Uplifting Kyoto: Private Tour of Uji's Tea, Shrines, and Natural Spirituality

Ever wondered what makes Japanese green tea so special? Explore the nuances of Kyoto’s most famous tea producing area on a private tour of Uji and learn not only about the intricacies of tea, but also the engaging local history. Just a little off the beaten path (around 30 minutes by local train from central Kyoto points such as the Gion or Kyoto Station areas), Uji packs in breathtaking views of the river and mountains, and houses not one, but two UNESCO world heritage sites within a 10-minute walk of each other. All of this, and with far less people than you’d typically find canvassing the well worn paths of central Kyoto.

In addition to tea and nature, this tour also features a visit to Byodo-in, a magnificent temple with a superlative, modern museum as well (admission included), around which you’ll be guided by a native or equivalent English speaker who is sure to be friendly, accessible, and also very knowledgeable about the finer points of tea and Buddhism.
* Duration: 4 hours
* Starts: 宇治市, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




Ever wondered what makes Japanese green tea so special? Explore the nuances of Kyoto’s most famous tea producing area on a private tour of Uji and learn not only about the intricacies of tea, but also the engaging local history. Just a little off the beaten path (around 30 minutes by local train from central Kyoto points such as the Gion or Kyoto Station areas), Uji packs in breathtaking views of the river and mountains, and houses not one, but two UNESCO world heritage sites within a 10-minute walk of each other. All of this, and with far less people than you’d typically find canvassing the well worn paths of central Kyoto.

In addition to tea and nature, this tour also features a visit to Byodo-in, a magnificent temple with a superlative, modern museum as well (admission included), around which you’ll be guided by a native or equivalent English speaker who is sure to be friendly, accessible, and also very knowledgeable about the finer points of tea and Buddhism.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Tsuen Teahouse and Shop, Higashiuchi-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Start your exploration into Japan’s most prized tea by paying a visit to Japan’s oldest extant teashop called Tsuen Tea. From samurai to emperors, this shop has been serving the finest for 24 generations since the 12th century.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Takumi-no Yakata, Mataburi-17-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Get some caffeine with this one of a kind Gyokuro tea drinking experience. Gyokuro tea is the highest grade of green tea in Japan. Slowly steam the leaves in increasingly warm water while learning about the tea making and brewing process. Finish up by eating the tea leaves with some ponzu sauce for a healthy and unique snack.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Ujigami Shrine, 59 Uji Yamada, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

Pay a visit to the oldest original shrine in Japan. A UNESCO world heritage site, this shrine also houses the last of Uji’s underground spring water that naturally bubbles up to the surface. Local tea shops collect the water to make tea for their customers.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Byodoin Omotesando, 2 Uji, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

Travel down the pilgrimage street leading to Byodoin Temple. Lined with tea shops, many going back to the medieval period, smell the aroma of fresh tea and discover the wide variety of tea produced in this historical region.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Byodoin Temple, 116 Uji Renge, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

Enter into this magnificent temple dating back to the Heian period. The magnificent temple hall sits on a man made lake, and not only is it a UNESCO world heritage site, but it’s also the same temple featured on the back of the 10 yen coin. Also see some of the artifacts from the temple in the subterranean temple museum.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Prefectural Uji Park, Uji Togawa, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

Stroll along this pleasant island in the middle of the river, and discover about the ancient tradition of cormorant fishing with birds.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Koshoji Temple, 27-1 Uji Yamada, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

End your tea journey at the oldest Soto Zen temple in Kyoto. Zen Buddhism originally came in from China and helped pioneer the tea ceremony in Japan.

Duration: 30 minutes

Pass By: Uji River, Uji 611-0021 Kyoto Prefecture

Envelope yourself in Uji’s rich natural beauty. Although shallow now, this river was the lifeblood for trade with the capitals of Kyoto and Nara, and tea, sake, and more from all over the country and the rest of Asia.