Uji is a picturesque Japanese city known for its historic temples and shrines. You can spend your time sipping on matcha at traditional tea houses, cruising down the river and admiring pink cherry blossoms.
Things to do
The magnificent 10th-century Byodoin Temple is set in an emerald pool and is surrounded by beautiful Japanese gardens. Stroll around the grounds, peer into the treasure house and visit Phoenix Hall, a Heian-Period building crowned by statues depicting the mythical birds.
Set in the forested foothills of southern Kyoto, Ujigami Shrine is secluded and serene. It dates back to the 11th century and claims to be Japan’s oldest Shinto shrine. As you wander around the grounds, keep an eye out for rabbit motifs, a sacred symbol that appears on the shrine's stones, charms, textiles and carvings.
Uji is one of Japan's most coveted producers of green tea. There's no better place to enjoy the iconic beverage than the historic Taihoan Teahouse. It's an easy walk from Byodoin Temple and offers the chance to experience a traditional tea ceremony.
The sparkling Uji River flows through the heart of the city. River cruises are a fantastic way to soak up the scenery. You can also sign up for sunset cormorant fishing trips, which are usually held from June to late September. The river is especially beautiful in spring when the city's maple and cherry blossom trees are blooming.
Uji is easy to get around on foot, especially in the riverfront districts, while buses access nearby shrines and temples. Local trains run to Kyoto City in around 30 minutes and Osaka in one hour.
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