O templo budista Mimuroto-ji

November 30, 2015

O templo budista Mimuroto-ji fica na cidade de Uji. Este templo foi fundado pelo imperador Konin, há cerca de 1200 anos. Aqui é possível contemplar uma estátua e várias representações gráficas de Buda, datadas da era do clã Fujiwara. Considerado Património Cultural do Japão, muitas pessoas vêm a este templo em peregrinação da deusa budista da misericórdia



Há as imagem budista e as pinturade de Buda que feito em a era Fujiwara. Isso é o património cultural importante.Muita gente vêm até aqui domo a terra da peregrinaçao da deusa budista da misericórdia Bodhisattva. O jardim deste templo é constituído por pedras que imitam montanhas e rios.




Na entrada do Mimuroto-ji existe a estátua de uma vaca. Na sua boca, há uma bola que os visitantes deste local sagrado tocam, para que as suas preces sejam atendidas.



Mimuroto-ji também se encontra associado ao Conto de Genji (Genji Monogatari), uma das narrativas amorosas mais antigas da humanidade. Os visitantes e peregrinos que vêm a este templo de Uji, podem comprar a “fortuna do amor”, de Genji.



Finalmente, Mimuroto-ji também é conhecido pela variedade das flores que aqui se encontram. Todas as quatro estações se apresentam no seu esplendor com as flores típicas da primavera, verão, outono e inverno. É mesmo conhecido como o “templo das flores”. De abril at ao fim de maioes”2mo o “erono, om as flores tse encontram.), uma das narrativas amorosas mais antigas da humanidade.

é ao fim de maio, mais de vinte mil azáleas, único em toda a região de Kansai. Em junho, cinquenta espécies diferentes e mais de dez mil hortênsias. E em fins de junho até começos de agosto, mais de cem de espécies de duzentos e cinquenta flores de lótus. Em novembro, este templo é célebre pelas cores outonais.Há quem diga que este local é um paraíso na terra.




HORÁRIO 8:30 – 16:30 (até às 16:00 entre novembro e março)

ENTRADA: 500 ienes


ACESSO: apanhar o autocarro / ônibus nº43 que corre entre a estação JR de Uji e o templo Mimuroto-ji. A viagem demora cerca de vinte minutos.

The Tale of Genji Museum-Uji city

The Tale of Genji Museum –Uji city

Akiho Kamijo & Shiho Iwasaki

About the Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century (mid Heian era), and consists of 54 chapters (jou). More than 300 characters appear in it, in a story spanning 70 years. Within the work is contained about 800 shu of a 31-syllable form of classical Japanese poetry. This book is sometimes spoken of as the “classic of classics” and one of the greatest works in the history of Japanese literature.The tale itself is divided into three parts:

Part 1 : Hikaru Genji’s birth and his life of splendor and achievement.

Part 2 : Hikaru Genji’s life of anguish and ultimately his death.

Part 3 : The life of Kaoru,the child of Hikaru Genji, fillled with stories of love and tragedy.


 The author – Murasaki Shikibu


Murasaki Shikibu









The author, Murasaki Shikibu, was born around 973 (Ten-en 1) to a middle-class aristocrat Fujiwara no Tametoki. Although we don’t know her real name, she was called Murasaki Shikibu in direct relation to the character of Murasaki no Ue, from The Tale of Genji. In 998 (Chotoku 4), she married Fujiwara no Nobutaka and they had a daughter named Daini no Sanmi. Unfortunately, three years after Daini’s birth her husband died, and it was about this time she began to write The Tale of Genji. Around 1005 (Kanko 2), she became a lady-in-waiting to Fujiwara no Michinaga’s daughter, Shoshi, who was the wife of Emperor Ichijo. In Murasaki Shikibu’s diary, it was written that The Tale of Genji was actually a special gift to Shoshi upon the birth of her son, the Imperial Prince, Atsuhira.


The Tale of Genji Museum -Uji City

The tale of Genji Museum is divided into two main areas: The Exhibition Zone and the Information Zone. Here are some of the main features :

Image exhibition of the Tale of Genji and a dynastic picture scroll.

A high-definition video exhibit introduces a fascinating summary of the Tale of Genji and features a model of Rokujoin, the home of Hikaru Genji.

An ox-drawn carriage and period dress exhibit.

There is a restored ox-drawn carriage here, plus a Junihitoe (the ceremonial attire of a Japanese court lady of the period) which symbolizes the level of the circle the characters in the Tale of Genji moved in.

An exhibit showcasing the dynastic culture and many functions of the court.

Here we can view the dresses and articles of furniture of the shinden dukuri style in an architectural representation of a nobleman’s residence in the Heian period. There are also examples of the games and annual events held each season in the Heian period court.

Kakehashi or Connecting Bridge

In this exhibit we can experience the journey from the capital of Heian to Uji that is illustrated in the Tale of Genji.

“Uji jujo” story theater

Here, there is a replica of a famous scene from the work Uji jujo featuring a curtain and a life-size set.

The scenes and fragrance of the Tale of Genji

The fragrances that Heian nobility were particularly fond of are introduced in this exhibit. Many of which are featured in the tale of Genji.

Movie room

We can enjoy another two movies here of the tragic love stories, “Ukifune” and “Hashihime”.


 The Role of Uji in the Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu and the ten Uji Chapters


The Uji Connection

The Ten Uji Chapters start with the chapter Hashi-Hime (Maiden of the Bridge) and conclude with Yume no Ukihashi (Floating Bridge of Dreams).This “bridge” in the story serves to move the setting from the capital to Uji, and also changes the focus of the story from Hikaru Genji to his son, Kaoru, as well as his grandson, Niou no Miya.

Heian aristocrats knew Uji well, and Murasaki Shikibu decided to use this setting to make them feel part of the story. Kyoto at this time was full of very important people, but Uji was a haven where the aristocrats could relax and be themselves. Murasaki Shikibu very skillfully told the stories of the emotional dramas played out between the men and women of Uji, a place that had a lively, yet also dark side

Uji in The Tale of Genji

In the Ten Uji Chapters of The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu writes about the villa of Hikaru genji’s son, Yugiri, as being on the west side of the Uji River. Actually, this was where Fujiwara no Michinaga, a very influential person of the time, also had a grand home. On the bank where Uji Shrine and Ujigami Shrine are located, she writes of the mountain villa of Hachi no Miya. Fujiwara no Michinaga’s villa on the west bank was later made into Byodo-in Hodo by his son Yorimichi, and still stands today as a prime example of buddhist architectural splendor. However, Ujigami Shrine, where Uji-no-waki-iratsuko, the son of Emperor Ojin is enshrined, is far more modest, and is much more representative of Hachi-no-Miya, who lived alone and lonely.


Address: 45-26 Uji-Higashiuchi, Uji City, Kyoto 611-0021

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Admission until 4:30 p.m.)

Closed: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday) and Dec. 28 to Jan. 3

Transport links:



Nakamura Tokichi—Experiencing the Green Teas of Uji

By Miki Hamada and Emiri Iwagami



A long time ago, Yoshimitsu, the Third Shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate ordered a tea plantation be made in the hills around Uji, a town southwest of Kyoto. It is know for Byodoin Temple and the Uji River. Ever since, Uji has become well known for its fine green teas. The surrounding environs are especially good for growing tea because of the morning mists that come off the Uji River. Today, Uji is a first-class Japanese tea producing area, and so naturally there are many teashops in the city. Nakamura Tokichi is one of them.The Nakamura family, the founders of Nakamura Tokichi, has been entirely devoted to tea for the past 160 years. Nowadays, their long-established shop has become popular with all kinds of people. In addition to its regular clientele, new customers include young women and Japanese and foreign tourists. Why is Nakamura Tokichi so popular today and loved by so many?


Recently the shop embarked on a new project to revitalize its traditions. In 2001 they made café space to sell sweets. There you can try Japanese tea, powdered green tea (macha) and sweets that are made with powdered green tea. Among their sweets are macha chocolates, macha soft ice cream, and jellies. Nama-cha jelly, along with green tea and teabags, are their most popular products. The shop sells various traditional teas as well, both bitter and sweet. Information about each product has been translated into English and is included in the packaging. The opinions of customers are included as well. Seasonal products are also sold. In the spring, the first tea of the season comes in. This is called shin-cha in Japan. Nakamura Tokichi also makes shincha jelly from fresh new leaves. In summer, cold-brewed green tea is sold; in winter, green tea of medium quality is available. Customers can choose from many different tea products all year long.


There is a beautiful garden in back that has a 200-year-old pine tree. Because its shape resembles that of a boat, it is called Horai-funa-matsu —“the pine in the shape of the boat to Mt. Horai.” Mt. Horai is a mythical mountain where Chinese immortals lived. The tree is 6meters high and the trunk is 1.3 meters in diameter. It is said that it was planted by the second generation of the Nakamura family. The garden has been regularly kept from the second generation. From café terrace you can see this beautiful pine. It received a famous tree award from Uji city.



In 2009 Nakamura Tokichi was selected as an official “Cultural Landscape,” a UNESCO designation that places value on the mosaic of natural environment, climate and a human livelihood that has been maintained over generations. This designation was created at the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Nakamura Tokichi was chosen because its head office building is representative of a tea merchant’s house from the Meiji Period. The Nakamura Fujiyoshi Byodoin shop is an historical building that was once the restaurant-inn Kikuya in the Edo period.


Tea Ceremony Experience

  1. Make macha powder by grinding tea on the millstone.
  2. Enter the special tearoom built in the Genroku era (300 years ago).

You will be served macha jelly.

3. Drink koi-cha by turns. Koi-cha is a thick and strong macha made from high-class green tea powder

4. Drink usu-cha by turns. Usu-cha is a light and weak macha.

Place: tea room Zuishou-an

Time: 45~60 minutes

Expense: 2,160 yen per person

Application: To participate, you have to make reservations.

Tel: 0774-22-7800 / E-mail: shop@tokichi.jp



Business hours:

Weekdays : store 10:00~17:30

Café 11:00~17:30 (last Order17:00)

Holidays:   store 10:00~18:00

Café 11:00~18:00 (last Order17:15)



Macha jelly        Usu-cha                  Kitsune cha soba



Uji’s Morihan Tea

by Mochizuki Ayana and Yuki Kurisu

Morihan (森半) is the name of a well-established tea company in Uji, a small town just south of Kyoto. Uji is famous for the tea grown in the surrounding hills and so naturally many tea companies and tea shops are located here. Morihan offers many different tea products that, according to its motto, “are safe and can be trusted.” They sell powdered green tea (macha), other varieties of regular teas, coffee and also other macha products that are used in many foods and implements that are connected to  the tea ceremony. Morihan has always tried to maintain their company tradition of producing high-quality tea ever since it was established in 1836. And it always consider show its tea is suited to Japanese tea culture and life style. Morihan also has a tea shop in Uji that serves teas and sweets and tea souvenirs.

We talked with Yoko Morishita who is has worked at the company for many years. She taught us about Morihan’s history, how tea is produced, how it is sorted, and how teas taste differently from each other. She is a knowledgeable person and was exceedingly kind to us. She also works as a Chado (tea ceremony) instructor, teaching students how to make and serve green tea, and how to conduct a tea ceremony in a small teahouse or anywhere. We asked Ms Morishita a few questions.


Tell us about Morihan…


“By adhering to a high standard that is from our tea cultural inheritance and a very long history, Morihan reflects that spirit, and has been developing a wide range of products that utilize powdered green tea in new ways. They make green tea tea bags, and sweets that contain green tea like dorayaki (sweet-bean paste between cakes—popular TV anime character Doraemon’s favorite food), daifuku (mochi with bean paste), ice cream and cake. Our products all have high quality and have great reputations both domestically and internationally.”


Morihan tea shop. The character on the shop curtain is "cha" and means tea.



What does the company’s name, Morihan, name mean and what is its history?

“The name comes from Morishita Hannzaemon, who was the first president of our tea company. The first part of the last name, MORI (森), is combined with the first part of the first name, HAN(). This tea company was established in Tenpo era (1830-1844). At that time, they grew tea in nearby fields and sold tea leaves in Uji. Right now Morihan has been merged with the Hankyu department group and another tea company named Matsumoto.”


What is rewarding about your work.


“These days, the tea world has been split in many parts. Some companies produce high-grade tea for use in expensive tea pots. Others produce cheap teas, instant teas, and  teas that are sold in plastic bottles. Still others focus on tea products that are used in baking, and other kinds of foodstuffs. Now great effort is being put into this aspect of the tea business. But I like being an instructor of  tea. To make macha familiar to a lot of people with my work is very worthwhile.”


Does Morihan export to the foreign countries?


“They export almost all of their macha powder to foreign countries these days. They export to the USA, Taiwan, Hong Kong and also some countries in Europe too. The USA uses it in cafes; in Taiwan and Hong Kong they sell it in big supermarkets. Many countries in Europe want to drink green tea or eat Japanese foods because they think it is healthy. These foreign companies contact a Japanese food buyer to obtain our green tea powder.”


Thank you for talking with us.






















Buy products from MORIHAN

Una fabbrica di tè giapponese a Uji

Ikeda Ami, Kusano Yurika

Uji, vicino a Kyoto, è un luogo adatto alla produzione del tè, perché vi cala la foschia dall’omonimo fiume. È stato il primo luogo di produzione del tè giapponese, e Uji-cha, il tè di Uji, è ancor oggi famosissimo in tutto il paese.

Ci sono varie specie di tè, per esempio: ryokucha (tè verde giapponese), uloncha (il tè oolong cinese), kocha (tè nero). I vari tipi di tè sono prodotti dalla foglia di un sempreverde della famiglia della camelia. Il tè nero è ottenuto facendo fermentare completamente la foglia raccolta, il tè Ulon è fermentato a metà, invece il tè verde è prodotto senza fermentazione. Ci sono 10 specie di ryokucha, e la gamma dei sapori si può ampliare tramite un’ulteriore tostatura o o l’aggiunta di riso arrostito. Per esempio hojicha, genmaicha ecc.

Il maccha è tè verde in polvere, usato anche nella famosa cerimonia del tè. Ci sono tanti stabilimenti che producono maccha, ma ve ne vogliamo presentare uno il cui maccha ha un elevata quantità di nutrienti, grazie al particolare processo di lavorazione. Il tè è tenuto al riparo dai raggi del sole per più di 20 giorni, è asciugato senza essere strofinato, e dopo aver cotto a vapore i germogli si macina solo la parte interna della foglia con una macina di pietra. Dopo la macinatura è pronto per essere bevuto.

Il maccha è efficace contro l’ipertensione, per prevenire l’invecchiamento, il diabete, il cancro, l’influenza, le carie, come bevanda dietetica e per tante altre cose.


Vari tipi di tè

Vari tipi di tè

Storia dello stabilimento

Verso la seconda metà del 17° secolo Kyujiro Koyama, un pioniere della coltivazione del tè verde, cominciò a coltivare e produrre il tè a Uji. Questa è l’origine della ditta Marukyu Koyama. Con la quarta genezione di proprietari cominciò la vendita del tè, e con l’ottava il mercato fu esteso a tutto il Giappone.

Il motto della ditta è: nella produzione del tè la cosa più importante è la qualità. Marukyu Koyama ha ottenuto molti premi, in riconoscimento della cura dedicata al tè giapponese durante tutto il processo produttivo, dalla coltivazione alla vendita.

Foto di premi e riconoscimenti per Marukyu Koyama

Premi e riconoscimenti per Marukyu Koyama

Introduzione del tè in Giappone

Il tè fu introdotto in Giappone dalla Cina. Secondo i documenti antichi, nell’epoca Nara (8° secolo) si faceva già la cerimonia del tè, e nella successiva epoca Heian i monaci buddisti Kukai (Kobo Daishi, 774-835) e Saicho (Dengyo Daishi, 767-822) hanno introdotto nuovi tipi di tè e nuovi modi di berlo dalla Cina. Si pensa che la coltura dell’albero del tè in Giappone risalga a questo periodo.

Foto di Marukyu Koyama

Marukyu Koyama

Visita alla fabbrica:

Una visita a Marukyu Koyama comprende:

1. Proiezione di video sulla produzione del té dalla coltivazione alla lavorazione, e i dolci fatti con il maccha.

2. Visita allo stabilimento di produzione del maccha con spiegazione del processo.

3. Visita al laboratorio dove si controlla la qualità del prodotto finito.

4. Visita alla stanza tradizionale del tè con esperienza della cerimonia del tè.

5. Preparazione e degustazione del maccha, con assaggio di dolci tradizionali confezionati appositamente per la cerimonia del tè.

Foto di maccha e dolci tradizionali

Maccha e dolci tradizionali

A Marukyu Koyama si può anche comprare una confezione regalo di maccha e mangiare il gelato di maccha e hojicha.

È buonissimo!

Foto di gelati di maccha e ojicha

Gelati di maccha e ojicha

Foto dello spaccio

Lo spaccio


La stazione più vicina è Mukaijima della linea Kintetsu. Ci vogliono circa 25 minuti dalla stazione di Kyoto. Da Mukaijima ci vogliono 5 minuti in taxi.

Tempo necessario per vistate la fabbrica: circa 90 minuti. Si può fare una visita più breve, specificandolo al momento della prenotazione.

Orario: dal lunedì al sabato, mattina 10-12, pomeriggio 13-16. Poiché a volte il sabato è chiuso, conviene informarsi prima.

Numero di persone in una visita: 2-40 persone.

Prezzo: la visita  è gratis.

Nel prenotare la visita bisogna specificare: il giorno e l’ora della visita; nome e cognome di un rappresentante del gruppo; indirizzo; numero di telefono.

Per prenotare è necessario inviare i dati a uno dei recapiti seguenti entro una settimana prima del giorno desiderato.

Telefono: 0774-20-0909

Fax: 0774-28-2288

Indirizzo: Marukyu Koyamaen Makishima Kojo, Terauchi 86, Kokuracho, Uji 611-0042, Giappone

E-mail accessibile dal sito web di Marukyu Koyama:


Le spiegazioni sono solo in giapponese, per cui conviene portare un interprete.

The Tale of Genji

by Hideaki Kato


The Tale of Genji is a historical literary work. It was written in the middle of the Heian era in Japan (around 800 to 1400 AD) and is based in the city of Kyoto at that time. It was written over 1000 years ago so it is very old. It has been very popular for a long time.

Murasaki Shikibu

The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu who had talent as a writer and poet .Those talents were recognized by a number of people and she served the Emperor’s daughter. The Tale of Genji was written at that time. In those days, Heian nationalism was very influential. It was the Japanese original noble culture, and kana script in this way developed. Kana is the original and formal Japanese script and derives from the kanji script which was originally from China and is also used in Korea too. Therefore, kana script is used in The Tale of Genji.

The Story

The tale of Genji is an epic romance story, comprised of 54 volumes. Those volumes are separated from part 1 to part 3. In addition, this story is written in Japanese style, intermixed with waka poetry. There are many characters in this story and most of them are nobles of the Heian era. This story is written about their loves. So it has been written realistic of the aristocracy culture. The novel’s hero is Hikaru Genji who is a son of the emperor. He was very handsome and was in love with many girls in his lifetime. But he often had affairs with many girls and he has been explained the pain time. Uji is the main stage of the second half of the story and the next hero is the son of Hikaru Genji .Uji is very important in this story. There is a museum and there are sightseeing spots related to the Tale of Genji in Uji. We can realize the history there.


The Tale of Genji is called the greatest masterpiece in the history of Japanese literature. However, not all people could read it when it was first written and it was mainly nobles who read it in the Middle Ages. Therefore other nations were not able to obtain it either. It was around the Edo era when print technology developed in Japan and the common people came to be able to have it in their hand. Many people were able to read it because Akiko Yosano translated it into the contemporary Japanese language.

Now The Tale of Genji is not only a literary work but represented in comics and movies. As a result, it is known by both young and old people. It was in about 1882 that The Tale of Genji was first translated into English and The Tale of Genji has now been translated into many foreign languages. Therefore, it is a work that is loved not only in Japan but around the world.


by Yumi Morimoto; Naomi Hamada

Fundada em 1860, Tsujiri é uma loja especializada em chá japonês de Uji (Quioto).

Em 1978 foi inaugurado o Charyo Tsujiri, um pequeno estabelecimento onde todos podem provar e descobrir os sabores do tradicional chá nipônico.

Quer a loja Tsujiri quer o salão de chá Charyo Tsujiri, situados no famoso distrito de Gion, atraem não só muitos turistas, mas também os próprios habitantes de Quioto.

De entre os muitos sabores à escolha no cardápio de Charyo Tsujiri, podemos aconselhar o seu famoso sorvete. Este é muito procurado, especialmente pelas mulheres, pois contém em si o paladar inconfundível do chá japonês.

Contudo, uma das especialidades deste estabelecimento é o sorvete com pão-de-ló de macha (o chá verde japonês).

Vamos provar o paladar tradicional do Japão com seu famoso parfait de Charyo Tsujiri, em Gion!

Genji-Monogatari in Uji

by Natsuka Kisaichi
Touristen besuchen in Kyoto fast nur das Zentrum, aber es gibt auch viele Sehenswürdigkeiten in der Umgebung, z. B. in Uji. Hier können Sie die Schauplätze der Genji-Monogatari sehen.

Die Genji-Monogatari ist ein Roman, der vor ungefähr eintausend Jahren geschrieben worden ist. Insgesamt besteht er aus 54 Büchern und enthält auch etwa 800 Kurzgedichte (japanisch: Tanka).

Der Roman ist das bedeutendste literarische Werk der japanischen Literatur.

Der Roman erzählt aus dem Leben des Helden des Romanes Hikaru Genji, seines Sohnes Kaoru, seines Enkelkindes Hoheit Ninoumiya und dreier Edelfräulein.



KAORUs Lebensjahr



20.- 22. Lebensjahr



23.- 24. Lebensjahr



24. Lebensjahr



25. Lebensjahr



25.- 26. Lebensjahr



26. Lebensjahr



27. Lebensjahr



27. Lebensjahr



27.- 28. Lebensjahr



28. Lebensjahr

Nur die letzten 10 der 54 Bücher der Genji-Monogatari beziehen sich auf Uji, mannennt sie Uji-Jūjō.

Die Tabelle links zeigt die Titel der Bücher und um welches Lebensjahr von Kaoru es in dem betreffenden Buchgeht.

Am Ujigawa-Fluss stehte ein Steinfigur von Murasaki Shikibu, die die Geschichten geschrieben hat.
Vielleicht hat sie den Roman hier geschrieben.

Steindenkmal von Murasakishikibu

Der Roman ist Fiktion, aber viele historische bemerkenwerte Orte, die im Text erwähnt werden, liegen am Ujigawa-Fluss. Die Leute, die den Roman lieben, bemühen sich, diese Orte zu erhalten, damit sie nicht in Vergessenheit geraten.

Das ist eine Steinfigur von Hoheit Ninomiya und Edelfäulein Ukifune. Dahinter sieht man eine Brücke über den Ujigawa-Fluss, die Asagiri-Bashi.
Ukifune soll sich in großer Liebesnot dort ertränkt haben.

Denkmal von Niounomiya und Ukifune

Asagiribashi Brücke

Das ist der Byodoin-Hoodo-Tempel. In der Genji-Monogatari erscheint das Gebäude, das ein Wohnsitz von Minamotonotoru war, als ein Wohnsitz von Hikaru Genji.

Dieses Gebäude ist auch auf der Rückseite der gegenwärtigen 10-Yen-Münzen abgebildet.


Am Ujigawa-Fluss gibt es zahlreiche Geschäfte, wo man echten grünen Tee oder Eis mit Matcha-Geschmack (pulverisierter Grüner Tee) essen kann.

Machen Sie sich ein paar schöne Stunden in Uji!


by Akiko Kagawa; Fumiaki Kai

If you are interested in Japan, you may want to find out more about Byodoin. Have you ever looked closely at the Japanese 10 yen coin? Almost all countries have coins that depict something of their life and culture. In Japan, an image of Byodoin is stamped on the 10 yen coin.

This building is famous as a world heritage site, so we would like to introduce here the five main buildings that make up the complex.


Houdo is the main building in the center of Byodoin, and is surrounded by a body of water named Aji Pond. It was built at the end of the Heian era (794 – 1185) by Fujiwara Yorimichi (a very famous person in Japan) as the Amida Buddha Hall. The most outstanding feature is how it is situated like a palace, seemingly floating on a magical carpet of water. “Houdo” means phoenix, and the reason for this is that the outline of the building itself resembles a bird resting on water. It appears especially beautiful when its image is reflected on the surface of the surrounding pond. In the main building there are many Amitabha Buddha statues. However, like the ceiling and walls which were painted to a special design, time has managed to fade some of the original glory. In the middle of this building, there is a large temple bell called Bonsyo. This impressive piece was once located south of Houdo, but was moved into the center at some point. You can see it in Byodoin Houshoukan which we will introduce next.

Byodoin Houshoukan

On March 1st, 2001, Byodoin unveiled a new museum named Hoshokan, to house the many precious treasures the temple has to offer. This building was devised especially to make use of optical fiber lighting, and through the balanced combination of nature and space one can best appreciate the artwork on offer.

Special Feature

By employing the largest glass wall in Japan, the designers have created a tremendous feeling of space for the viewer. Also, with the use of computer graphics technology, the visitor can experience a visit to the interior areas of Byodoin which remain off-limits to the public. This virtual tour takes 50 minutes, so if you haven’t run out of time we suggest you try it.

Site space: 30600 square
Building space: 816.04 square
Floor space: 2249.42 square


This building was erected in the late 15th century while Byodoin was under repair, and stands to the north of Houdo. There are some additional treasures here, such as wall pictures and statues of Buddha.


This building was built in 1654, so it is not as old as the others. Originally intended as housing for priests, it gradually came to be known as Saishoin.

The Area Around Byodoin

This area is considered to be of great historical importance, and there are many temples and shrines in the vicinity of Byodoin.

Ujigami Shrine

This is another designated world heritage site, and around 10 minutes walk from Uji Station. This shrine, built in 901, is neither very famous nor fancy looking but was very important to the people who lived in the area at that time. It was built before Byodoin, because the people constructing Byodoin needed a place to rest and stay. Therefore, this shrine doubled as a hotel and also a place to worship.

Mimuroto Temple

You can get a real feel for the seasons in this temple because Mimuroto Temple has an abundance of flowers, so whenever you go there, you will find flowers blooming according to the season.

There is a very interesting statue located here called “Houshougyu”, which is actually a statue of a cow. The legend goes that long ago, a local man had many problems because he was the owner of very weak cattle. This man paid homage to the Goddess of Mercy in this shrine to change his situation. One day, this Goddess acted on his wishes and made his cattle so strong that he won local competitions with them. Now it is said that if you touch the ball the statue of the cow is biting, you too can gain the luck you need to win. So when you want to beat somebody or win something, it is a good idea to go there.

Jusanjunoto (Pagoda)

In Uji River, there is a sandbank, and this Jusanjunoto, or pagoda, is built on it. When you look at pictures about Japan, you will usually see pagodas of three or five storeys. However, this pagoda has thirteen storeys, making it the one with the most storeys in Japan. Due to flooding, this pagoda has been leveled many times, with the longest time being submerged, 150 years. There are no floods nowadays though, so this tower stands proud for everyone to see.

Amazing tea!

by Fumiaki Kai and Akiko Kagawa

Green tea is the most surprising tea in the world. Although, green tea, black tea and oolong tea are basically produced from the same leaves, green tea can boast a number of beneficial effects. It’s also used in a variety of different foods and products such as sweets, snacks, perfume, bedclothes and so on. Uji in the south of Kyoto, is one of the most famous places for green tea in Japan. People say that Uji’s green tea is No.1. Have you ever tasted this attractive tea? We would like to talk about it here.


The main tea that is drunk all over Japan now, is green tea. However, it is fast becoming famous in other countries, too. It is said that green tea came from China in the 9th century, and at that time the color of the tea was brown like oolong tea. Due to it’s lofty status, only professional tea teachers in Uji were permitted to grow green tea at this time.

Effects and Benefits

You can receive a lot of health benefits if you drink green tea, and catechin is the most effective constituent in it. All teas contain this constituent, but green tea has more than its fair share of this high quality ingredient. Catechin is an antibacterial property and prevents oxidation. It is said that this can help protect against diseases like cancer, as well as slow the effects of ageing and adult’s disease. Polyphenol is a kind of catechin, and green tea contains 100 times the amount found in wine, and 50 times that found in cocoa. This makes it very valuable indeed as a health supplement.

As you know, vitamin C is very important for us, and green tea has more than any other tea. Vitamin C is known to be good for preventing freckles, and rough skin caused by a lack of good vitamin C intake. It also works on neutralizing alcohol which means it’s very good for hangovers!

Did you also know that tea can reduce unpleasant odors. If you have a dry tea bag, you can try putting it in your bed or your shoes and wherever else you may want to remove bad odors. Moreover, there is another wonderful effect which helps prevent dental problems. Green tea contains fluorine that helps make teeth strong, and if you eat snacks with your tea, you can avoid dental worries without thinking about it.

Green Tea Goods

There are many products which make wonderful use of green tea as an ingredient.

  • lotion— green tea contains a lot of catechin, ferment extract and vitamin C. These elements help tighten the skin and give it a healthy glow.
  • soap — this soap is made with a natural dryness and because of this it does not melt easily or produce a lot of foam. It offers excellent moisture retention properties and the long production process gives it real quality.

Green Tea Food Products in Kyoto

As you know, good food is a surefire way to make us happy! There are many kinds of food products that use Uji tea such as rice porridge and buckwheat noodles. So you can enjoy Uji tea at lunch time, too. There is a wide variety of green tea foods available in Kyoto, but some of them contain just a little green tea, or may use only green tea as a colorant. At one shop, Tsujiri, you will not be disappointed, however. Uji tea foods may be a little bitter for some people, but this is real Kyoto style. Whenever you come to Kyoto we suggest going to the famous Uji tea café called “Tsujiri”. This café mainly offers green tea in the form of desserts. They use very high-class Uji tea here and keep their customers happy with many kinds of Japanese style original desserts. The desserts they present are all prepared with the freshest ingredients to maintain the highest standard.

There are three stores in Kyoto:

1. Isetan JR Kyoto Station, 4th Floor.
Tel: 075-352-6622
Business hours 10:00~20:00

2. Nenenomichi Koudaiji Higashiyamaku, Kyoto City
Tel: 075-541-1228
Business hours 11:00~18:00

3. 573-3 Minamigawa Gionnmachi Higashiyamaku, Kyoto City
Tel: 075-561-2257
Business hours 10:00~22:00 (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 10:00~21:00)

I especially recommend the third one because it is the head office. You will probably have to queue up to eat green tea sweets here, but if queuing up is not for you, then I suggest you go there right on opening time. Alternatively, you can buy ice cream or green tea goods as a take-out without having to go to the bother of standing in line.