Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Uchiko Town

Stamp, sunrise and crane

South of Matsuyama is Uchiko Town. This town came to fame during the Meiji era for the wax candles it produced. The candles were unique in that they were the only candles that were white. The candles were exported to the rest of the world and the town became wealthy. What remains today are the merchants homes and a museum workshop where candles are still made by hand. The homes are kept in their original condition and cared for by people who live in and maintain them. The town is quaint and charming. Stop in the local coffee shop where the proprietress will be glad to tell you of the town's unique history (in Japanese). If you want to purchase the candles that are hand made, the supply is limited. There is an elderly man in town that still makes Japanese umbrellas by hand. If you have a chance, stop by and purchase one or at least visit his work shop. He's not always there.

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