The charm of Uchiko

When Ayaka Sakamoto, a tour guide and friend, told me about the city of Uchiko (内子), I regretfully noticed that this name was totally unknown to me but very quickly, my ignorance gave way to an overflowing curiosity !

Last April, the opportunity arose to go and discover this small town in Ehime prefecture and located about 40 kilometers from Matsuyama. So we took the road… As we progressed, the landscape revealed all its beauty and gave place to magnificent forests, mountains and rivers.

We stopped at the local market of Uchiko « Karari Farmers Markets », the occasion to discover the regional handicrafts: cold cuts, rice, alcohols, products made with jabara, a Japanese lemon… But also to enjoy the charm of this place bordered by the Odagawa river.

Then we continued our way to our destination…

Very quickly, I was seduced by Yôkaichi, the historical heart of Uchiko, its quietness and its buildings dating from the Meiji period. We discovered with pleasure small restaurants, local shops offering refreshments, handicrafts but also sublime witnesses of the past.

Indeed, in the 19th century, Uchiko knew a great period of prosperity thanks to the trade of vegetable wax whose high quality allowed it to spread far beyond the borders of Japan. Even today, many buildings testify to the economic boom of the city at that time.

But before going to meet these silent witnesses, we stopped at the shop-workshop « Ômori Warôsoku » (大森和蝋燭) specialized in making natural wax candles since the Edo period.

When we walked through the door, a sweet smell of wax filled the air and I was immediately seduced by the atmosphere of this place. Our eyes then fell on the craftsmen busy working on the making of other candles with a very impressive speed of execution. These candles, unlike industrial candles, do not emit smoke and do not leak.

If you are interested