Ocha no Kyoto: Another Kyoto, Kyoto of Tea
The southern part of Kyoto Prefecture is renowned as a tea production area. Home to intangible and tangible cultural properties, including a world heritage site and national treasures, as well as picturesque views of tea fields, it is a sightseeing area of many charms. With historical temples and sites, you can enjoy a peaceful travel in this area, away from the center of Kyoto City, which is always crowded with tourists.
In the “Kyoto of Tea” area, which is a production area of Uji Tea, a high-end brand Japanese tea, about 40 % of the production is grown in this Wazuka Town. The town has a long history of tea production. Tea fields spread everywhere in the town and ridges are seen on slopes of hills. While taking in the splendid scenery, which is designated a Japan Heritage, strolling or cycling around the town in a leisurely manner is fun. There are several recommended routes to see nice views.
If you want to stay in the town, book Wazukaso. It is a hotel with a theme of “Enjoying tea with all the senses,” including even an ocha-buro (a bath with tea leaves).
A tea-picking activity is available in the town. Speaking of the season of newly-picked tea, it is usually once a year, in May, but in Wazuka, tea is picked three times a year.
Joruri-ji Temple is well known for its nine Amida Nyorai statues housed in the Hondo (main hall). The temple also has a fine view of a pond and three-story pagoda.
Shoju-in is a temple famous for an Inome-mado (wild-boar’s-eye-shaped window), more commonly known as a heart-shaped window. Its ceiling paintings, which were opened to public viewing in spring 2017, are also worth seeing. In summer, a wind-chime festival is held in the precincts.
Amagase Dam along the Uji River presents a dynamic scene of water discharging. Views of autumn leaves are also fine.
Ujicha Dojo Takumi no Yakata
This is a tearoom with a workshop where you can learn about the deliciousness of Uji Tea and how to make a tasty tea, as well as to enjoy tea. The workshop takes about 30 minutes.
*The information herein is as of October 2018.