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The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

Eiheiji is a small, quiet town that people don’t often associate with exciting travel opportunities, but the quaintness of the area is actually its draw. On the outskirts of the greater Fukui City area, this town is surrounded by nature. With tree-covered hills surrounding the town, Eiheiji makes an effort to blend in with the surrounding nature, rather than compete with it.

  • The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    Mainly, this area is famous for being home to Eiheiji Temple, founded almost 800 years ago by Dogen, a Buddhist scholar. Today, several monasteries and temples are nestled in the forests of the surrounding hills. Recently, a cultural center, called Eibo-kan, was established to give visitors more insight into the town’s culture and serve as a jumping-off point for guests to the area.

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    Eibo-kan was founded in 2017 as a community center to give visitors and locals a cultural experience. Here, visitors can try some rice porridge, a traditional food of the monks in the area, learn more about the area’s culture, and even see a breathtaking art exhibit. The center also has a conference room that can hold up to 80 people that’s open to meetings and presentations for groups who reserve the space in advance.

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    The Culture and Lights of Eibo-kan

    Guests can stop into their cafe area to try out various snacks and drinks. As mentioned, they have rice porridge, but they also have local products from the community available and offerings more appealing to adults, like wine jello, sake, and koji tea. Eibo-kan also has a section dedicated to teaching guests more about the local Kuzuryu River, traditional fishing gear, and the fish that live in the river. The center also regularly hosts events like farmer’s markets and outdoor events and sells many local items in their gift shop.

  • The Way of Birds – Seated Contemplation

    The Way of Birds – Seated Contemplation

    The Way of Birds – Seated Contemplation

    For visitors interested in modern art, Eibo-kan includes a rather psychedelic light installation that has been one of the biggest draws in the area. The creative group, teamLab, designed this installation as a permanent exhibit at Eibo-kan when it opened. teamLab is known for its light installations at various museums and galleries throughout Japan, so it’s quite unique to find one of their installations in a town as small as Eiheiji.


    Visitors enter a dark room made of mirror-like surfaces and a computer uses projectors to display flocks of birds with trails behind them. One of the interesting things about this exhibit is that the patterns the birds create aren’t preprogrammed, so each iteration is completely random, and through projection mapping techniques, the birds avoid contact with visitors, making guests part of the installation. Visitors are free to wander the room or meditate. This work is reminiscent of some of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror-room installations, but the installation focuses on change in a seemingly undefined space, rather than repetition in an infinite space. Entrance to the installation is completely free, so this is a great stop for those on their way to see Eiheiji Temple.

    Eihei-ji Temple
    Address
    Fukui Pref. Yoshidaguneiheijichou Shihi 10-5
    Phone
    0776633102
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