Get inside the Birthland of Matcha in Uji
On the southern outskirts of Kyoto lies Uji, a lovely small city on the banks of the fast-flowing Uji River. Due to its location between the two ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto, Uji becomes a cultural center in its own right with many centuries-old historic sites, such as the Ujigami Shrine and the Byodoin Temple that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto”. However, many visit Uji for its green tea and especially matcha of superior quality. As one of the first places in Japan to engage in tea cultivation, the town earned a reputation for excellent tea production that visitors now can enjoy in a variety of ways. There are many teashops and teahouses in this town you can stop by, like Omotesando or Taihoan. There, you can both sample matcha and take part in an authentic tea ceremony in a traditional tea house setting, as well as purchase tea related souvenirs. Another interesting way is to visit some of the restaurants and stores that offer a nice menu of matcha flavored soba noodles, ice-cream and sweets.