History & Culture

Uchiko and Ozu Towns in Ehime offer the visitor a time trip

LAST UPDATED Mar 28, 2024

Uchiko and Ozu Towns in Ehime offer the visitor a time trip to the Meiji (1869-1912) ,Taisho (1912-1926), and the early years of Showa (1926-1989) periods.

  • Uchiko and Ozu Towns

    Uchiko and Ozu Towns in Ehime offer a trip through time to the Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho (1912-1926), and the early years of Showa (1926-1989) periods. Although these towns both existed from before the Meiji period, rapid industrial growth put them on the map as culturally and socially rich landmarks. The primary industries that brought these towns significant income were Japanese wax and silk. The wax, made from a kind of nut, increased in popularity from the mid-18th century, and was traded internationally. During the Meiji and Taisho periods, these industries flourished, bringing the area unprecedented wealth. This was wisely invested directly into enriching the city with magnificent architecture and infrastructure.

  • Uchiko-Za is a glorious theatre

    While much of Japan continued to grow and replace the architectural fruits of antiquity, the towns of Uchiko and Ozu were remote and less populous, and hence their great architecture remained untouched. Uchiko-Za is a glorious theater as authentic and grand as the Kabuki theaters in Tokyo and Osaka. But it retains the analog functionality of an earlier era, accenting its splendor. The rotating stage and stage elevators used to raise actors from the basement onto the stages were hand-powered. The wooden seating areas and the building’s scale were impressive by any standard, and more than would be expected of a rural town with small population.

    Uchiko-Za (内子座)



    Business Hours Open
    9am - 4:30pm

    Days Closed for Business
    Closed 29 December to 2 January

  • A stroll to take in Ozu's history

    In Ozu, you can walk to the town center from the villa “Garyu Sanso”, which was carefully designed by the traditional architectural method in Japan so that each room commands the moon from different views. This course treats you to authentic structures of industrial Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Eras. This part of the town is tiny, composed of only twenty or so blocks of mostly older homes and stores. Strolling in a kimono, it is easy to feel like you have slipped through a time portal to classical Japan. The wooden, paper, bamboo, brick, and mortar structures, as well as signage that seems to have been preserved from another century truly add to the time traveling experience. One could easily feel the unusual sense that you cannot identify in which era you are. Why don’t you experience the time trip that dates back to historical Japan while strolling quiet alleys.

    Garyu Sanso (臥龍山荘)



    Business Hours Open
    9am- 5pm (Last admission at 4:30pm)

    Days Closed for Business
    Open every day

Related Tags
  • Walking & Hiking

  • Cultural Heritage

  • Historic Sites & Monuments

  • Top Attractions

  • Southern Ehime (Nanyo)

  • Old Townscapes


Southern Ehime (Nanyo)

Experience the heritage and natural beauty of southern Ehime through its historical townscapes, stunning mountain vistas, and the Uwakai Sea.