KatsuyamaKatsuyama (勝山) is a city in Fukui Prefecture, Japan, famous for its dinosaur museum, ski slopes, and large temple.
The easiest way to get to Katsuyama is by car, 40 minutes from Fukui City. Buses also run from Fukui City and Ono.
address: 51-11 Terao, MurokoThe third largest dinosaur museum in the world. Don't miss the displays about the Fukuiraptor and Fukuisaurus, the two dinosaurs discovered in Katsuyama. You can also dig for your own fossils in a small area on the grounds. The surrounding park has picnic areas, a playground, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Heisenji Hakusan ShrineA 1300-year-old complex of multiple religious buildings and ruins, surrounded by tall trees. Renowned for beautiful stone pavement. Quiet and sacred atmosphere. Once an influential head temple to worshippers of Mount Hakusan, the temple-shrine complex was a gate into the worshippers' road to the sacred mountain.
Echizen DaibutsuBuilt in 1987, this is the largest indoor Buddha in Japan. Sadly, its relative newness causes it to be overshadowed by Todaiji temple in Nara. The temple complex, which includes a large pagoda, is beautiful and surrounded by forested hills.
Katsuyama CastleBuilt in 1992, supposedly the tallest castle in Japan. Similar to Echizen Daibutsu, it has little historical significance, but it's still an impressive structure to look at.
Hiking mountains - in warmer seasons, mountains in Katsuyama offer an accessible way to see rare alpine plants and enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Hakusan.
Ski JamBy far the largest ski resort in the region, often making it crowded with people from Kyoto and Osaka, especially on weekends. Ski and snowboard rental available, but call ahead for larger sizes. Overnight bus Quick Liner provides a day trip from Osaka at Shin-Osaka station for ¥7,500-12,500 including a day pass.
Hataya Memorial MuseumFor a small price Hataya Memorial Museum lets you try things like using a loom, making thread, or making a cute animal out of silk worm cocoons. There is also a small cafe attatched.
Mount AkausagiIn summer, there is a beautiful view of flowers blossoming around Akaike (赤池), close to the summit. A 1½-hour climb from the Ohara (小原) point.
Mount ToritateA major attraction of this mountain is Mizubashou (水芭蕉) or Lysichiton camtschatcensis with glowing white spathes, which blossoms in May in a protected marshy area close to the summit. The plant is endangered and visitors are strictly prohibited from touching.
- Ono - 12 km away, through the mountains. Ono is famous for its castle, as well as outdoor activities.
- Eiheiji - Home of Eiheiji Temple, on the same train line as Katsuyama.
- Hakusan National Park - Bettou Deai (別当出合), the closest entering point to Hakusan (白山) for climbers from Katsuyama, is a one-hour drive from Katsuyama. The trail is a 5-hour climb to the summit.