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Uji 宇治

Green Tea, a speciality of Uji

Situated 12 km south of Kyōto station, Uji (pop. 193,000) is a popular day-trip for tourists staying in the former capital.

Uji was founded in the 4th century by the son of Emperor Ōjin, making it one of the oldest cities in Japan. The city was the scene of many famous ancient stories, including the last ten chapters of The Tale of Genji, the world's oldest novel, which has a dedicated museum in town.

There are three main attractions: the famous Heian-era Byōdō-in Temple, the equally old Ujigami-jinja Shrine, and the extensive Mampuku-ji, head temple of the Obakusan branch of Zen Buddhism.

Uji is also reputed for the quality of its green tea, considered by most Japanese to be the best in the country.

Attractions

Byōdō-in Temple
Byōdō-in Temple
outstanding Featuring on the back of the ten yen coins, the Phoenix Hall of the Byōdō-in Temple is one of the few remaining examples of Heian-era architecture. Originally built by Fujiwara Yorimichi in 1052 as a villa...Read more
Obakusan Manpuku-ji Temple
Manpuku-ji Temple
outstanding Manpukuji is the head of the ?kaku sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, which has 460 branches throughout Japan. It was founded by the Chinese Zen master Ingen ("Yin-yuan" in Chinese, 1592-1673). At 29, Ingen entered the temple of Mampukuji...Read more
Ujigami Shrine
Ujigami Shrine
very good Originally built around 1060 as a guardian shrine for the Byōdō-in, Ujigami-jinja is believed to be the oldest original Shintō shrine in Japan. Like the Byōdō-in, Ujigami is a UNESCO World Heritage Site...Read more
Tale of Genji Museum
The Tale of Genji Museum in Uji (photo by 663highland - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
good Inaugurated in 1998, this museum intends to promote the understanding of Murasaki Shikibu's 1000-year-old novel in an academic and entertaining way. Costumes and furnishings of the Heian Imperial Court realistically retrace the final scenes of the story on a life-sized set. A short film based on the Ten Uji Chapters was created solely for the museum.

How to get there

Uji can be accessed with the JR Nara line or Keihan-Uji line. The journey takes 15 minutes from Kyōto Station by rapid train, and 25 minutes by local train.

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