Travel Reports by Csabba view profile of Csabba

previous post
list all posts
next post

Note: The opinions and views expressed in this user report are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of japan-guide.com.

September 30, 2014 - Tea and Zen at Uji

We traveled to Uji to get a little taste of Japanese tea-ceremony and Zen Buddhism, and of course to enjoy the wonderful temples and sights around the city.
There is a group of volunteer guides at Uji who provide guiding services for tourists and also have English speaking guides. So we requested an English speaking guide weeks before our travel. Our guide turned out to be a very lovely old lady with a surprisingly good English knowledge. She had a lot of information about everything we saw, and made our day at Uji very eventful and pleasant. The first stop of our prearranged tour was Byodoin Temple.

Not far from the exit of Byodoin there is a nice little tea house next to the Tourist Information Center which is called Taihoan. Here first we learned a bit about the Japanese tea-ceremony and the basic manners, then participated in a tea-ceremony and tasted the so famous Uji matcha. The tea was especially delicious and the tea makers were very kind.

After the tea we rushed to Koshoji Temple where we had reservation for a Zen meditation called Zazen. A priest from the temple guided us to the meditation hall and talked a little bit about what and how we should do. We couldn't sit in the lotus position so we changed to much easier one, but even like this our legs were completely dead after the meditation. When our legs came back to life the priest showed us around the temple and talked a bit about the history of the buildings and about his everyday life. It was a very nice and unique experience for us.

This was the end of the guided part of our visit in Uji. So from here we went to Tsuen chaya on our own to buy some locally produced tea. This tea house has a very long history and tradition, the building itself was built in the 17th century. While we were looking around the shop the tea-master made us little tasters from the teas we were considering to purchase.

We also visited Uji and Ujigami shrine, but unfortunately the Main Hall of Ujigami shrine was under renovation and was covered up.

The last sight we visited in Uji was the Tale of Genji Museum. It has a nice exhibition with English audio guide which shows the clothing and furniture of the Imperial Household during the Heian Period. There is also short film about the story line of final ten chapters of The Tale of Genji.

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2015/10/28 - Meoto Iwa and Ise Jingu
2015/10/26 - Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden with unexpected film shooting
2015/10/25 - Inuyama
2015/10/24 - Matsumoto Castle and Daio Wasabi Farm
2015/10/23 - Himeji Castle, the first autumn since reopening
2015/10/22 - Exploring Nagoya Castle and surroundings
2014/10/05 - Rainy days in Itoigawa
2014/10/03 - Two days in Takayama
2014/10/01 - A day in Kyoto about Shinto
2014/09/30 - Tea and Zen at Uji
2014/09/29 - Ninnaji and Takao
2014/09/28 - Exploring Kyoto's southern temples
2014/09/27 - Iwakuni and Hiroshima
2014/09/26 - One day at Miyajima