Tojinbo (東尋坊, Tōjinbō) is a one kilometer long stretch of rugged basalt cliffs along the Sea of Japan coast north of Fukui City. The rocky coastline has been carved out by the waves, leaving deep chasms and precipitous bluffs that tower up to 30 meters above the water below. The coarse, pillar-shaped rocks look like bundles of hexagonal and pentagonal rods and are a unique geologically formation that can be seen in only three spots in the world and nowhere else in Japan.
Tojinbo can be explored via trails which lead along the rocky embankment to various chasms and promontories. Visitors are free to walk right up to the unmarked edges of the bluffs. Watch your step and take heed as Tojinbo is named after a monk who, legend has it, fell to his untimely death along the cliffs. It is also possible to appreciate the towering bluffs from 30-minute long pleasure boat cruises; however, the boats do run when waves are high or during bad weather.
The touristy approach from the bus stop and parking lot to the cliffs is lined by many restaurants, food stands and souvenir shops many of which offer local crabs and other seafood. About halfway along the approach stands the aging, 55 meter high Tojinbo Tower, which offers visitors a 360 degree panoramic view of the area, but note that you cannot see the cliffs from the tower.
The coastal trails extend north beyond Tojinbo and feature views of the seaside scenery and wildlife from various lookout points and rest huts. At the other end of the trail is a small fishing village and a red pedestrian bridge to Oshima Island. Visitors can hike around the small island to a shrine and additional rock formations.
By Echizen Railway and bus from Fukui Station
Take the Echizen Railway from Fukui to Mikuniminato Station, the terminal station on the Mikuni Awara Line (50 minutes, 770 yen one way, 1-2 trains/hour). At Mikuniminato, take a bus to Tojinbo (5 minutes, 190 yen one way, hourly buses).
By bus from Awara Onsen Station
Hourly buses operate between Awara Onsen Station and Tojinbo (40 minutes, 750 yen one way or 1000 yen for a 2-day pass). Awara Onsen can be reached by local JR train from Fukui in 15 minutes and for 320 yen one way. Note about four of these buses per day continue to Eiheiji Temple. The one way trip between Tojinbo and Eiheiji takes 100 minutes and costs 1470 yen.
A rental car is a convenient way to explore Tojinbo, and there are numerous paid parking lots in the area. Rental car outlets can be found around Fukui Station from where it is about a 45 minute drive to the cliffs.