1. Japan
  2. Kyoto Prefecture
  3. Kyoto
  4. Kyoto Station

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

Product ID: 336351
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Ever wondered what makes Japanese green tea so special? Get all your answers on this engaging, one of a kind private tour of Kyoto's most famous tea district, Uji. Explore Uji's tea and history with all 5 senses, including a unique tea tasting and more.
About this activity
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Duration: 4 hours
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Live tour guide
Spanish, English

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Experience

Highlights
  • Imbibe in the highest quality local green tea
  • Explore how samurai and religion created the tea culture in Uji
  • Pay homage to both the oldest tea house, and oldest extant Shinto Shrine in the world
  • Envelope yourself in Heian Period (794-1185) architecture and stories of war
  • Stroll along the breathtaking yet calming Uji River
Full description
Explore the nuances of Kyoto's most famous tea producing area on a private 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, 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.

Begin your journey at the world's oldest teahouse still operating from 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 to really give a kick to your journey, go down the street for a specially prepared tea drinking experience with the highest grade of 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 the nature of one last temple lining the mountains to get in some Zen before wrapping up you day.
Includes
  • Entrance fees into Byodoin Temple
  • Japanese Gyokuro green tea experience
What’s Not Included
  • Food and drink outside of the tea experience
Not suitable for
  • People with back problems
  • People with heart problems

Prepare for the activity

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
Organized by

Pinpoint Traveler

Product ID: 336351