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Sightseeing is fun, but on really HOT days, the best thing to do is jump in the water. This is not really a beach... but the water looked so good that I stopped the bike by the side of the road and went for a dip. Be sure to bring along your swimsuit so you can seek similar impromptu relief from the heat. Goggles or a mask to see underwater would also be a great idea.

Echizen's most dramatic sight is this huge natural arch over the road - I'll never forget my first sight of it, rising up out of the gathering gloom. Unavoidably it's been touristized; a monument nearby that may appear to be some ancient cultural or historical marker actually gives the lyrics to "Echizen Bojo," a popular song by sung by famous local-born enka singer Itsuki Hiroshi. Unfortunately, a loudspeaker also blasts the tune as well, so it's hard to just enjoy the natural setting.