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Echizen Ono ‘Castle in the Sky’

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Echizen Ono ‘Castle in the Sky’


A castle that appears to be floating on a vast sea of white clouds

Fukui Prefecture



About a dozen times a year during the colder seasons, and only if the right weather conditions align, the Echizen Ono Castle in Ono City, located in the north of Fukui Prefecture, 90 minutes from Kanazawa, appears to be graciously floating on a vast sea of white clouds. Although you could—with some luck—potentially witness this real-life ‘Castle in the Sky’ on any given early morning from October to late April, you should note that the majestic sight is said to make its anticipated appearance most often around the month of November.


At its foot, hidden underneath the eerie blanket of fog, lies the castle town of Ono, established in the 16th century. In this “Little Kyōto,” you can explore several samurai estates as well as a picturesque avenue lined with as many as 16 temples of nine different Buddhist sects—a rare sight even in Japan. To this day, the scenic locale preserves its castle town charm, and an authentic rickshaw ride given by volunteers knowledgeable on the local history will take you around the old-timey environs.


How to get there

Take the JR Express Thunderbird from Osaka Station to Fukui Station, which takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Then, take the JR Etsumi Hokusen or the Kyofuku Bus to Echizen-Ono Station, which takes about 15 minutes. The castle is about a 30-minute walk from JR Echizen-Ono Station and 15 minutes by bus


Alternatively, you can take the bus directly from JR Fukui Station, which takes about 1 hour 10 minutes.


3-109 Shiro-machi, Ono-shi, Fukui-ken


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