Kamihaga Residence

A Wax Museum and Home of japan‘s Prime Purveyors of Candles and Other Wax Products

The Kamihaga Residence is a remarkable wax museum and the former home and workshop of the Kamihaga family, who were prominent wax producers during the Meiji era in Japan. This historical site offers visitors the opportunity to learn about traditional wax-making processes and gain insight into the significant changes that occurred in Japan during the turn of the 20th century.

History of the Kamihaga Family:
The Kamihaga family was a major branch of the Honhaga clan, which was renowned for its wax production. During the Meiji era, wax became an essential commodity in Japan, and the Kamihaga family played a pivotal role in its production and distribution. Their expertise and craftsmanship made them the prime purveyors of candles and other wax products during that time.

Exploring the Kamihaga Residence:
Upon stepping into the Kamihaga Residence, visitors are immediately captivated by its refined Japanese design. The house features large wooden beams and traditional tatami rooms, which are emblematic of Japanese architecture and aesthetics. As you navigate through the residence, you’ll notice unique and interesting features, such as family portraits done in oils and other items that signify the influence of Western culture on Japan during that era.

The Influence of Western Culture:
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan underwent significant changes as it opened up to the influence of Western culture. The Kamihaga Residence reflects this transition, with its blend of traditional Japanese design and Western-inspired elements. The inclusion of family portraits done in oils showcases the adoption of Western artistic techniques, which became popular during this period.

The Wax Museum:
A visit to the Kamihaga Residence is not complete without exploring the wax museum housed within its premises. Here, visitors can delve into the history and production of wax in Uchiko, gaining a deeper understanding of the prosperity and craftsmanship associated with this industry. The displays in the museum are in English, ensuring that visitors from different backgrounds can appreciate and learn about this fascinating aspect of Japanese culture and history.

Merchants of Uchiko in Paris:
One notable event in the history of Uchiko’s wax industry was when the Honhaga clan showcased their wax products at the Paris World Expo in 1900. The level of craftsmanship demonstrated in their products astounded Europeans and garnered international acclaim. The wax museum at the Kamihaga Residence provides an opportunity to learn about this prosperous period and the impact of Uchiko’s wax on the global stage.

Waxing Lyrical and Nutty:
For those interested in taking a piece of Uchiko’s wax craftsmanship home, a visit to the nearby Omori Candle Shop is highly recommended. Here, visitors can witness the intricate process of candle-making firsthand, as master craftsmen create candles using locally sourced wax made from nuts. The layered application of wax onto the wick results in unique and beautifully crafted candles that make for exceptional souvenirs.

Don’t Miss:
While exploring the Kamihaga Residence, there are a few highlights that visitors should not miss. Firstly, a visit to the Yokaichi Old Town area provides an opportunity to purchase candles directly from artisans. These candles, crafted with utmost care and skill, make for exquisite additions to any home. Additionally, take a moment to appreciate the unique features of the residence itself, such as the 16 locks on the front gate that were strategically placed to deter potential farmers’ revolts. Finally, indulge in a peaceful break at the teahouse within the residence’s premises, surrounded by meticulously manicured Japanese gardens.

How to Get There:
To reach the Kamihaga Residence, visitors can take the retro Chagamaru Bus from Uchiko Station. Alternatively, it is also possible to enjoy a leisurely 20 to 30-minute walk from Uchiko Station to the residence. The tranquil journey through the charming streets of Uchiko adds to the overall experience and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local atmosphere.

Recommended for You:
Aside from the Kamihaga Residence, there are other attractions in Uchiko that are worth exploring. Yokaichi Old Town is a must-visit destination, known for its historic buildings and traditional atmosphere. Walking through its streets feels like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Another notable site is the Uchikoza Kabuki Theater, where visitors can witness mesmerizing performances of this traditional Japanese art form. The Uchiko History Museum is also a worthwhile visit, providing further insights into the history and development of this charming town.

The Kamihaga Residence stands as a testament to the rich history and culture of Uchiko’s wax industry. Through its wax museum and captivating exhibits, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and innovation associated with this traditional art form. The blend of traditional Japanese design and Western influences within the residence’s architecture reflects the transformative period in Japan’s history. A visit to the Kamihaga Residence offers a unique opportunity to explore the past, learn about the present, and appreciate the intricate beauty of Japan’s wax-making heritage.

Address And Maps Location:

2696 Uchiko, Uchiko-cho, Kita-gun, Ehime-ken

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