A port town located at the mouth of the Kuzuryu River in the northern part of Fukui Prefecture, Mikuni Minato in Mikuni-cho (town) flourished as a base for water transport logistics from old days, and the the streets retain the former appearance. In the middle of the Edo period, the “Kitamaebune trade” started. It sailed along the anchorage sites of the Sea of Japan side between Osaka and Hokkaido while buying and selling. The town developed greatly: The Mikuni Minato, as a massive logistics hub, got crowded and the shops selling various goods nestled up to one another. It continued its prosperity in the Meiji period, but as the hub of distribution moved from the ship to the railroad, it went into a gradual decline.
In current Mikuni Minato, there are streets with a traditional atmosphere remaining such as history and culture left by Kitamaebune, tradesmen’s houses with latticed doors, historical buildings retaining the appearance of business tycoon. The town development projects that make use of those are proceeding. For example, the building of the Kishina family, who was one of the business tycoons representatives of Mikuni Minato, still remains and you can visit there. The main building features a unique architectural style of Mikuni called “Kagura Date” that are tsumairi (entrance on gable end) and a lean-to roof of hirairi (a style of building which has the entrance on its long side).
In addition, there are the former Morita Bank head office with the Western style exterior design, and a museum called “Machinokura” which refurbished the storehouse. In regards to the eating places, there are many unique stores. In “Uoshirou” where the 100-year-old store receives a registration of the Tangible Cultural Property, sweet shrimp tendon, using sweet shrimps caught at local Mikuni Port and locally produced Koshihikari, is popular. You can eat local specialties like a Mikuni Burger, which uses pickled Japanese leeks of Mikuni specialty instead of western pickles, and a Shrimp Cream Katsu Burger using shrimps of Mikuni in “Mikuni Minatoza.” Also, in a gelato shop “CARNA” a flavor called “Mikuni no umi no shio (sea salt of Mikuni)” using salt made from the rocky field of Oshima Island near Tojinbo and “Milk” using Jersey cattle milk from a local Okera Fram are popular. There are also a variety store, a guest house renovated from an old Japanese folk house, and so on.
About 5 minutes walk from the Mikuni train statin on Echizen Tetsudo Mikuni Awara line.