Fukui, one of Japan's 47 prefectures, is located on the island of Honshū in Japan's Chūbu region along the country's western coast.
Fukui is seventy minutes north of Kyoto and three and a half hours west of Tokyo via train.
Fukui is my soon-to-be base of operations.
But what do we know about this place?
Well, according to internet trolls, Fukui is “a soulless hole” filled with nothing but rain, grey, and sadness. But we can't always trust twelve-year-olds to provide us with the most accurate information.
According to their nineties-inspired English language website, Fukui is home to 799,127 people and “four distinct seasons”. Thrilling.
With a total land area of 4,188.99 sq km / 1,617.38 sq mi, (only slightly larger than Rhode Island) Fukui ranks 34th out of Japan's 47 prefectures (think of these as states), and it finishes 45th for population (slightly more than Alaska, or a quarter of Los Angeles).
Fukui has the largest dinosaur museum in Japan (one of the three largest in the world – the other two being in Canada and China), and apparently, this land of dinosaur relics produces 90% of the eyeglasses sold in Japan.
And the excitement doesn't stop there! Fukui is also home to fourteen nuclear reactors, the most of any prefecture in Japan! (Although at the time of my writing this, not all of them are operational).
But there must be more to this elephant-head-looking place than what a limited selection of English language websites and a handful of disgruntled former English teachers have to say.
Surely there exists some ancient and wondrous Japanese sorcery to be uncovered in “the most boring prefecture in Japan” (Anonymous Japanese Person, 2014).
My immediate locale will be Echizen City, home to 86,562, and according to their English language website:
The city is a great spot to visit, and also a nice place to live.
Long history and living traditions.
Rewarding and interesting to visit.
Amazing discoveries, that will pique your curiosity.
Feel refreshed and relaxed amidst natural beauty.
Honestly, what more could you ask for?
Fortunately, I will soon be free to abandon the whims of the internet and judge Montevallo, Alabama's sister city for myself (apparently they both like pottery).
Time to fight some dinosaurs.
And to correct the pronunciation you've made up, the correct pronunciation is foo-ku-ee. Although I agree, fook-you-ee would be far more exciting.