The town of Uchiko in Ehime prefecture retains its beautiful, traditional late Edo period to Meiji era townscape. And as of May 2016, a new project was begun here:
“Uchiko Adekawa Project, Experience a Walk Around Town in Kimono, So Cute! Fall in Love with the Uchiko Townscape.”
Uchiko is a town that prospered on the back of vegetable wax production from the late Edo period to the Meiji era. With a total length of around 600 meters, the Yokaichi & Gokoku Historic District Preservation Zone retains the town’s original appearance.
Last year, Ms. Kana Shimizu moved to the town from Sendai as a part of the region’s revitalization cooperative. Known as the small Kyoto of Iyo with its beautiful white plastered walls, she started the project thinking she could help the region with her skills and experience.
Ms. Shimizu used to be a beautician, and the idea she had of using both the Uchiko townscape and her own experience was “A Walk Around Town In Kimono”.
Local people donated kimono for the project, and finally in May 2016 it began! Five women including myself have come to try it out!
Experience A Walk Around Town In Kimono!
Selling Ozu washi (Japanese paper), traditional handicrafts, and handmade products made with Uchiko’s wooden materials, Uchiko no Wa is a shop located within the Yokaichi Historic District Preservation Zone.
This is the second floor of the shop where we changed into kimono.
While the vividly colorful kimono are lined up in a row, the tatami mat room and the view from the window are somewhat nostalgic…
There are lots of kimono in various colors and patterns to choose from, so you’ll surely find one that you like.
Red, yellow, light blue… “So beautiful”…
Getting my hands on a kimono, I can feel my spirits rise even higher!! I’m quite tall, so I chose a red one from among the slightly longer kimonos.
Wearing kimono just naturally brings a smile to everyone’s face. It feels as if the person in the mirror is different to my usual self and I get even more excited!
When putting on kimono, your hair should be set in a traditional manner to suit it. Everyone just keeps on transforming. And finally, we’re ready!
Let’s Head Out For A Walk in Town!
At first I felt a bit coy walking around in clothes I wasn’t used to. However, we all grew used to it in no time, and got into the character of the ideal Japanese woman, Yamato Nadeshiko.
In modern Japan, there are few opportunities to wear kimono. However, thanks to this project, the secret wishes of Japanese and foreign women can easily be fulfilled.
Constructed in the late Edo period, this is the garden of the Kamihaga Residence, which is the former home of the Kamihaga family, a branch of the Honhaga family, who were one of the largest wax producers in Japan.
It’s such a fashionable house you wouldn’t think it was built so long ago. It’s the perfect place to take commemorative photographs.
A commemorative shot with everyone. Four ladies in one shot is even more lovely, isn’t it? They’re truly like Yamato Nadeshiko! It felt like the town of Uchiko was filled with beautiful flowers.
Kyoto is not the only town that looks good in kimono, the picturesque townscape of Uchiko matches kimono perfectly and is the town that looks the best in kimono in Shikoku.
How about a walk in Uchiko, clad in kimono?
Uchiko Adekawa Project
Arranged at: (Uchiko no Wa Shigoto Shokunin no Ie) 2899-2 Uchiko, Uchiko-cho, Kita district, Ehime prefecture
Tel: 893-44-3790 Uchiko Visitor Center 9:00-17:00 (Closed Thursdays)
Business hours: Mon-Fri 11:00-16:00, Sat, Sun & Holidays 10:00-17:00
*Kimono experience possible outside normal business hours
Parking: Not available
*Advance telephone reservation required
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Maki Ohashi
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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