The compact and charming city of Uji lies between Kyoto and Nara, and is a beautiful place to explore and try one of Japan’s most famous exports: green tea! The matcha (ground green tea leaves) produced in Uji has been considered some of the best around for several hundred years, so this is the perfect place to learn about – and taste for yourself – the famed beverage.
Begin your day with a wonder around another of Uji’s treasure – the magnificent Byodoin Temple and it’s recognisable Phoenix Hall (which appears on the 10-yen coin). In the picturesque streets nearby, along the rapids of the Uji-gawa river, are a number of tea shops and restaurants specialing on this vivid green concoction. Your guide will explain to you the history of matcha over a delicious lunch, before you embark on a tasting session to sip the various teas on offer – stocking up on souvenirs if you choose to.
Bidding your guide farewell, you may opt to spend the afternoon back in Kyoto, stopping at the photogenic torii gates of Fushimi-Inari Shrine, or continue south to the city of Nara.