Echizen City in Fukui prefecture was formed recently by joining a few towns around Takefu. It may sound as if the area is growing. But, according to what I observed of the area in the evening in early July, it seemed to be declining both in economy and population. I got this impression especially when I saw this old town hall of Takefu. They had an art exhibition in the building but I saw no one entering or exiting. The shopping arcade around the hall was dark and most shops were closed even thought it was Saturday evening. The hall itself, however, was shining in the sun.