The cherry blossom lane. (Photo: Ingrid Lezar)

The Chisei Area of Uchiko

An ideal spot for fun and relaxation in Uchiko

The cherry blossom lane. (Photo: Ingrid Lezar)
Ingrid Lezar   - 3 min read

The bank of the Oda River in the Chisei area of Uchiko is an old favorite of locals and visitors alike. And it's not hard to see whythe lane of cherry blossom trees makes it an idyllic setting for a spring picnic. When the weather heats up more in summertime, people bring tents and barbeques—adults relax on the bank while children splash or swim in the river.

If you’re coming by car, simply turn off Route 56 onto the bridge, and take a left just where the bridge ends to drive down the lane that runs parallel to the river. There is a small parking lot at the end of the lane, or you can simply park on the bank under the trees. If you’re coming by train, walk down from the station until you reach Route 56, turn left, and continue until you come to the bridge; this should take about 15 or 20 minutes.

If you need to stock up on some extra refreshments, Uchiko’s two major supermarkets can be found on Route 56. There is also a convenience store nearby. Another option is to cross the pedestrian suspension bridge and visit the rest stop, Fresh Park Karari, where you can buy a variety of local produce, or have anything from a takeout burger or takoyaki, to a quick bowl of udon, to a three-course restaurant meal. And don’t miss out on the variety of seasonal ice cream flavors! In spring you can try sakura (cherry blossom) flavor, or if you're more adventurous than I am, try tomato flavor in summer.

On the upper part of the riverbank you'll find an open area surrounded by cherry blossom trees. The sumo ring next to this area hosts some small local contests from time to time. Perhaps if your timing is fortuitous you can see some boys battling it out with each other, and the onlookers enjoying this traditional Japanese sport.

Public bathrooms are located near this open area, next to the shopping area at Karari, or at the udon restaurant in the parking lot of Karari.

Bring friends, bring your whole family, and spend a relaxing day by the Oda River in Uchiko.

Ingrid Lezar

Ingrid Lezar @ingrid.lezar

I left South Africa for my first trip abroad to join the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme in 2008. I spent three years in rural Ehime, giving away my heart a little piece at a time. I am currently residing in Germany with my husband.