Mysterious cliffs off the Sea of Japan. Oh, and they may be haunted.
A group of cliffs with rugged honeycomb-shapes and tall columns called Tojinbo create a picturesque scene on the coast of Fukui Prefecture. These rock formations were sculpted millions of years ago by erosion and strong waves from the Sea of Japan. They’re one of the Chubu region’s most iconic and mysterious natural landmarks.
Tojinbo shopping and island hopping
Before reaching the cliffs, you’ll pass a pathway with various shops serving fresh seafood, ice cream, and more. There are plenty of souvenir stores to grab a memorable keepsake from as well. Stop in at the cafe at the end of the alley and enjoy a cup of coffee as you take in the serene views.
Visitors can also join a cruising tour that allows them to get a closer view of Tojinbo, as well as its neighboring island, Oshima, which also has honeycomb-shaped cliffs. The excursion lasts for 30 minutes, and there’s a free mobile app called Tojinbo Cruise that provides information and pictures about the spots the boat tour passes by.
For those traveling with their sweethearts, there’s an observation deck called Tojinbo Tower that is known to bring luck in love. It’s because this tower houses a statuette of Hotei (the god of contentment and happiness), which gives good fortune to couples who stroke his head together.
Gaze out over Mount Hakusan and Oshima Island from the observation deck with sweeping views of the Echizen Cape.
Wait, the Tojinbo Cliffs are haunted?
The cliffs were named after a rather unsavory Buddhist monk called Tojinbo who was loathed by the locals. According to legend, the townspeople were angered by his despicable antics, so they threw him into the ocean. However, another story says that he fell in love with a beautiful princess. Unfortunately, he was duped into going to the cliff by one of her jealous suitors who then pushed him off.
Many believe his spirit still haunts Fukui’s cliffs, especially when there is heavy rainfall and strong wind. Perhaps Tojinbo just needs a prayer to calm his restless soul.
Get off the sofa and explore more of Japan’s Great Outdoors.