The Uji Fireworks festival is held on August 10. While Uji is usually a peaceful town with a very manageable number of tourists, during this festival be prepared for hoards of people and massive crowds! It doesn't even feel like the same city! It is an extremely popular event! The fireworks start well after it gets dark, but go early if you want a...more
The temple picture on the back of the 10 yen coin is of Byodo-in temple located 12 km south of Kyoto station, in Uji city...Is one of the few original architecture dating back to the 11th century(heian period)....It was built to resemble a phoenix and you will see a replica of these on the roof.....It was build in 950 first as a cottage for...more
Obakusan Mampukuji Temple is the head of the Obaku sect of Zen Buddhism. Even before entering, you can see by looking at the roof on the gate that it was designed using the Chinese Ming Dynasty-style architecture, which makes sense, because this sect of Buddhism came from China. It is one of the three major sects of Zen Buddhism in Japan, along...more
Built in 1060, Ujigami Shrine is considered to be the oldest Shinto Shrine in the country (although there are a few other shrines that also claim to be the oldest). Regardless, it is undoubtedly one of the oldest. It is rather small, but its age makes it a significant cultural treasure. It was designated a World Heritage Site, along with Byodoin,...more
The Byodoin Temple is one of Japan's most iconic temples; it appears on the ten yen coin! The Phoenix Hall dates back to 1053. It is a hall dedicated to the worship of Amida Buddha, and if you take the tour, you can enter to see the Buddha statue up close. If you enter, don't forget to look at the walls. There is a lot of great artwork that many...more
Mimurotoji Temple is rarely frequented by foreign tourists but not because it's not worth it! The temple itself is historic. It's the tenth temple in the Saigoku Pilgrimage Route. Beyond that, the temple is built in the mountainside and hydrangeas and azaleas have been planted all over the mountainside, so from mid-May through June the temple...more
Foreigners tend to know Uji as the site of Byodoin Temple however, most Japanese first associate Uji with the Tale of Genji. Uji is the setting of the last ten chapters of Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji, which is said to have been the world's first novel. The museum recreates scenes from the books. There is an audio guide available for...more
Not far from the city's center is Amagase Dam. It was built in 1964 to prevent flooding in the city. Although it's not a historic site, the view from atop the dam is impressive and it's completely free to walk atop. It's worth it if you have the time or if you want to add a little variety to your itinerary.more
Everybody in Japan is familiar to this temple even though they don't know where it is actually.Yes, the familiar Byodoin Hou-ou-do, the Phoenix Hall, is embossed on Japanese 10 yen coin!Byodoin Temple was established in 1052, and the Phoenix Hall was in the following year 1053 to enshrine the Amida-Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata, the national...more
The garden right in front of the PHOENIX HALL, is consider a masterpiece an a HISTORIC PLACE OF SCENIC BEAUTY....The AJIIKE POND, as is known in japanese was believed to modeled after the TREASURE POND in the PURE LAND..Pure land gardens were ORIGINAL to the HEIAN period and it is believed that they spread throughout Japan from the influence of the...more
The statue of the AMITABHA TATHAGATA, or AMIDA NYORAI, or MIDA BUDDHA, is what you will see in the main Phoenix hall, its a NATIONAL TREASURE, and the principal object of worship....Why??, because it was carved in the 11th century, by the skillful sculptor JOCHO, and its the sole remaining example of his work.....The statue is about 3 mt high....to...more
There a few Important objects in the museum that should not be miss..The phoenix birds you see at the top of the Byodo-in are replicas of the original..which are on display in the museum....The 2.3 m original phoenix are a NATIONAL TREASUREThe museum also contain a remarkable collection of "BODHISATVA ON CLOUD" wooden statuettes from the Heian...more
......Is that is extremely old and worn but keeps it original decorations and atmosphere of what the Heian period was....The CENTRAL building came to be known as the PHOENIX HALL by local travelers during the early EDO PERIOD(1603-1868).....for 2 reason, one obviously because a pair of Phoenix decorate the top of the roofline and the other becasue...more
The main and possibly only reason people come to Uji (just south of Kyoto) is to see the Byodoin, which is on the back of the 10-yen coin.Described as being one of the top 5 must-see buildings in Japan according to one list, it is one of the best example of architecture from that period. Originally a palace, it was converted into a temple, and from...more
The main attraction of Uji and definitely worth a visit. Its main building, commonly called Hoh-oh Do (Phoenix Hall) is one of the very few surviving examples of a late Heian (784-1192) Era architecture, and arguably the finest extant. Its architecture is unusual for a temple, with two wing galleries (which are purely ornamental) spreading left and...more
Not ranking amongst the most spectacular bridges in the world, Uji Bridge is never the less of historical significance. It is one of the oldest bridges in Japan believed to have been constructed for the first time in 646 AD. and features in an number of pieces of literature including the Tale of Genji Sadly the concrete you see today does not date...more
A ten minute walk from Uji, Mimurotoji Temple is well worth the effort. Set in pretty gardens (woodland, raked gravel, ponds) the temple is located at the top of a steep set of steps which may be difficult for aged or disabled visitors.When I visited (in June) the front of the temple was lined with troughs of flowering lotus (see my Uji homepage...more
Not spectacular, but worth a visit, is Uji Shrine. Built in Kamakura period (1185 - 1333) this shrine is usually pretty quiet and makes a nice get away after the crowds at Byodin.The lion statues flanking the Tori Gate entrance are apparently master pieces of their kind.Entry is free.more
Several stalls near Byodoin Temple on Boyodin Omote-sando (street) sell green tea icecream from Yen 250, very nice.
Uji is served by both Keihan and JR Railway.From Kyoto Station, you can go directly to JR Uji Station from the Nara Line. If you are on the Keihan Line, you can transfer to the Uji Line at Chushojima Station. Keihan Uji is probably slightly closer to the sites than the JR Uji Station, but both are very close, so if you are going to see Byodoin...more
Uji is very easy to get to.It can be reached by either the JR line (between Kyoto and Nara) or the Keihan line.The JR line route is straight forward.Using the Keihan line (running between Yodoyobashi on the Midusuji line in Osaka and Demachiyanagi in Kyoto) get off the train at Chushojima (limited express trains stop here and are the fastest) and...more
There is no one particular shop, but the street heading towards Byodo-in has loads of small gift shops, where you can buy green tea and other souveneirs.
Uji figures prominently in one of japan most famous literary pieces, tales of the Genji's written in the 11th century. Spots highlighted in the book are marked throughout town.