on foot & by car - standard course 2 | QR Translator

on foot & by car - standard course 2

From rural villages to the townscape scenery

A course you can fully enjoy

After going around small villages in the outskirts, complete the course by exploring the town.
Visit the traditional buildings, see the original scenery in the forests nearby and please enjoy the local flavor!


The tasty local food will be a good memory of the trip for all!

Karari Farmers' Market & Restaurant

Locally grown food and gourmet specialties!

A direct sale place selling local production for local consumption, with restaurants proud of their delicious Uchiko cuisine, workshops for homemade bread and sorbets with seasonal fruits, a Roadside Station with many facilities and a good place to take a break.

A popular spot, where locals gather a lot, a place that has gained a reputation for tasteful fresh food.Please try the local burgers made of Uchiko pork, or sherbets, where you can choose from more than 20 tasty flavors.

The side dish buffet (only Sat & Sun) is very popular! Restaurant Karari

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About 15 min by car

By now it has become a designated Tangible Cultural Property of Uchiko


It was also the location of the famous drama!

The wooden Covered Tamaru Bridge.The Covered Bridge crosses over the Fumoto River.Originally an earth paved crossover, which was washed away in the great flood of 1943.Local craftsmen rebuilt it as a roofed, wood plank covered bridge.The Tamaru Bridge surrounded by its beautiful rural landscape was chosen as the actual filming location for the drama "Clouds Above the Hill".

After seeing the scenes in the drama, you might begin to see the real bridge in a different way.

Oh, it is here where that scene was filmed!

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About 15 min by car

The structure radiates a calm atmosphere, where you can feel the warmth of the wood.

Japanese Inn Ishidatami-no-yado

Meet the rural power of healing power - in a traditional mansion

An old private mansion has been relocated to create a special place with a warm atmosphere. The hospitality of the local mothers' will make your stay very pleasant. Please enjoy the green landscape and the leisurely flowing time.

On the first floor there is a room with wooden floor and open fireplace called Irori, where delicious Amenouo (biwa trout) are grilled.

Nice, that Irori-fireplace!

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About 3 min by car

The relaxing beautiful scenery

Ishidatami-Seiryu-en Park

A symbol of rural culture

Once there were as many as 30 water wheels in the Ishidatami region. In an attempt to revitalize the inherited traditional culture of the region, local volunteers took action and reconstructed traditional water mills. In the park, there are now 3 authentic water wheels, which create, together with the graceful Covered Bridge, a touching scenery of old times.

Now, with events such as the waterwheel festival in autumn, this place is enjoyed by many people.

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About 5 min by car

Freshly kneaded chewy soba-noodles are delicious!

Soba shop Shimamura

Enjoy weeping cherry trees blossoming in spring, and buckwheat flowers in autumn

Buckwheat (Soba) grown in Ishidatami is ground in a stone mill at the "Ishidatami soba" restaurant, then kneaded by hand, boiled and served right away. There only freshly made Soba is sold, therefore there is a limit of 100 meals per day.The soba is superbly made by the owner of the shop himself, trained in Yamagata Prefecture, which is famous for good soba.

From the car you can see the weeping cherry trees in spring, and the cute buckwheat flowers in autumn.Each season comes with its own beautiful scenery.

(Usually open Sat & Sun from 11:00 to 14:00)

In spring the weeping cherry tree is in full bloom

About 2 min by car

Praying to the quietly standing shrine is calming you down.

Yuge Shrine

A graceful bridge over a quiet pond.
The shrine a place of "Scenic Beauty"

The Yuge Shrine steeped in tradition was founded in 1396.The scenery of the Covered Bridge over the Yuge pond, surrounding the shrine is healing heart and mind.With a total length of 22m, the bridge is called "arched bridge", and as an approach to the shrine, it invites to quiet grounds.

Surrounded by deep woods, you can feel the old history of the graceful shrine.

whole 22m long "arched bridge"

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About 30 minutes by car

 Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings 
Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings

Let's stroll along the old street, where nostalgic houses stretch continuously for up to 600m.

Townscape in Yōkaichi/Gokoku

Street that feel like "I'm back home".
Let's walk slowly

Splendid mansions or storehouses with thick mud walls etc., built in the late Edo and Meiji era stand side by side.Rather than a unified design of groups of buildings, a rich townscape has been created where the houses are different one by one.It is fun to stroll with the eyes wide open to admire to unique designs and decorations of the buildings.

Thanks to the Townscape Preservation Movement that has been organised by local residents, the former looks and ambiance of the townscape have remained unchanged till now.Even new buildings were constructed under consideration of the old townscape to preserve the overall appearance.

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4-minute walk, about 200m

 National Important Cultural Asset 
Here the wealth of materials bears witness to the prosperity of the Japan wax industry in Uchiko.

Japanese Wax Museum & Kamihaga Residence

More about the Japan wax industry of bygone days
Important Cultural Property

The mansion of the Kamihaga family, a branch of the Honhaga family who both made their fortune producing Japan wax, is now used as museum.You can see impressive things such as the sailboat-shaped tile on top of the Onigawara (devils face) tile that extends up from the roof, the dark red Degohshi (latticed bay-window) and the Namako wall (white stucco grid pattern).

On the vast site of about 4,300 sqm with 10 buildings, including the Omoya (main house), Suijiba (cookhouse), Kamaba (boiler room house), Shimai-beya (dressing rooms) etc., you can feel the elevated lifestyle of a wealthy merchant. The area behind the main house is now an exhibition about Japan wax production methods and processes for conveying traditional techniques to present generations.

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3-minute walk, about 150m

 National Important Cultural Asset 
A precious mansion of old times that conceals its age

Honhaga Residence & Ōmura Residence

Features of the cultural property

The Honhaga family laid the foundation to the Japan wax production industry in Uchiko. Built in the most prosperous era of the Japan wax industry, this buildings have a gorgeous design and are of highest quality. There is for example, a hexagon type Namako wall (with white stucco grid relief) on the front of the Honhaga residence or the "morning sun & crane" plaster relief (their company trade mark at that time) on the Dozo-storehouse. The Gegyo (pediment decoration) with the Kotee relief "crane in the pine tree", visible from the garden or the Gegyo on the main house showing a "dragon in the clouds" are designs that can only be found at the head family residence.

The Ohmura residence was built before the Uchiko Japan wax industry was thriving. It was used for several businesses such as for a store, for cloth dyeing and for a silk business. During repair works from 2009 - 2012 the remains of 11 dyeing jars were found. Here you can see the state of townhouses in the late Edo to the Meiji era.

(* These 2 buildings are not open to the public.)

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4-minute walk, about 170m

Omori Taro, sixth generation candle maker

In the workshop you can watch the candle making process.

Japanese Candle Maker Ōmori

Gems created by the skills of the traditional craftsmen

An old workshop that continues the traditional craft from the Edo period. Japanese candles are produced by scooping the melted warm raw wax by hand, smearing it onto the rotated wick, repeating the process so that additional layers are added like annual rings of a tree and finally applying a glossy finish by glazing with hot wax. They are made one by one and require a lot of skill, effort and time from the craftsman.

Japanese candles resist strong wind, don't soot or drip wax and last longer. Japanese Candles are featured on the website of the British Museum and due to their warm large flames they are very popular.

6-minute walk, about 300m

Here you can see the statue of "beer king" Takahashi Ryutaro

Takahashi Residence

An extravagant mansion left by this great man of Uchiko.

The spirits of Takahashi Ryutaro and his father Takahashi Yoshihira, who was called the "Sage of Uchiko", still live in the family residence, which is now used as a guest house. Takahashi Ryutaro contributed greatly to the political and economic world and many artifacts related to him are exhibited here. The exhibition also shows exhibits donated by Asahi beer, and others such as memorabilia of his professional baseball team, the "Takahashi Unions".

There is also a cafe, where you can drink coffee or tea in a relaxed atmosphere.

The statue of beer king Takahashi Ryutaro / Uniforms of the Takahashi-Unions team of that time

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6-minute walk, about 300m

From somewhere, conversations of that time can be heard

Museum of Commercial & Domestic Life

Work and Life in a Pharmacy a starting point to learn about the history of the town

A former pharmacy/drugstore that consists of two buildings from different eras, one from Edo and the other from Meiji.In the main building the life around the year 1921 is reproduced using utensils of that time and as well as dolls.Here you can see a variety of life scenes that show the former state of taking meals, engaging in business negotiations, customer service, cooking, laundry etc.

The History Exhibition in the storage house on the ground floor informs about the town's history and folklore as well as about personalities who were born here.

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2-minute walk, about 120m

Is there any good place for lunch?

Tourist Information in the Honmachi shopping district

A-runze - Uchiko Town Visitor Center &
Rest & Shopping station: Nanze

Looking for seasonal food in Uchiko

In the Uchiko Visitor Center "A-Runze" you can search information via internet as well as have a rest in the rest area. Our staff will help you find popular tourist destinations and gourmet restaurants.

The Rest & Shopping station "Nanze" offers only selected products "Made in Uchiko". Here you also find a cafe style restaurant serving lunch plates and handmade cakes.

There is also a nice rest area

3-minute walk, about 180m

 100 year jubilee in 2016 
Feel the special warmth of a playhouse built of wood

Uchiko-za Theater

Thanks to the zeal of local residents in Uchiko
we now have an authentic theater from old times

The theater has been financed by contributions from local merchants and was built in 1916. An elegant and impressive wooden two-story building with a timber shingle covered Dutch gable roof. You can feel the special atmosphere of the theater at that time, if you go on the "Flower Path" along the auditorium to the stage, or visited the understage.

Initially the theater should be "demolished and turned into a parking lot", but fortunately, as part of the Townscape Preservation Movement Uchiko-za could be protected and restored to the original state. More than 30,000 people come per year to see the playhouse, and it is again used as a living theater.

The "Naraku" (understage) can be visited.

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Uchiko town official website