southern areas

Three half day trips in the tea-growing regions south of Kyoto can be paired to make a wonderful, slower paced excursion.

Map of sights

Just south of Kyoto station is an urban sprawl that stretches southwest all the way to Osaka.  But just a bit further directly south are some quiet and green suburbs.

Fushimi Inari Jinja is major tourist destination only a ten to fifteen minute train trip outside of the city.  Tens of thousands red torii gates.  God of harvest.  Gaudy but very alive.

Shrine at the bottom of Mt. Inari

Clockwise from top-left:  Stack of purchased torii gates; statue of a fox deity; gates leading to minishrines; snack of hard-boiled eggs and tea at at one of the many rest stops partway.

 

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

Uji

The very modest Ujigami Jinja in Uji is Japan's oldest continuously operating Shinto shrine.

Statue of Murasaki Shikibu, author of Tale of Genji, perched over Uji river.

 Terashimaya, an excellent place to taste and buy loose-leaf tea (lots of tea!!).

Terashimaya, an excellent place to taste and buy loose-leaf tea (lots of tea!!).

 Byodo-in, of the 10¥ coin fame.

Byodo-in, of the 10¥ coin fame.

 Vending machine selling only bottled tea from Uji

Vending machine selling only bottled tea from Uji

 Grinding leaves to make matcha at

Grinding leaves to make matcha at

A bridge over Uji river.

Kaitenzushi (conveyor-belt sushi) near the station.  Note the cup of matcha sitting in the row of condiments between the gari ginger and wasabi.

 

Wazuka

 Tea fields as far as the eye can see

Tea fields as far as the eye can see

 Wazuka rice paddies

Wazuka rice paddies

 Paths wind through suburban housing into the plantations in the hills.

Paths wind through suburban housing into the plantations in the hills.

 Shrine to the eight-limed tree   

Shrine to the eight-limed tree

 

 Tea at various stages in its cultivation

Tea at various stages in its cultivation