Guided tour

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

Activity provider: Pinpoint Traveler

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

Activity provider: Pinpoint Traveler

From US$ 95.84 per person

What makes Japanese green tea so special? Experience a unique, relaxing, and unforgettable journey at Kyoto's famous Uji tea district, complete with included tea tastings and all admission fees.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English, Spanish
Small group
Limited to 8 participants

Experience

Highlights
  • Imbibe in the highest quality local green tea and stroll the Uji River
  • Explore how samurai and religion created the tea culture in Uji
  • Pay homage to the oldest tea house, and oldest extant Shinto Shrine in the world
  • Envelope yourself in Heian Period (794-1185) architecture and stories of war
  • Visit mountain side Koshoji Temple and Byodo-in (admissions included)
Full description
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.
Includes
  • Entrance fees into Byodoin Temple
  • Japanese Gyokuro green tea experience
  • Entrance fees into Koshoji Temple
  • Food and drink outside of the tea experience
Not suitable for
  • People with back problems
  • People with mobility impairments
  • People with heart problems

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

The only exit at Keihan Uji Station. There is an escalator that goes all the way up to ground level.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Know before you go

  • This tour is not recommended for people with limited mobility
  •  This tour will take place rain or shine
  •  There are stairs involved in this tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 3 reviews

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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.

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December 17, 2022

Great experience !!! If you want try the true taste about green tea and Matcha…

October 29, 2022

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Excellent tour!

November 28, 2022

Product ID: 336351