Utazu has been a prosperous port town since the Muromachi period (1336–1573). A part of the old town south of the town hall is called Komachi, where many historic shrines, temples, and traditional merchants’ family homes (machiya) can still be seen along the streets. The long, thin merchant’s homes, which are distinguished by their narrow entrances, were mainly built in the mid-1800s and are joined by newer Western-style buildings here and there. Among the nine Buddhist temples in Komachi, the most notable is Goshoji, the 78th sacred site on the 88-temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. Another notable religious site is Ubushina Shrine, a Shinto sanctuary with more than 1,200 years of history. Komachi is best explored on foot, with a stop or two at the old shops that sell ohagi, a traditional sweet treat made from mochi rice cake and red bean paste. The neighborhood attracts crowds every March, when a festival is held to celebrate Hinamatsuri (Dolls Festival).
This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.