Our most recommended things to do in Uji

Atmospheric Tour of Uji's Tea, Nature, and Spirituality

1. Atmospheric Tour of Uji's Tea, Nature, and Spirituality

Explore the nuances of Kyoto's most famous tea-producing area on an intimate tour of Uji with a native or native equivalent English-speaking guide. 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. Uji also 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. Begin your journey at the world's oldest teahouse still operating since 1160 AD. Learn how one vassal to a famous Samurai warrior became the head of a family that has run the shop for 24 generations. Then, go down the street for a special tea drinking experience with the highest grade green tea. Learn how it's grown and what makes it special before seeing how to brew it and change its flavor profile. Once you've savored a few cups, mix the remaining tea leaves with ponzu sauce and eat them as is. Afterwards, go into the lush green of the mountain to the oldest original Shinto Shrine in Japan that houses Uji's guardian deities - and also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by nature, Ujigami Shrine also houses the last remaining source of natural spring water that many tea houses still collect to brew their tea with. Step inside the stone grotto and purify yourself with the water. From there, cross the majestic river to the pilgrimage path leading to Byodo-in Temple, which is lined with tea shops going back as far as the medieval period. Immerse yourself in the sites and smells of this bustling street. In addition to tea and nature, this tour also features a visit to Byodo-in, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage temple with a superlative, modern museum (admission included), and see how all the dots with the samurai, tea shops, and religion connect at the breathtaking Phoenix Hall. Afterwards, end your tea journey back in nature by exploring Koshoji Temple, which dramatically hugs the mountains and invites you to get in some Zen before wrapping up you day.

Kyoto Matcha Green Tea Tour

2. Kyoto Matcha Green Tea Tour

The green tea and matcha (powdered green tea) produced in Uji are famous for their quality not only in Japan, but also all over the world. While visiting Uji you will also get to see the gorgeous and famous Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  During the tour you will sit down for a fantastic lunch, and have a chance to experience making and drinking tea. If you find teas that you like, you will have time to choose, purchase and take home some delicious memories of your tour.

Kyoto: Top Highlight World Heritage Sites Day Tour by bus

3. Kyoto: Top Highlight World Heritage Sites Day Tour by bus

Kyoto is one of the most famous sightseeing places for Japan culture lovers. In this tour, we will bring you to visit the famous world heritage spots in Kyoto and Uji and experience the historical architecture and culture of Japan. First of all, we will visit “Kinkakuji”, which is also known as “Rokuonji”. It is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and becoming famous photo spot with its special golden outlook which is rare among temples in Japan. We will then transit to “Arashiyama”. The Bamboo Grove, UNESCO world heritage site “Tenryuji” and the old street will bring you to the Japanese old-fashioned scent. After the lunch we will visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, which is the famous spot in Kyoto with thousand of torii gates. The last stop would be in Uji, besides it is the world-known origin of Macha, there is a famous UNESCO world heritage site called “Byodoin” in Uji, which is printed on the back of Japanese 10 yen coin.

Kyoto: Private Walking Tour [Customizable]

4. Kyoto: Private Walking Tour [Customizable]

Explore the historic city of Kyoto and its temples and shrines. This private tour allows you to choose your own itinerary like this sample. Follow your guide to Kinkakuji Temple, Golden Pavilion or Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. After that, head to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a famous spot due to the thousands of Torii gates. Take a photo of the god of agriculture enshrined in Fushimi Inari Shine. Stop for lunch before visiting Kiyomizu temple, and experience the atmosphere of Kyoto's most famous district as you meander through Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. Afterwards, if you have time, visit the Gion district, the famous geisha area. The tour ends at your hotel, or a location of your choosing.

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What people are saying about Uji

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 21 reviews

After an already-wonderful tour of Kyoto’s Imperial gardens and Nijo Castle, knowing that Mardi was going to be our guide again meant that this was going to be another incredible trip. Once again, she actively listened and started to tweak the tour to our preferences: we skipped one of the temples in order to relax and grab some matcha soba at one of the oldest teahouses in the world, calmly overlooking a river that once provided trade access to the vivid green bounties of Uji. At Byodo-in Temple, the museum focused on Buddhist spirituality, and the powerful imagery and ancient artefacts combined with Mardi’s quiet yet enthusiastic storytelling made for a surreal experience. Once again, thanks Kevin and Mardi for fantastic service from start to finish.

A beautiful temple, and kind staff. My monk teacher and I were able to communicate though Google translate.