Takahama is the most southern city of the prefecture, being 25km south of Obama, but 5km to Kyoto ken. It's small, about 11,000 people, but aside from Fukui-shi, it's one of the most multicultural places. There are many foreigners, mostly Peruvians, Brazilians and Filipinos.
GETTING HERE AND AWAY
Take the JR Obama Line from Tsuruga. Get off at Wakasa Wada station if you want to hit the best beach (it's about a 15 minutes walk straight down the street from the station and if you want “downtown” Takahama, get off at Wakasa Takahama station.
Take Route 27 south from Tsuruga. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of driving through Mihama, Mikata, Kaminaka and Obama, Oi then there is the gem of Fukui, Takahama.
Although it's small, it has most everything you need. There is a coin laundry, Komeri, the general store, a 100 yen shop, post office banks and all the conbinis you could want.
Next to the station, Sunnymart is wonderful. It has some foreign food, including pesto, sundried tomatoes, salsa and many other things. But like most things in Japan, the selection is seasonal.
On route 21, at the limit of the prefecture. It's got a bit of foreign cheeses, imported wine and plenty of stronger booze. It is off route 27, turn right onto route 21, near Takahama Genden. A short way down the road, you will see in English “LIQUOR”. That's the place.
Between Takahama and Oi. It's huge and orange, so you can't miss it if you're driving. They have all kinds of foreign foods and omiyage. It's a bit on the expensive side though. If you don't mind that, then you'll love this place.
LA IL MARE ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Not too bad. The pizza is pretty good but a bit expensive, about 1200yen for a small.
Next to La Il Mare. It's a ramen restaurant. They are both on route 27, past the Sunnymart and the busy area.
Coffee and dessert place, a little bit further down the Italian restaurant.
CAKES BY KEIKO
Absolutely awesome pastry chef, she makes western style pastries and cakes. Great place to go for coffee too, with a small outdoor patio (sits probably 3-4 people comfortably). 0770-72-2776, Keiko speaks perfect English. Depending on the days, you can get chocolate chip cookies that taste “just like home,” all kinds of pudding and coffee sponge cake. The real deal. Worth every hard earned yen it costs.
The best beach in Wakasa. You can easily walk or cycle the length of the beach. It gets very busy in summer. By car, turn right off Route 27 at Takahama station and follow the road to Shiroyama park. By train, Wakasawada and Takahama stations take you to either ends of the beach. Go straight out of either station.
AOBASAN: The Mt. Fuji of Wakasa
This 699 meter peak overlooks the bay. There are fantastic views on a clear day. A round trip hiking course is about 5 km. By car, turn right off Route 7 immediately after a golf club on Maizuru side of Takahama. Follow the road up to Matsunodera. The trail starts just behind the temple. By train, go straight out of Aonogou station to Route 27 and follow the left fork to the golf club.
It is a beautiful park and it's probably the only place you'll get to sit on grass under a tree. There is an absolutely beautiful view from there. It's a great place for picnics, although you need to be aware of the kites, they tend to steal your food if you're not careful enough. It is best to use the covered spaces. There is also the mountain in the town, part of Shiroyama park that is very nice and you get a nice view of the sea and the town.