A street for history in Kyoto, ”Byodoin Omotesando” is a must see.

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).

2018-09-10   Visit: Charming Towns, Kyoto,

Tea house


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

If you visit Byodoin Omotesando street, you will often see the Japanese character 茶, pronounced ‘cha’. It means green-tea in Japanese and Uji is known for the best green tea in Japan, as well as tea produced in Shizuoka Prefecture. There are many tea houses and restaurants on this street and I’ll tell you about them.

Roasting hoji-cha.
A Roaster

Roasting hoji-cha.

What are they doing at the shop?

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!

Food display
Tea soba

Keep your eyes on the food displayed in the shops!

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”.

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

Sweets in Uji are a bit different from other areas!

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.

tea house

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

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.