Ehime A walking tour of Ozu and Uchiko, towns that still retain the townscape and culture of 100 years ago.

Last updated: 30 March, 2021

Towns which are themselves cultural heritages! Go on a journey to trace the different development of Ozu City and Uchiko Town.

Uchiko Town and Ozu City, located in the southern part of Ehime Prefecture, are areas rich in nature. In the days of the samurai, both were part of the same Ozu clan; during that period, Ozu City prospered as a castle town, while Uchiko Town prospered as an industrial town. The area was particularly active in the production of a traditional craft called “mokuro,” also known as Japan wax, and the old streets are still lined with traditional architecture built in those days.

On this tour, you will visit some locations where this traditional scenery of Japan can still be found standing today, allowing you to feel this traditional style of living.

Ozu Castle, a location that developed as Ozu’s political and economic centre, offers a panoramic view of the city centre and its picturesque cityscape.

The castle town, which escaped the air raids during World War II, still has many old buildings. In particular, the Garyu Sanso is a masterpiece of Japanese beauty, and has been listed in the Michelin Guide.

At the Ozu Washi Kaikan, you can enter a washi paper factory, a traditional craft that has been around for more than 1,000 years, and watch skilled craftsmen at work right before your eyes.

In addition, visit a restaurant where you can enjoy the local cuisine, and a museum where you can feel the nostalgia of traditional Japan.

Let's go on a trip brimming with the charms of rural Japan!

From this Michelin Guide listed mansion, you can enjoy the beautiful countryside scenery.

Walking around the town of Ozu, you can experience the gorgeous local scenery, like the Hijikawa River running through the town, or the local train running through the rice fields. In the middle of the tour, at Garyu Sanso, our guide will take you to a view point where you can enjoy the rural scenery of the Hijikawa River. Enjoy the soothing scenery, a true authentic Japanese landscape.

Enter a traditional Japanese paper factory and watch the craftsmen at work right in front of you.

Ozu washi, produced using the clean water of the Oda River, a tributary of the Hijikawa River, is a local traditional craft with a rich history of over 1000 years. Our tour will take you to the Ozu washi factory, where you can see the craftsmen carefully making washi by hand, one sheet at a time, up close. The beautiful craftsmanship is sight to behold!

In the streets lined with old architecture, you will feel as if you have stepped back in time to a Japan of 100 years ago.

In Uchiko, there is an area lined with grand merchant houses, storehouses, and townhouses built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Each of these buildings features rich designs and decorations, and you can enjoy a walk around town with these magnificent structures as a backdrop, during which our guide will carefully explain to you the charms of the town. Our tour also includes a visit to the museum of “mokuro,” a traditional craft of Uchiko.