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  • Kehi no Matsubara
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  • Kehi no Matsubara protecting Tsuruga City from brine damage
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  • Kehi no Matsubara being cared for by local people
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  • Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii))
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  • Seaside footpath
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  • Beach
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Matsubara (Pine Grove) Recreation Forest


Elevation Lowest : 2m / Average : 4m / Highest : 5m

Matsubara ― a splendid contrast between white sand beaches and green pine trees

Matsubara ― a splendid contrast between white sand beaches and green pine trees

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Kinki Chugoku
Flower-viewing (species: cherry (Prunus)) (Outside the forest) Autumn leaf viewing (Outside the forest) Birdwatching (Outside the forest) : Nakaikemi Wetlands Paddling / fishing / boating (pond / lake / river) (Includes surrounding area) Bicycle rental (Outside the forest) Guided tours (Includes surrounding area) (Online application available) (Foreign language support not available) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) Shrine / Temple visit (Outside the forest)
Geographical/topographical features
Kehi no Matsubara is renowned for the impressive contrast between its white sand beaches and green Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii)) and Akamatsu (Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora)) trees. It is a flat pine forest facing Tsuruga Bay, extending about 1 km from east to west and 0.4 km from north to south, popular among tourists and locals for its scenic beauty. It also serves a useful role in the daily lives of the local community by protecting the city from brine damage.
Historical/cultural features
Kehi no Matsubara is counted with Niji no Matsubara (Saga Prefecture) and Miho no Matsubara (Shizuoka Prefecture) as one of Japan’s three greatest pine groves. It has been selected as one of Japan's top 100 white sand beaches with green pine trees and one of Japan's 100 best pine groves, in addition to being designated as Wakasa Wan Quasi-national Park.
There is a legend about Kehi no Matsubara. Long ago, in the time of Emperor Shomu, foreign invaders attacked. The land of Tsuruga suddenly trembled and thousands of pine trees appeared along the beach in just one night. A flock of white herons―messenger birds of Kehi Jingu Shrine―perched on the pine trees, resembling flags fluttering in the wind. The enemy, believing they were the flags of an army of tens of thousands of men, retreated in terror.
(This legend is engraved on the stone monument under the title "The Legend of the Overnight Pine Grove" standing at the end of the parking lot.)
Climate, flora and fauna
The forest is in the warm temperate zone and has a Sea of Japan climate with many cloudy and snowy days during the winter.
Unlike other pine groves, Japanese red pines constitute approximately 60% of the grove. Japanese black pines grow along the coast, while Japanese red pines grow on the inland side of the grove.
The Matsubara (Pine Grove) Recreation Forest is used by locals throughout the year for recreational walks.
A walking trail starts next to the parking lot, and visitors can relax and stroll through the grove on a flat footpath. A bathing beach opens in the summer and the Floating Lanterns and Fireworks Show held every August is one of the biggest events in the prefecture.
Pines over 230 years old in the grove have been withering in recent years due to damage from Matsunozaisenchu (pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner et Bnhrer) Nickle) and changing forest conditions. In order to ensure that the valuable pine grove is passed on to future generations, interested locals gathered and formulated the "100-Year Scheme for Kehi no Matsubara" in 2013. The general public (tourists can also participate) and elementary, junior high and high school students participate in conservation activities, including pine-needle raking,* intended to preserve Kehi no Matsubara. The forest also hosts educational activities on the forest environment, such as nature observation sessions.
Pine trees grow in soil with few nutrients, but fallen pine needles gradually increase the amount of nutrients in the soil. Pine needles that fall onto the ground are therefore raked and removed, revealing the sand beneath, to optimize the environment for the sound growth of pines.
Latest Information
Regular events
Beach opening (July), Floating Lanterns and Fireworks Show (August)
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge
Opening seasons and hours
Accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Staffed facilities such as administration buildings
Seasonal tourist information center in the parking lot
Operating hours and season: 10時00分 a.m.–03時00分p.m. April through November. No staff present during July and August. No telephone.
Accommodation options
13 Japanese hotels and guest houses in the vicinity
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) Toilet (accessible) (Includes surrounding area) Footpath / walking trail / nature trail (Includes surrounding area) Parking lot(Payment required in some cases) Vending machine (Includes surrounding area) Shop (Includes surrounding area) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins (Outside the forest) Free public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) (Outside the forest) World Heritage Site / Cultural asset (nationally designated) (Includes surrounding area) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Includes surrounding area)
Matsushima Town, Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • 0 minutes on foot from the "Kehi no Matsubara" bus stop
  • 0 minutes on foot from "Matsubara Kaigan" (Kehi no Matsubara Beach) bus stop
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • JR Tsuruga Station → ("Matsubara Line" community bus: about 12 minutes) → "Kehi no Matsubara" bus stop
  • JR Tsuruga Station → (Gurutto Tsuruga Shuyu bus (Tsuruga round trip bus): about 15 minutes) → "Matsubara Kaigan" (Kehi no Matsubara Beach) bus stop
By car
  • Hokuriku Expressway Tsuruga IC → public road: about 10 minutes → Matsubara (Pine Grove) Recreation Forest
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Free parking for 50 vehicles
However, parking fees are required when the bathing beach opens (from around July 10 through around August 20).
(Ordinary vehicle: 1,000 yen, microbus: 2,000 yen, large bus: 3,000 yen)

Nearby tourist facilities
  • Kehi Jingu Shrine, Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse, Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum, Kanegasaki Park (All 10 minutes by bus from Kehi no Matsubara)
Management office contact details
Fukui District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Official Tourist Information
Tsuruga Tourism Association [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee

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