward, and like many in the audience, she is experiencing Fukui Prefecture for the first time, while searching for those gems that are surprising and appealing to a foreign audience.

Local Collaborators: Fukui Prefecture, Furnitureholic Tansu Maker, Housaigama Pottery, Daikonya Soba, Iwano Heizaburo Hand-made Paper Mills, Ishikawa Paper Mills, Tsuchinao Sikki, TAKEFU KNIFE VILLAGE, Sadazane Kawase Swordsmith, Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple, Hakujukan, Ryokan Heisei, Tenkuya Izakaya, O-edo+Cafe.

Other: The first 20 applicants will be rewarded with a set of Echizen Washi origami paper. (Deadline to apply is four days before event)

More information on the event can be found here!


Author: JAPAN Forward