Uji: Best Things to Do

Pixabay - Photo by PublicDomainPictures

Uji (宇 治) is a small city located between Kyoto and Nara, the two most famous historical and cultural centers in Japan.

Its close location to the two former capitals resulted in the initial development of Uji as a cultural center in its own right.

Numerous temples are spread throughout the city with its famous Japanese tea is also makes it as the best place to visit.

Its peak of glory at the height of the political power of the Fujiwara clan in the Heian Period (794 to 1192).

You can find many museums and parks in Uji with its bold cultural and historical sense among its temples.

SHARE

SIGHTSEEING

Uji is also famous for its green tea. Located in the green valley south of Kyoto, Uji is a beautiful city with a number of stunning historical sites on the banks of the swiftly flowing Uji-gawa River. Most of these locations like Uji City Botanical Park can be easily visited in one day. The 20-minute train journey from Kyoto, Uji has two main stations, JR Uji and Keihan Uji, but for the purpose of our walking tour, Keihan Station offers better access to the sites we want to visit.

Uji City Botanical Park

One of relaxing places with greenhouse for leisurely.

The garden is carefully maintained, and the greenhouse is fun with rare plants.

Every season has flowers, especially cherry blossoms and plum blossoms and many other flowers.

Suitable for dating and photo shoots.

The parking lot is also maintained and there is a place where you can eat and do some small shopping.

Address : Hachikenyadani-25-1 Hironocho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0031, Japan

DOWNTOWN

South of Kyoto is Uji, a small town famous for green tea, a World Heritage site, and its relationship to the Tale of Genji the world's first novel. You can start your day by visiting Mimuroto Temple in the downtown, offering a fresh air with gardens around it. Numerous other places can be visit throughout the city and you can take your time to stop off several places.

Mimuroto Temple

Such a wonderful temple with a huge garden of hydrangeas.

This is a old temple with a big garden, beautiful landscape, and attractive architecture.

You will see specific flowers and colors every season.

The heart shaped hydrangeas are famous.

Address : Shigatani-21 Todo, Uji, Kyoto 611-0013, Japan

SHOPPING

Ikkyudo is a small tiny yet interesting place to visit. If you're looking for items to buy in Uji, this gift shop is the great choice to stop. You can get variety of handicrafts and gifts to buy before leaving the city.

Ikkyudo

This is great place where you can relax and enjoy tea.

It offers the matcha ice cream has a special flavor.

Tea dumplings are also usually delicious.

And the owner is very enthusiastic.

Address : Togawa-6-4 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

FOOD & DRINK

In Uji, you can try various dishes. You can enjoy various types of green tea along with various desserts. One very popular item is jelly namacha (fresh tea), which many people use to visit their shops. Matcha ice cream here as well as hoji cha (roasted tea) ice cream are also highly recommended. Note that you may need to wait 30 minutes on weekdays and 60-90 minutes on weekends for you to sit down.

CULTURE

Just like any other cities in Japan, Uji is a small city in Kyoto with Japanese is the language spoken. If you speak English, you can merely find people who can speak broken English.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

During April, May and October, you will most likely experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures between 20 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius.

RESTAURANT

Tatsumiya is a tarditional Japanese restaurant in Uji with variety of cuisines served. The Japanese tea, matcha and other menus can be tried at this restaurant. You can also visit another restaurant Nakamura Tokichi Byodo-in, one of favorite in Uji. Its green tea is the popular and the foods are always having long waiting line. Yet, it is worth to try.

TATSUMIYA

This is a amazing restaurant with a view of the Uji River.

The dishes are also made with plenty of Kyoto-style soup stock,and are very delicious and beautiful.

Everything is delicious with solid seasoning,and the production wrapped in bamboo skin is also superb.

The ingredients are fresh and the dish is very delicate served by superb waiter.

Address : Togawa-3-7 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Nakamura Tokichi Byodo-in

Very busy place for tourists with famous green tea at uji, delicious jelly and ice cream.

Unique flavor, there are byodo-in exclusive desserts sold here.

The food is fantastic and the mocha ice cream is the best.

The waiters are very friendly and welcome.

Address : Renge-5-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

HOTEL

The informal Uji Cha-gan-ju-tei House in a residential area is an 8-minute walk from the Uji train station. And it is a 9-minute walk from the beautiful 10th-century Byōdō-in Buddhist Temple, and 2 km from the 11th-century Ujigami Shinto Shrine. Uji Daiichi Hotel is 9-minute walk from Uji train station, this direct hotel is close to casual restaurants, an 8-minute walk from Byōdō-in temple and 11 km from Fushimi Inari-taisha temple. Comfortable and simply decorated rooms have free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and mini-fridge, as well as tea and coffee making facilities.

Uji Cha-gan-ju-tei House

The hostel is relatively close to Uji station and shines through its many perks and excellent service.

The house is pretty clean and the facilities there are prepared carefully.

A friendly atmosphere in the common area invites you to talk to other guests or to hang out and drink a coffee.

The room is Japanese style.

The breakfast is included and you have the option between a Japanese or Western style breakfast in a cafe nearby.

The owner is so friendly and nice.

Address : 壱 番 152—1, Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Uji Daiichi Hotel

Pleasant place to stay for travellers in the convenient location.

It provides clean bedroom with comfy bed and great bathroom.

It also provides great breakfast.

Their staff are friendly and kind.

Address : Myoraku-178-13 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

CAFE

Fukujuen Café Uji is Japanese tea specialty cafe on the banks of the Uji River. There is a seating terrace on the first floor, where you can feel the breeze, and table settings on the second floor. GOCHIO Cafe provides sweets and drinks using Matcha from the "Shimizuya tea plantations" which follow for generations in Uji. In addition, you can enjoy "Matcha espresso" with Matcha steamed and dry tea houses in UJI CITY in sequence every month in turn.

Fukujuen Café Uji

It is a well-catered cafe along the Uji River.

The place is spacious and luxurious with tables and chairs, magazines and books.

There is a tea machine in the back of the second floor, making it a tea.

It offers lovely matcha drinks & desserts.

Address : Togawa-1-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

GOCHIO Cafe

Superb place for mediterranean like lunch with a touch of Japan.

The balance between sweetness and bitterness of matcha is the best.

The interior is calm with warm trees.

The staff are all friendly.

Address : Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyoto, Uji, 宇治壱番63

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

cafe&bar Miltons Kyoto is one of the bars that you must visit while in or around Kyoto. Decorated with Milton's paintings, he is a very talented artist and his work is displayed throughout the bar. From paintings, sculpture and even menus. KYOTO STYLE BAR SUIPON (BAR酔先) is a Japanese style bar with lots of Japanese whiskey, sake, beer, syoucyu, plum wine, liquor, and lots of Japanese delici items. You can enjoy Japanese nightlife. This bar is in the famous traditional Kyoto city-pontocho.

cafe&bar Miltons Kyoto

This is a must go to bar if you are in or around Kyoto.

Milton is a very talented artist and his work is displayed all throughout the bar.

From paintings, sculptures and even the menu.

Really great variety of drinks and the cocktails are great as well.

Address : Japan, 〒604-8032 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Yamazakicho, 246-2F クラリオンビル

KYOTO STYLE BAR SUIPON (BAR酔先)

One of the best bars in Kyoto, loads of crazy toys to play with and samurai gear to dress up in.

The bartender knows a lot about the different drinks of Kyoto and Japan.

Cozy place with numerous amount of delicious cocktails.

The owner is incredibly attentive and the games are very enjoyable.

Address : Japan, 〒604-8017 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Zaimokucho, 182-2 2F

INTERESTING PLACE

The Tale of Genji is known as a masterpiece in classical Japanese literature, it depicts the story of a very handsome man and his love relationships in the Heian era, with the last 10 chapters taking place in Uji. The museum offers explanations, films and interactive games available in English, so it is fun to experience the glamorous world of Genji. The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery is the first and oldest malt whiskey refinery in Japan, founded in 1923 by Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii. Yamazaki Distillery is the birthplace of Japanese whiskey. Located proudly on the outskirts of Kyoto, this region was formerly referred to as "Minaseno", where one of the purest waters in Japan originated.

Tale of Genji Museum

Super cute museum with great movies and small interactive exhibits.

They have exquisite displays and a wonderful new anime about the text that the children in the audience especially enjoyed.

The museum offers an audio guide in English that makes the experience easy to follow and enjoyable.

Overall a pretty cool small museum.

Address : Higashiuchi-45-26 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

This is really one of the best Japanese distillery tours for English speakers.

A good insight in to the production of whiskey in japan with lovely tour guides.

And a device for English translation provided.

Try and do the production tour and check out the available rare whiskies at the tasting bar.

Address : 5 Chome-2-1 Yamazaki, Shimamoto, Mishima District, Osaka 618-0001, Japan

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Ujigami Shrine (宇 治 上 神社, Ujigami Jinja) is believed to be the oldest temple standing in Japan. Although there is no official record when it was first built, experts estimate that the Ujigami Temple was established in 1060. It is closely related to the Byodoin Temple as a "protective temple." The Byodoin Temple (平等 院, Byōdōin) is a striking example of the architecture of the Buddhist Holy Land (Jodo). Together with the park, the temple represents Heaven Pure Land and influences further temple development. Byodoin was originally built in 998 as a rural retreat villa for the powerful politician Fujiwara no Michinaga, not as a temple.

Byodoin

Byodoin Temple is a stunningly beautiful temple to visit.

A gorgeous architectural building,especially wonderful in autumn when you can see it against the red-leaf trees.

The history of a building and a worship center going back for a thousand years is amazing.

The food shops and souvenir shops outside are amazing too.

Address : Renge-116 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Ujigami Shrine

This is a place where cultural heritage is more than tourist attraction.

This shrine represents everything beautiful about the Japanese aesthetic.

Simple, pure and inspiring.

Address : Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyoto, Uji, 宇治山田59