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The Covered Bridges of Uchiko

The town of Uchiko is known for its streets of well-preserved historic buildings but the countryside around hides covered bridges in numerous valleys and even on the tops of mountains. They span little streams and ponds with an ineffable rustic charm.

The Covered Bridges of Uchiko

Uchiko is a rural area in Ehime Prefecture, about an hour’s journey from Matsuyama. The town of Uchiko is known for its streets of well-preserved historic buildings which now house museums and stylish eateries. But the countryside around is fascinating too. Covered bridges are hidden away in numerous valleys and even on the tops of mountains. They span little streams and ponds. The construction of each bridge is different, but they have in common an ineffable rustic charm.

Because the water of Uchiko is pure and clean, its streams are home to several varieties of firefly. In June, the adult flies emerge just when the hydrangeas are blooming. For a few weeks, if you know where to go, you can watch the fireflies lighting up the woods and rice paddies in the river valleys. You can even catch them in your hand and watch their little bottoms wink on and off.

The bridges were used by local farmers as shelters from the heat and inclement weather, and also as place to store agricultural tools and produce.

Uchiko-June22

Besides its covered bridges, there’s a valley in Uchiko with three picturesque waterwheels. There’s even a covered bridge here. A little further down this valley is a traditional farmhouse where you can enjoy a dinner of beautifully prepared local vegetables and fish, served with the excellent sake of Uchiko’s breweries. There’s rustic accommodation on the second floor.

Shikoku Tours is offers many tours that visit Uchiko.

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