Disappear Into a Sea of Clouds at This Castle in the Sky in Hokuriku

There's also a morning market that cannot be missed.

of Hyogo is very famous for its castle in the sky, but one thing you should also know is that Hokuriku has its very own castle in the sky as well. The Echizen Ono Castle in Ono City, Fukui is a castle tower revealing itself from the sea of clouds. This place is very majestic and is considered to be a rare landscape that cannot be seen anywhere in Takedajo.

Echizen Ono Castle

A fantastical landscape of Echizen Ono Castle among the sea of clouds.

If you wish to see the
Echizen Ono Castle in the sea of clouds, the best season to visit is from October to April. From past records, the month with the highest number of times the sea of clouds appear is during November. This occurrence appears about 5 times a month. The best time to see it is until 9 in the morning. You may not always get to see it since this is a natural phenomenon, but the best time and conditions to finally witness it happening seems to be the next day after a rain when it’s cold, and during a sunny morning with a hint of slight winds.


This spot lets you see the Echizen Ono Castle down below.

The recommended photo spot is the ruins of
Inuyama Castle which is 1 km away from Echizen Ono Castle. It takes 20 minutes on foot along a mountain road, but it’s a great spot where you may see the Echizen Ono Castle perfectly and the town below.

A castle tower on the peak of
Kameyama Mountain (249 m). Inside the castle is a resource center that displays the belongings of past castellans.


The view of the city of Ono from the castle tower.

There are many charms in the castle town!

It’s great to see the Echizen Ono Castle from far away, but what makes the experience more fun is to climb up the castle and explore the wonders it holds. It takes 15 minutes by foot from the south entrance with the castle gate. The climb is safe since a recreation trail is prepared for people who want to visit. When you reach the castle tower, look around at the city of Ono which is considered a castle town! The other charm of Echizen Ono Castle is this castle town that is also called
Little Kyoto in Hokuriku.

Shichiken morning market street


The atmosphere of Shichiken morning market street. A market is held in the morning.


Shichiken morning market street is a cobbled road with quaint old Japanese-style houses on both sides. There are many stores in this market from traditional stores that make sakesoy sauce and miso, to stores of sundry goods, pharmacies and stores of souvenirs. It’s fun to just walk through and stop by and look at the items you would want to buy.


There are stores on both sides of the road.

A wind-up doll performing a traditional masked dance-drama on the 2nd floor of a store. You may see it in 2 places along the street.

This street is also famous for the morning market. From Spring Equinox Day to the end of December, farm products and processed goods that nearby farmers produce line the streets in the morning. It’s a traditional morning market that has continued for 400 years. Of course, the fresh local vegetables are great, but it’s interesting to talk to the ladies from the farm who have a lot of interesting stories to tell. The morning market is held every day until January. Even during the snowy winter, the morning market is a place to be. It’s fun to have casual conversations with the ladies peeling off the skin from chestnuts so make sure you ask them lots of questions. The morning market is natural and homey without the pressure of business. It matches the cozy atmosphere of the town.


It’s fun to have a conversation with local people at the morning market.


Local vegetables line up at the morning market. The homemade appearance is great.

Ono was a town of water

There is a spring in front of a store of the Shichiken morning market street where groundwater gushes out from it. This spring is called
shozu. There are many shozu in this town and it’s one of the most impressive landscapes of Ono.

You may drink from the spring water found in many places in the town.

A famous one is
Oshozu. It’s also known as Tonosama shozu since it is said that it was used to cook rice for the castellans. It is a famous spring that is selected in 100 Best Waters of the Ministry of Environment. You may drink the water freely from the spring and is said to taste soft.


Oshozu is like pure water similar to its name.


The water level of groundwater is shown. It is observed regularly in each place in the town. It seems like the interest of the residents to water is shown.


Shichiken Shozu
along the Shichiken morning market street is located near a sake storehouse.


You may drink the water from Shichiken Shozu.

Kuramoto Nanbu Brewery

This sake storehouse has a stately appearance and has many Japanese sake inside where you can also have a taste of their sakes. The
Kuramoto Nanbu Brewery makes refined sake called Hanagaki which is actually made inside the store. It’s hard to believe that there is a brewery in such a town!


Shichiken Shouzu gushes near the storehouse.

You may taste the sake inside the store.

Famous sake Hanagaki is lined up.

Ono is a town of water, says
Mr. Takayasu Nanbu, president of the Nanbu Brewery. There are two kinds of water which are hard water and soft water. The water of Ono is selected in the 100 Best Waters, but the average degree of hardness of the 100 waters is just about the degree of hardness of Ono’s water. According to Mr. Nanbu, they also make their sake from the water there. We specially visited him and listened to his story.


Mr. Takayasu Nanbu, president of Nanbu Brewery has detailed knowledge of the water and town of Ono.

Mr. Nanbu said everyone there uses groundwater and if you dig a little deeper, clean water naturally gushes out. The water bill is free but there are still times where problems of dried-up springs occur even in this town of abundant water. The reasons behind this were using too much groundwater to melt snow during winter, and the natural changes in lifestyle. However, this problem made the residents’ consciousness on water changed. Now, the regulations are more organized, and forests that supply water are protected. Nanbu Brewery is also working on planting trees at the water supply. They can only make their sake from water there. The president’s words expressed pride and fondness of water.


We were introduced to a stately parlor. It’s said that a spring was found under this parlor.

There are also many miso storehouses and soy sauce storehouses in the town of Ono. A water
yokan (soft red bean jelly) called Dechi Yokan is also famous. These are all because of great water. Taking over the tradition and culture, and the pride of water of home is expressed in them. They taste differently if you pay attention. The castle town of the castle in the sky is a town of great water, with the taste of spring water, and rich culture.



Hamana miso is a popular miso here. It goes well with rice and sake.


At the entrance of a sweets shop. The consciousness of Ono’s water is even expressed here.

Provided by Japan Walker
TM, WalkerplusTM, and Kansai WalkerTM, (26 November 2019

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