A failure recovery system utilizing a multi-core fiber (MCF) link with field programmable gate array-based optical switch units was developed to achieve high capacity and highly reliable optical networks in access areas. We describe the novel MCF link based on a multi-ring structure and a protection scheme to prevent link failures. Fan-in/ -out devices and connectors are also presented to demonstrate the development status of the MCF connection technology for the link. We demonstrated path recovery by switching operation within a sufficiently short time, which is required by ITU-T. The selection of a protecting path as a failure working path was also optimized as the minimum passage of units for low loss transmission. The results we obtained indicate that our proposed link has potential for the network design of highly reliable network topologies in access areas such as data centers, systems in business areas, and fiber to the home systems in residential areas.