Sosei Partners (Seiyo)- Jan 2019

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Introduction of Seiyo:

Seiyo is a city located in Western Ehime of the Shikoku island. In 2004, as part of a nationwide movement to merge municipalities for efficiency and cost-effectiveness of governance, Uwa, Akehama, Nomura, Shirokawa and Mikame towns merged to form what is Seiyo today. Due to the merger, Seiyo now spans over a large area, covering the Sea of Uwa, all the way to the mountains in inland Ehime. Seiyo is famous for its orange farms, growing a wide variety of citrus fruits, and its pearl industry, where it breeds natural pearls. Also, during the Edo period (1600s ~ 1868), the area around Seiyo served as important Shukuba (post-stations), which provides lodging and rest areas, restaurants and teahouses for public officials of the Shogunate. As such, old buildings lasting from the Edo period still exist today, giving the streets of Seiyo a uniquely retro atmosphere, blended with its rich nature.

Dates: January 12 ~ 14, 2019

Max No. of Participants: 5 (first come first served)

Objective of Program:

The objective of this program is for the international participants to experience and understand Seiyo’s cultural and natural resources, and to provide innovative and international perspectives on how Seiyo could rebrand itself in order to revitalize the local community amid its rapidly aging society.

Participation Fee: ¥10,000

Participation fee covers accommodation, meals, workshop materials and workshop experience.

Note: Transportation to Seiyo (Matsuyama Airport) is NOT included.

*The participation fee above does not include tax. The actual participation fee will include 8% tax.


Tentative Schedule for Seiyo

Day 1:

  • Gather at Matsuyama Airport at 11am.

  • Travel to Seiyo (Akehama district) by cars.

  • Arrival at Akehama: Lunch and Orientation of Program

  • Tour around Akehama: Akehama is the western-most district in Seiyo that faces the Sea of Uwa. Due to the optimal climate and geographical conditions of Akehama, it is famous for its orange farms, which the orange industry has become the primary driving economy and the symbolic face of Akehama.

  • Visit to Uwa-machi: Uwamachi is the old district of Seiyo where old buildings from the Edo period can still be found. This is where you can find Uwa Rice Museum, which keeps old records of the history of rice farming in the region. However, due to declining agriculture and aging population, Uwa Rice Museum has transformed itself into a modern facility including a co-working space and a hipster cafe.

 View from Hipster Cafe in Uwa Rice Museum

View from Hipster Cafe in Uwa Rice Museum

 Old buildings from the Edo Period in Uwa-machi

Old buildings from the Edo Period in Uwa-machi

Day 2:

  • Experience the pearl industry of Seiyo: Have you ever wondered how natural pearls are grown, bred and produced? It is an extremely tedious process that requires lots of time and effort. Seiyo (Ehime) is currently one of the 3 biggest pearl production grounds in Japan.

  • Experience orange farming in Seiyo: There are more than twenty varieties of oranges including Iyokan, Mikan, Dekopon and so on. Learn about the differences in the ways they are grown, and the unique characteristics of their tastes.

Day 3:

  • Visit Muchachaen, a local company that produces organic orange products- from orange juices to jams to marmalades and more. Muchachaen is supported and loved by the locals, as it has become a representative brand for Seiyo in many parts of Japan.

  • The program will end at around 5pm at Matsuyama Airport.

* The program schedules and requirements are subject to change without advanced notice. 

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