Find serenity this summer at the “Kyoto of Tea” and “Kyoto by the Sea”!

This summer, avoid the chaotic crowds and the heat of the city center and explore a different, easygoing side of Kyoto. The southern part of the prefecture is one of Japan’s preeminent tea producing regions, the perfect place to learn about the real culture of green tea and matcha. Elsewhere, head to the prefecture’s northern area along the sea coast to revel in the refreshing joys of a seaside resort destination.

Two major spots to experience the “Kyoto of Tea”


At this complex facility in the tea producing region of Uji City, head to the museum and learn about what makes both the tea and town of Uji special, as well as tea cultivation and processing.

One highlight is grinding your own matcha in a tea mortar while gazing out at the plantation scenery. From tea-tasting games to making souvenir tea infusers out of Japanese washi paper, a wide variety of activities are offered every day.

Check the website for event schedules and reservations!

Fee : Adult 600 yen, Child (elementary school and junior high school students) 300 yen; Some activities require additional fee.

Access Uji Sta. (Keihan) → 4 min walk, or JR Uji Sta. → 12 min walk
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (Museum admission until 16:30)
Regular holiday Open 365 days (may have temporary closure due to facility inspections or weather conditions)

Soenkoyuan Yantan

The birthplace of Japanese green tea is the Yuyadani district of Ujitawara Town where the way of making sencha tea first began in the mid-18th century. Today the houses of tea farmers and tea wholesalers still stand atop ancient stone walls, a distinct scenery unchanged through history.

Soenkoyuan Yantan is a place to get a true sense of tea culture while connecting with local people through tea serving experiences, homemade sweets, guided tours of the Yuyadani area or shopping for tea leaves, utensils and handmade sweets.

Access JR Uji Sta. or Uji Sta. (Keihan) → 30 min by bus → Kogyo Danchiguchi stop → 20 min walk
Business hours 10:00-17:00
Regular holiday Wednesdays and Thursdays

Best beaches of “Kyoto by the Sea”

The Yuhigaura coast

Near the beaches of this resort area facing the Sea of Japan are a wealth of hot spring inns. This famous sunset spot is breathtakingly beautiful when the sinking sun bathes the entire area in a golden glow.

The view of the sun setting behind the horizon waterline can only be enjoyed from April to October when wooden benches are set up along the beach. You’re sure to capture true romance with a photo at this time and place. Lovers also love to play on the seashore swing sets! The shallow beach waters are ideal for swimming and SUP activities.

Access Yuhigaura Kizu Onsen Sta. (Kyoto Tango Railway) → 5 min by taxi

The region’s two big “power spots!”

Kyoto of Tea: Koishidani Shrine

Long worshiped as a guardian deity that protects women in issues of fertility and safe childbirth, this “power spot” has also recently gathered acclaim for luck in marriage.

Legends say that your wishes will be granted when you pass through the low-water bridge Koijibashi on the Kizu River and pray. Pick up the special amulet (500 yen) only offered twice a year at the Spring Festival (April 2) and the Autumn Festival (September 2) to guarantee a fulfilling love life!

Access JR Ogawara Sta. → 10 min walk

Kyoto by the Sea: Amanohashidate

Because this 3.6 km long sand bridge resembles a dragon rising to the heavens, it is said to bring good fortune. Across this path of golden sand are the Motoisekono and Manai shrines. A visit to these two sacred spots on new moon and full moon days has been known as the “Musuhi Pilgrimage.” Only on these days, visitors can receive the special Musuhi Mamori amulet (1,200 yen).

Access Amanohashidate Sta. (Kyoto Tango Railway) → 5 min walk

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I am Ayumi from Chiba Prefecture. I love sweets. I majored in Japanese history in my university. I have visited many historic sites from the ancient days to the modern days on my trips. I have visited about 100 castles of various sizes. I am also obsessed with visiting “anime pilgrimage sites,” the locations featured in popular anime and manga.

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