View of Umaji
Location of Umaji in Kōchi Prefecture
|• Mayor||Yamasaki Izuru|
|• Total||165.48 km2 (63.89 sq mi)|
(January 1, 2020)
|• Density||4.5/km2 (12/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+09:00 (JST)|
|City hall address||443 Umaji, Umaji-mura, Kōchi-ken|
As of January 1, 2020, the village has an estimated population of 737 and a density of 4.45 persons per km2. The total area is 165.48 km2. The village has been on the verge of merging with nearby municipalities, but it has retained a strong sense of independence.
Umaji is located in a mountainous region, and the Yasuda River flows through. Approximately 96% of the village is covered by forests, 75% of which are protected by the government. Major mountains include Mount Eboshi (1,320m) and Jinkichimori (1,423m).
Umaji is split up into two areas, the Umaji area and the Yanase area.
Umaji is part of the local area called Chugei 中芸 which includes Umaji, Yasuda, Tano, Nahari and Kitagawa.
As well as two hot springs and several campsites, Umaji has a forest train, craft workshops, a village tour and other tourist activities.
- Konrinji (金林寺) The Yaskushi hall is designated as an important cultural property.
- Kumano Shrine (熊野神社) Designated as a prefectural important cultural property.
- Yanase Kumano Shrine
- Nishigawa Ravine (西川渓谷)
- Higashigawa Ravine (東川渓谷)
- Mount Senbon (千本山) (Home to one of the 100 Forest Giants)
- Yanase Prefectural Nature Park (魚梁瀬県立自然公園)
- Maruyama Park (Yanase Hot Springs, Forest Railway, Cherry Blossoms)
- Yanase Big Bridge (Yanase Dam)
- Umaji Onsen (Forest Railway, Incline)
- Yanase no Yu
- Gokkun Factory Yuzu no Mori
Festivals and Special Events
- Yuzu Hajimaru Festival (First Sunday of November)
- Yanase Sakura Festival (Beginning of April)
- FESTIVAL Yanase (Mid-July)
- Onsen Festival (August 15)
- Umaji Oshidori Marathon (Beginning of October)
- Kumano Shrine Festival (Yanase: Mid October, Umaji: First weekend of December)
- Yuzu and yuzu products (yuzu juice 'Gokkun Umajimura', ponzu soy sauce 'Yuzu no Mura', etc.)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Inakazushi (sushi made with yuzu sushi vinegar and mountain vegetables)
- Yanase cedar (for architecture and sculpting)
Yanase cedar (cryptomeria) has been famous for hundreds of years. In the Edo Period, it was designated as a protected asset by the Tosa Domain. It became the prefectural tree, and is used for architecture and sculpting.
Beginning in the 1960s, Umaji has been a hub for the production of yuzu. Whilst other areas have merged to make farming cooperatives, Umaji village seeks to remain independent, branding the village itself as a product.
Umaji's main yuzu products are its yuzu ponzu range and its successful yuzu drink, Gokkun Umajimura. Its yuzu products have become a national brand, appearing in several TV commercials over the years.
- Junior High Schools
- Umaji Junior High School
- Yanase Junior High School
- Primary Schools
- Umaji Elementary School
- Yanase Elementary School
Access is only by car or local bus. Umaji's local train station is in Yasuda which is about a 30-minute drive away. Yasuda is on the Gomen-Nahari Line.
- "加盟町村". 「日本で最も美しい村」連合 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-05-21.
- Emi, Doi (December 21, 2017). "Soaking and Seasoning: The Aromatic Pleasures of "Yuzu"". Retrieved December 22, 2017.
Umaji looked to yuzu production in the 1960s to boost the local economy, and over the subsequent years farmers have turned the village into a citron success story.