Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Kyoto] Uji 宇治

with one comment

When I was planning the Kyoto trip, I wasn’t sure if Uji should be on the itinerary. Sure, it has the famed Byodoin and Uji tea, but it’s a good 30-minute train ride away from Kyoto. With so many amazing sites within the city that I already can’t fit into my itinerary, do I really need to travel to the outskirts? Yes, absolutely. Now that I have been to Uji, I would without any hesitation recommend it to anyone who has more than 3 days in Kyoto. Here’s why:

1. Byodoin 平等院

The cultural significance of Byodoin is indisputable. It is displayed on the backside of the 10 yen coin, and its signature phoenix image is printed on the 10,000 yen note. Built in 1053, the only remaining original (as well as the most famous) structure is the Phoenix Hall, which was designed according to descriptions of the Western Paradise. People would gaze at the Phoenix Hall and its reflection on the pond all the day, but the best time is during the late afternoon when the sunlight hits the golden buddha. Almost paradise!

Add: 116 Uji Renge Uji, Kyoto Prefecture 611-0021
Tel: 0774-21-2861
Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (4:00pm in winter)
Price: ¥600; additional ¥500 for admission to Phoenix Hall

2. Ujigami Jinja 宇治上神社

Ujigami-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  was originally built as a guardian shrine for Byodoin. The inner shrine, which dates back to the 14th century, is believed to be the oldest shrine building in Japan and is now protected as a National Treasure.

Add: 59 Ujiyamada, Matafuri, Uji City
Tel: 0774-21-4634
Hours: 9am – 4:30pm
Price: free

3. Ujia tea and its variations

Uji tea is the recognized as the quintessential Japanese tea. For more details, see this post on lunch and afternoon tea at Nakamura Tokichi, one of the most famous and historical tea shops in Uji.

Another famous tea shop, Itokyuemon 伊藤久右衛門.

4. Beautiful street scenery

Uji is serene and charming in the most unexpected places. The turn of a street corner, a vintage-looking barber shop, the last of the maple leaves hanging on the branch, kittens lingering on the doorstep of a random apartment…Really, you don’t need any other reason to visit.

To get there: There are frequent local and rapid trains between Kyoto Station and Uji (30 mintes, ¥230/one way). There is also the Keihan Uji Line from Shijo Station to Uji (30 minutes, ¥300).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Written by sugarednspiced

November 28th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Posted in kyoto

Tagged with , ,