”Byodoin Omotesando”, the Green Tea Street in Uji, (Kyoto area)

Uji City in Kyoto is where Byodoin and Ujigami Shrines are located and were locations depicted in Murasaki Shikibu’s love story, “Tale of Genji” during the Heian period (704~1192). Uji City is also famous for its production of green tea, with old Uji tea shops along it’s streets that have been in operation since the Muromachi period (1136~1573).

Tea house

The keyword in Uji city is 茶, or ‘tea’.

If you visit Byodoin Omotesando street, you will often see this Japanese character 茶, pronounced ‘cha’. It means green tea in Japanese and Uji is known for the best green tea in Japan, along with tea produced in Shizuoka Prefecture. Here are the kind of many tea houses and restaurants you can find on this street.

What is this device?

They are roasting hoji-cha tea. Hoji-cha is a kind of Japanese tea made of roasted green tea leaves. It has its own unique roasted smell and tastes very smooth. It’s fun to see the actual roaster that tea producers use!

Roasting hoji-cha.
A Roaster

Roasting hoji-cha.

Keep your eyes on the food displayed in the shops!

Food display
Tea soba

When you look for nice restaurants on the street, please look at their displays of food!
You might see green soba noodles compared to the normal grey soba noodles. This green soba contains powdered green tea (matcha), and is called “cha-soba”.

Sweets in Uji are a bit different from other areas!

Matcha ice cream
Matcha ice cream
Three colored tea dumpling
Three colored tea dumpling

As you walk along the sidewalk, you might see displays of ice cream or three colored tea dumplings. These are made with tea. From top to bottom, they use Sencha, Matcha, and Hoji-cha in each dumpling. Sencha is what Japanese people usually drink on a daily basis.

The more you get to know Japanese tea, the more fun it becomes!

tea house
You can see a lot of different kinds of drinks and specialty items that use tea. It’s fun to choose good Japanese tea and taste unique products only available here!

The map of Byodoin Omotesando is available for download.
English, Korean and Chinese: MAP



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Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.


Access 10 min walk from JR Uji station. 15 min walk from Keihan Uji station.
Website http://b-omotesando.com/index.html (Japanese text only)