Wakasa Province

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Wakasa Province highlighted

Wakasa Province (若狭国 Wakasa no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today southern Fukui Prefecture.[1] It is also known as Jakushū (若州) or Reinan (嶺南).

The province's ancient capital was at Obama, which continued to be the main castle town through the Edo period.

Wakasa bordered on Echizen, Ōmi, Tamba, Tango, and Yamashiro Provinces.


Before the ritsuryō period (7th-8th centuries), Wakasa Province was a part of the Yamato dynasty. Many shrines and temples were established during this period. Wakasa Province also provided fish and other maritime products to the Yamato State, and was called "the land of foods".

From the ritsuryō period until the Edo Period, fish from Wakasa, particularly mackerel, was transported to Nara or Kyoto. In the Edo Period, the city of Tsuruga was a base of the Kitamaebune ships which connected Osaka to Hokuriku and Ezo in the north.

Historical districts

Power plants

Today, the Wakasa area has five nuclear power plants, and is called the "downtown of nuclear power plants".


Many temples in the Wakasa area were important sites in the Nara Period, such as Wakasahiko Shrine (Obama) and Kehi Shrine (Tsuruga). Because of the preponderance of temples, Obama is sometimes called "Nara by the sea".


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Wakasa no Kuni" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1025, p. 1025, at Google Books.


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