Welcome to UTIA!
The Uchiko Town International Association actively promotes international exchanges, works on training competency in people with an international awareness, and aims to grow a mutual understanding and close relationships between people from all over the world. Our work fulfills the association's goals, which include the improvement of the Uchiko people's welfare, as well as the continued improvement of the Uchiko community.
Structure and Work of the UTIA
Information about international exchanges
・Making booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets
・UTIAinformation and publications
・Providing books, brochures, UTIA information, and much more
Cultural meetings・Seminars on intercultural exchange
・Events to foster the understanding of foreign countries and cultures
English and German classes
International festivals, parties and events
Promoting dialogue through international exchangesOverseas exchange for junior and senior high school students
Overseas studies for adults
Supporting volunteerismArranging for homestay families or host families
Arranging assistants for events
Performances by traditional Japanese artists
Training and providing translators and interpreters
Rothenburg lies in the middle of Germany's famous Romantic Road, which is a series of picturesque villages that have retained their medieval character. Rothenburg reached its heyday between the 13th and 16th century. During World War II more than 40 percent of the town's buildings were destroyed; however, the people put forth a great effort to restore the town's old buildings. Rothenburg is now one of the most popular destinations on the Romantic Road. Click here for Rothenburg's homepage.
The Beginning of the Relationship Between the Two Towns
The topic for the Uchiko Symposium of 1986 was the restoration and preservation of the old buildings in Uchiko. The mayor of Rothenburg at that time, Oskar Schubert, took part in the symposium. Rothenburg's experience with the restoration of historical buildings was a success; so, Rothenburg's mayor's insight helped Uchiko begin to realize its goal of restoring the old street. The mayor's visit during this symposium marked the beginning of the relationship between the two towns.
The Signing of the Partner City Agreement
Following the Uchiko Symposium of 1986, the people of Uchiko and Rothenburg made efforts to build friendly ties between the two towns. In 1993, some representatives of Uchiko visited Rothenburg and deepened the relationship. Additionally, a few Uchiko citizens have lived and worked in Rothenburg to learn the language, witness the workings of the Rothenburg administration and, of course, build ties with Rothenburg. One Uchiko citizen actually studied as an apprentice under a German sausage master and butcher before returning to Uchiko to work as a German meat specialist. The number of students visiting Rothenburg as exchange students has increased over the years, and a homestay program has been implemented for the exchange students. Fifteen years of joint activities between the two towns prompted the signing of the Partner City Agreement in August of 2001.
Uchiko Town International Exchange
Uchiko Town International Association (UTIA) was founded in 1994 by a group of interested local people to promote international exchange and cross cultural communication. Throughout the year, the UTIA holds many events including an annual youth exchange trip for junior and senior high school students from Uchiko. These students visit the sister city of Rothenburg, Germany.
In 2005, the 10th anniversary of the UTIA was celebrated in Rothenburg with an Uchiko Fair. Eighty-six people from Uchiko went to Rothenburg to introduce traditional Japanese culture and local arts including: Iyomanzai (fan dance), kite making, Kendō (Japanese fencing using bamboo swords), and tea ceremony. The Uchiko Fair participants continue to participate in exchange activities with Rothenburg to this day.
In November 2015 the 21st youth exchange trip was held. Since the exchange began in 1995, 275 students from Uchiko have stayed in Rothenburg with host families, taken part in classes at Rothenburg high school, listened to lectures about landscape management and environment protection, and joined other activities in Germany, resulting in an active involvement in the exchange between the two cities.
Signing the Sister City Agreement
Twenty-five years have passed since Rothenburg’s former mayor, Oskar Schubart, visited Uchiko for the first time. In 2011 for the 25th anniversary of the friendship between the two towns, Uchiko and Rothenburg held a signing ceremony to reaffirm the sister city agreement. In commemoration of this wonderful day, two trees were planted – a magnolia in Rothenburg’s Burggarten and a maple tree in one of Uchiko’s parks.
The preservation of the traditional townscape continues to be the essential reason for the strong relationship between our towns. Additionally, the exchange between our cities has broadened to include a focus on the fields of environmental protection, local handicraft production, and food culture.
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Uchiko Town International Association (UTIA)
791–3301 Japan, Ehime-ken, Kita-gun, Uchiko-chō, Uchiko 1515
Uchiko Town Office, Uchiko Branch, 3rd Floor
Office hours: 08:30–17:00
The office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.