Uji

Uji (宇治市) is a city in Kyoto prefecture, Japan.

Two of Uji's historic monuments, Byōdō-in Buddhist temple and Ujigami Shinto Shrine, have been inscribed as World Heritage sites as part of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)".

Byōdō-in's Phoenix Hall

Understand

Uji is one of the oldest cities in Japan. Located between the two ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto, its roots reach almost as deep into Japanese history as its those of its two famous neighbors. Uji was the scene of many famous ancient stories, including the final chapters of The Tale of Genji. Author Alex Kerr extols its virtues in his book Lost Japan, contrasting Uji favorably with Kyoto as a (rare) example of a historic Japanese city whose modern development has not disrupted its classical beauty. There are stores that have been open for hundreds of years, and several important temples lay within its borders. The city has also been celebrated for its tea for almost a thousand years. During cherry blossom season, the bridge that spans the Uji river makes for a breathtaking walk.

Get in

Uji is on the JR Nara Line. From Kyoto Station, it takes about 17 minutes via rapid train, or about 27 minutes via local, at a cost of ¥230. It can also be reached on the Keihan Uji line.

Get around

Most of the sights are a short walk from JR Uji station - or, on the other side of the river, Keihan Uji station. There is a small tourist information center outside JR Uji station that can provide English maps. There's also a tourist information center next to the Taihō-an Tea House, just east of Byōdō-in. It's possible to sketch out an itinerary covering all of the major sights in a day, but an unplanned stroll along either side of the Uji River is likely to be just as rewarding.

See

Since Uji is a place full of tradition, there are many small temples to be found on both sides of the river. There are excellent explanatory displays in both English and Japanese in front of most of the major and minor sights.

Ujigami Shrine

Do

Fall colors near the Uji River

Buy

The Sankyu-an shopping street, leading from the Uji Bridge toward Byodo-in, features several old stores with the city's famous tea and pottery.

Eat

Local specialties centre around green tea (naturally) and Kyoto cuisine. Some of what you'll find in town:

Places to eat:

A map of restaurants and shops can be obtained from the tourism information centre near Byodo-in.

Drink

Green tea! Uji produces the most famous (and the most expensive) tea in Japan. Otherwise, it's not long on nightlife.

Sleep

Take some care while you're by the river

Plenty of ryokan and hotels are available in Kyoto or Nara. However, if you'd like to stay in Uji, there are a few options:

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.