Uwajima City is located in the southwest of Ehime Prefecture, and has a population of about 80,000 people. The city was founded in 2005 as a result of the incorporation of the former Uwajima City and the towns of Yoshida, Mima and Tsushima. In 1615, Date Hidemune, first son of Japan's most influential shogun Date Masamune, became Uwajima's first feudal lord. Following that, the castle town prospered for about 260 years under the governance of nine generations of the Date family.
The city currently functions as a regional hub in Ehime Prefecture.
With an annual average temperature of about 16 to 17oC, the city has Japan's mild Pacific throughout the year. This is thanks to the effects of the warm Kuroshio Current. By making use of the climactic and geographical advantages, the inhabitants of the region have developed flourishing traditions of citrus fruit farming inland and sea bream and pearl farming in the sea. The city is also notable for the early blooming of its cherry blossoms, which have been the first in Japan to come into bloom many times to date.
Uwajima City has Japan's steepest topography, in the form of the shortest direct distance to be found anywhere in the country between a point at zero elevation and a point 1,000 m above sea level. Stretching along the coastline is another geographical feature which is rare in Japan, namely a unique rias coastline, formed by a complicated interplay between inlets and peninsulas.
Astonishing scenery can be seen throughout the region, for example the terraced fields ("danbata") of Yusu Mizugaura (which have been chosen as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Landscapes) and the Nametoko Valley Yakushidani Valleys (two of the most famous valleys in Ehime Prefecture). Farming rafts floating in the Uwa Sea and townscapes which retain echoes of the old castle town are among the other scenery which sets Uwajima apart.