As travelers to Japan would know, many of the well preserved historic towns have been commercialized and over-run with tourists.

However, if you are prepared to go a bit off the beaten mass tourism track, there are plenty of gems to be found.

One them is Uchiko, in Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. It’s a delightfully well preserved old town which retains its character without feeling like you are in a museum.  It is only an hour drive over beautiful green mountains from Matsuyama, the capital city of Ehime.

We always take our washi (Japanese paper) shumi lovers to Uchiko to have an amazing soba lunch, to explore the town, and to visit the traditional washi making factory.

Our washi lovers always say how much they enjoyed their visit to Uchiko . We came across this short YouTube which takes you to the town, our favourite restaurant and to the washi factory.