On the Tea Road, full day

Discover the towns built on tea: Wazuka and Uji


The opinion of Japan Experience

Discover the fascinating world of tea, the mythical drink of Japan, Asia and the world. An original excursion far off the beaten track for tourists, making contact with an authentic and ancestral locality.

Your Travel Angel's plus

He has explored the city, on foot or by bicycle. Then the surrounding mountains, on foot and by bus. When exploration is in your blood, the desire to always see what's around the next corner holds can't be ignored: Jean-François knows the feeling well, and is eager to take you on a road trip to see the more rural side of Japan.

Description

You will leave Kyoto on a minibus driven by the guide, and head east towards the great Lake Biwa. After a glimpse of modern day Japan's residential and commercial areas, you'll reach the Setagawa, the river into which the waters of Lake Biwa flow.

The first minka, Japanese countryside buildings, appear and you'll take the small local road which runs along the right-hand bank of the waterway.

The signs of civilisation disappear little by little, and the very singular exuberance of Japanese vegetation underlines the contrast. The other side of Japan, the wild and primitive one of woodland and rivers awaits.

Here as well, however, man has managed to tame this profusion of life and create some magnificent rural panoramas. The deciduous and pine forests open up in places to make room for the first tea trees, which are arranged in long, regular tunnels. Pretty villages with grey-tiled roofs and the now omnipresent tea fields border the small, rural roads.

You will arrive at Wazuka, one of the hot spots for Japanese green tea plantations. Wandering on foot through these small valleys, with their Tuscan warmth is a unique and relaxing experience. It's often possible to spot groups of monkeys frolicking in these labyrinths of greenery. If you like to take pictures, get your camera out!

Leave Wazuka in the late morning and, having first gone over a small but pretty steep hill, you'll head north towards Ujitawara where a very pleasant couple awaits you in their little factory.

This is where you will of course be tasting several types of tea which come from the nearby fields, trying to gain insight into the subtleties of this drink. But even more importantly, you'll be able to experience the warmth of Japanese hospitality and the pleasure of spending time with passionate people.

Get back on the road and then drive across the great Amagase Dam, which holds back the waters of the Setagawa, becoming the Ujigawa and forming a small lake.

Leave the vehicle behind for a while to walk among the prosperous and venerable houses of the town built on tea until you reach the entrance of Byodo-In.

This temple is splendid! This is the temple pictured on the 10-yen coin and which is one of a select group of UNESCO world heritage sites. Sadly, it is often overlooked in favour of the other more well-known sights in Kyoto.

The opportunity is too good to miss! Don't deprive yourself of the chance to admire it, as well as its illustrious neighbour, the Shinto shrine of Ujigami, which is also classed as a world heritage site and which you'll find on the other side of the river, nestling at the foot of the mountain. Then finally, at the end of the day, return to Kyoto.

After this trip to the valleys that saw the birth of Japanese tea, we'd be willing to bet that the bright green liquid in your cup will take on a whole new flavour for you… 

The price displayed is the price per person including the visit, meals and transport.

Find an account of  "a day on the tea road" at the blog Mélanie et Charles.

THIS ACTIVITY IS CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH

Access

Your Travel Angel will contact you to give you the meeting point.
By following your navigation on this website, you agree to the use of cookies in order to improve your user experience, provide personalized contents in consideration of your interests or to realize visits statistics. By continuing on this website, you agree to the use of cookies. To learn more and configure your preferences regarding cookies.