Uchiko Town 内子町

Description

Uchiko is a small town surrounded by mountains, with a population of about 20,000. It is the central hub area for several smaller, outlying towns and villages including Ikazaki, Ose and Oda. Uchiko is twinned with the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany, and prides itself on the preservation of its historic buildings.

Websites: http://www.town.uchiko.ehime.jp/, http://www.we-love-uchiko.jp/


Location / Access / Transport

Uchiko is located in the centre of Ehime.

Car:

  • Uchiko is located in the centre of Ehime.
  • Access is via Route 56 or the expressway.

Train:

  • About 25 minutes by Limited Express from JR Matsuyama.

Bus:

Bicycle rental:

  • Bicycle rental is available at Tabirian Tourist Information next to the train station.

Leisure

  • Sol-Fa Ski Ground. Offering three runs, Sol-Fa is home to the longest run in Ehime. Rental and a day pass costs about 10,000 yen.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights


Most sights are within a 15 minute walk from the train station. MAP!

Tourism

Maps: Uchiko, Ikazaki (inc. Tenjin), Ose and Oda, Ishidatami.

Arunze Tourist Information Center can be found on the main street. Behind Arunze is Nanze, a café and gift shop selling local souvenirs.

Volunteer English Tour Guides can be contacted by phone at 0983-43-1450. Please book at least one week in advance for tours of Uchiko's old street, Ikazaki, Ishidatami or other parts of Uchiko town. Tours can be tailor made but may depend on the availability of guides.

Tourism

  • Machinami. Beautifully preserved historical street from Uchiko’s heyday as a wax manufacturer. Handmade Japanese wax candles and umbrellas among other products, are still sold in this area. Head here to check out some historic residences, restaurants, and a ryokan!
  • Uchiko-za. Oldest Kabuki and Bunraku theatre in Ehime! Built in the final years of the Meiji Era and renovated in the 80s - a must-see!
  • Nehan-zō. Beautiful sleeping Buddha statue resting in front of the temple at the end of Machinami.
  • Karari Farmers’ Market. Open every day and offers locally grown produce, fresh local cheese, German-style sausages and ham, homemade ice cream and Uchiko pork burgers.
  • Tenjin Paper Factory. Located in Ikazaki’s Tenjin district. They sell a large variety of decorative Japanese paper and paper products. Paper making workshops are offered on weekdays for 500 yen per person.
  • Covered bridge. Picturesque covered wooden bridge in Ishidatami (access by Chagamaru sightseeing bus or by car).

Festivals

  • Ikazaki Kite Festival. (Children’s Day, 5th May) Teams fly large kites made out of Japanese paper. The kites have blades attached for cutting the strings of other kites!
  • Oda Lantern Festival. (Last Saturday in July) Lanterns float down the Oda River while the people of Oda take part in a parade. The event culminates in the igniting of a fake boat by shooting fire arrows at it.
  • Uchiko’s Sasa Matsuri. (August 6th and 7th) Bamboo Festival. Beautiful handmade paper decorations line the main street, with decorative light projections on the evening of the 6th. On the evening of the 7th, dancers form a procession down the main street.
  • Moon-viewing. (Two consecutive days during the full moon in early autumn) The machinami is lined with paper and bamboo lanterns, there are traditional music performances, dances in the street and the chance to try some Japanese dumplings.

Dining Out

Restaurants

Uchiko has a well-maintained restaurant guide with plenty of pictures to help whet your appetite!

http://www.we-love-uchiko.jp/gourmet/gourmet.html.


Izakaya

Need a drink after a long day? Check out Uchiko’s bar selection:

http://www.we-love-uchiko.jp/izakaya/izakaya.html.