Tea and Beyond in Uji

Uncovering Uji: Tea, Shrines, and Spirituality in Kyoto

The Uji district has nature, grand tea culture, and a temple so famous it's on a coin—an all-inclusive tour.

From ¥9,130/person
Small Group Tour Includes exquisite tea and snacks Includes admissions 4 Hours (approx.) Up to 8 People First kid free! Add'l half price or less.

Explore Authentic Tea Culture on a Half-Day Uji Walking Tour

Embark on an enriching Uji day trip and delve into the serene realm of tea culture with a knowledgeable local guide. A brief 17-minute train ride from JR Kyoto Station or a less than 30-minute journey from Keihan Gion Shijo Station transports you to a quaint Kyoto enclave where rivers meander through rolling hills, and the tea is simply exquisite.

Uji’s small-town ambiance is a delightful retreat from the busy vibe of central Kyoto. Stepping into the Uji district, you’ll find a slower pace of life, offering a sense of fulfillment seldom found in the bustling tourist hotspots of central Kyoto.

Indulge in a morning dedicated to exploring tea culture and mastering etiquette before venturing onto our Kyoto food tour. Here, you can immerse yourself in an evening of lively tachinomi-style dining. We relish the opportunity to showcase our favorite neighborhoods, guiding visitors to the local haunts we love. Come along and soak in the authentic local flavors!

Uji Tea Tour: A Must for Tea Enthusiasts

This half-day Uji walking tour is the quintessential morning retreat. Engage with the rich history of tea drinking, relish an assortment of fine teas, and enjoy the relaxed pace of your Kyoto excursion to appreciate this cultural treasure fully. 

The Uji tour offers a genuine slice of local culture, making your Kyoto visit a truly memorable experience.

If you have any questions about our tours, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help.

Pinpoint Traveler has an average score of 4.7⭐ across over 500 reviews on multiple review sites. Below is a sampling of some of our most recent reviews for our Tour of Uji
@Michèle
Read More
Very nice and educational discovery moment With David. Serenity, tea experience, temple visit and answers to my numerous questions! A big thank you to David!
softball, glove, sport-1354947.jpg
@Jenny
Read More
We really enjoy this tour with Ferdinand. He is a great tour guide and very knowledgeable. During our trip we booked a few tours in Japan but this one was our favourite by far. If you are looking for a tour outside of Kyoto which is not Nara we can highly recommend going to Uji and have Ferdinand show you around.
10/10
10/10
@Z8751NRkatherineb
Read More
Loved this—absolutely incredible tour guide!! Diago was so knowledgeable of the culture and area, we all really enjoyed it and highly recommend.
george washington bridge, new york city, buildings
GetYourGuide Traveler
Read More
Great experience !!! If you want try the true taste about green tea and Matcha…
Friendly And Knowledgeable Tour
Friendly And Knowledgeable Tour
@Peggy_T
Read More
Kevin was a wonderful guide. He communicated with me a few days before, was there to meet us and provided an excellent tour. He was welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable about Japan after living many years there. He was super nice about taking pictures of my daughter and me. He also provided time for us to go tea shopping at the end. I'm recommending him to friends who will be traveling to Japan in the near future.
Good pace, Fun and a new appreciation for Tea.
Good pace, Fun and a new appreciation for Tea.
@Steven_T
Read More
Our first stop with guide Kevin took us to the Byodion Temple. Kevin pointed out that the 10 Yen coin was based on this Temple. Lots of tours go to area but Kevin was able to get us in ahead of the crowds. He also took us to a hidden Shinto Shrine. Pace was just right. We finished with a tea ceremony. Not knowing anything about tea, I was pleasantly surprised. The host was patient and fun during Tea preparation. I was a nice way to end the tour. Kevin also provided food recommendations for us to try in Kyoto.
Incredible Experience in Uji
Incredible Experience in Uji
@Amrita_K
Read More
This was an incredible tour hosted by Mika in Uji, Kyoto. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. The Byodoin temple was beautiful and the museum that accompanied the tour was well worth our time. The shrines were also gorgeous. However, our favourite part of the experience as a whole was the tea making + tasting part of the tour. We loved learning more about green tea and the different temperatures at which it needs to be to develop a certain flavour. I would highly recommend this tour. Please go!
Previous
Next
Historic Landmarks

Uji’s tea is one of Kyoto’s most important products and has a long history behind it. Byodo-in Temple has almost as long a history (and that’s saying something!) and is a treasure to behold.

Professional Guide

Real English, real skills, and great personalities. Our guides have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with interesting, fun, and memorable tours with nary a language barrier to fluster.

Fully-Narrated Tour

Our tours never leave you to wander about on your own. Your private guide stays with you the entire time to answer questions, offer insights, and make sure you have a great time.

Easy Access

This tour starts just outside an Uji rail station (whichever rail company works best for you), making meeting up an anxiety-free experience.

Does this look like fun? Book tickets today!

Discover a Tranquil Facet of Japan with this Uji Tour

Enjoy the perfect blend of traditional tea culture, picturesque landscapes, and the essence of Buddhism on a half-day Uji walking tour. This adventure is an ideal way to delve into three remarkable local treasures that Uji has to offer.

Upon your arrival, an English-speaking guide will greet you at the train station, kicking off the day with an enlightening introduction to the world of green tea. Uji’s hospitable aura welcomes all, without the strict adherence to tradition or etiquette, though a bit of basic knowledge surely enriches your experience.

Did you know it’s considered a faux pas to add sugar to fresh-brewed green tea? However, there’s a sweet side to tea culture that we’re excited to share. As we stroll through Uji, we’ll stop by a sweet shop offering delightful dango (sweet rice balls) and rejuvenating beverages like hojicha (roasted green tea) and ryokucha (steamed and dried green tea).

Explore Time-Honored Tea Shops on Your Uji Walking Tour

Uji, the cradle of Japanese tea, is home to numerous tea shops, many of which have been family-run for generations. The road to Byodo-in Temple is flanked by an array of shops, from traditional tea houses to innovative eateries infusing tea flavors into diverse cuisines. Here, you can also find unique tea-infused Japanese and Western sweets alongside all the essentials to recreate the Uji tea magic at home.

Our curated tour unveils a few more surprises with quaint old buildings and quirky decorations that have stood the test of time. One common thread among all these stops is the friendly staff eager to share the enchanting world of tea with us on this Uji tea tour.

Behold Architectural Marvels at Byodo-in Temple

After our tea shop expedition, we’ll head towards the iconic Byodo-in Temple. Its image graces the back of the 10 yen coin, signifying its historical and cultural importance. The temple’s unique architectural style sets it apart from the Kyoto cityscape.

Throughout this segment of our Uji day trip, we’ll delve into the temple’s rich history, from the Pure Land Sect to the aristocratic beliefs of the Fujiwara clan. The tranquility and tales enveloping Byodo-in offer a serene escape, with your guide ready to quench your historical curiosity.

Unwind by the Uji River and Explore Enchanting Temples

Beyond the tea village and Byodo-in, the scenic Uji River invites a revitalizing stroll. As we walk, admire the cormorant bird paintings and historical festival pictures adorning the surroundings, inspired by the ancient pagoda and towering stone monument on the nearby island.

On the other side of the Uji River, discover two captivating temples. While Kosho-ji Temple mesmerizes with its grandeur despite its relatively young age, the Uji Shrine provides a contrasting Shinto spiritual experience.

Embark on a Tea Sipping Adventure

No Uji tour is complete without a hands-on tea-tasting session. One of the highlights awaits at a local tea shop, where you’ll explore different tea varieties. Learn the art of brewing the perfect cup – from water temperatures, the amount of tea, steeping time, and more. As you sip on the lovingly prepared tea, take a moment to absorb the tranquil ambiance, concluding your enriching four-hour Uji excursion on a soothing note.

Those interested in our Kyoto Tea Tour may also be interested in our Walking Tour of Hiroshima.

Check out Pinpoint Traveler’s full selection of Japan City Tours.

Does this look like fun? Book tickets today!

Uji Tea Tour Itinerary

Let’s get you steeped in Kyoto tea culture as you learn and taste your way through Uji’s various flavors of tea and related sweets. We’ll spend about 75 minutes walking and indulging.

Learn about this important facility and the Buddhist sect behind it. A fascinating museum is also on-site, and well worth a walkthrough. Architecture, religion, and history: Byodo-in checks all these boxes with zest. We’ll spend around an hour here.

A lovely stroll, but there’s more than just that. Learn about the famous cormorants, the various religious and non-religious structures along the banks, and perhaps stop by a shop for a tea-making experience. This part of our tour takes at least 45 minutes, depending on the matcha-grinding option.

This Uji tea tour has been designed to allow for flexibility, and we can use any time we have leftover for strolls, stories, and snacks before taking you back to the train station.

Quick Tips for Our Uji Half-Day Trip

There are a couple of things we’d like you to take note of before joining us.

  • Please come wearing comfortable shoes. We do a fair bit of walking. For those who wish to avoid too much walking, please let us know and we will make our best attempt to suitably modify the itinerary.
  • We’ll be outdoors the majority of the time, so do keep weather conditions in mind
  • Some changes to the itinerary may be necessary if one of our usual stops is closed that day

Inclusions:

  • Admission to Byodo-in
  • Tea experience
  • Admission to Koshoji Temple
  • All guide costs

Exclusions:

  • Matcha stone grinding experience (optional)

Options:

  • Pickup for our Uji tea tour can be arranged by request. This means we will gather you about 45 minutes before the tour start (we’ll confirm timing based on your location). The fees below do not include your transportation cost, but we can tell you exactly how much that will be once we know your location. The prices below are for the entire group.
  • Extensions are generally available at 4,000 yen/hr. Please discuss with us in advance how you would like to use the extra time.

Historic and Cultural Landmarks

Uji’s tea is one of Kyoto’s most important products and has a long history behind it. Byodo-in has almost as long a history and is a treasure to gaze upon.

Easy Access

We start just outside Keihan Uji Station. Please note that this is a short walk away from JR Uji Station.

Our Tour Guides

We've got around a dozen guides at your service. Here we showcase a few of our most active ones.

Kevin

We think it's important that everyone who works for Pinpoint Traveler is an active guide too, even the owner. Kevin's been in Japan thirteen years, but spent the first ten in the corporate world. Now he shares his love for Japan outside the confines of the office.
Shoji Pinpoint Traveler Osaka Guide

Shoji

Born in Japan, but moved to Canada when he was still quite young, Shoji is back and ready to share is passion for Japan with you. His main dominion is Osaka and on down to Koya-san and Wakayama, but he's such a popular guy that we often send him even further afield by request.
Mardi Pinpoint Traveler Osaka Guide

Mardi

Mardi's our Kyoto guide-in-chief, and her love for the city is infectious. She's got an uncanny ability for giving people just the right amount of information while still ensuring the tour stays light and fun. Be it temples and shrines, gardens, or nightlife, Mardi's your gal.
Dan Pinpoint Traveler Osaka Guide

Dan

Dan is a Spaniard, so of course his Spanish is native level, but his English is fantastic as well. He's got a warm personality and consistently makes our guests feel like they've made a new friend within minutes of meeting him. He also knows Osaka and Kyoto like no one's business!
Levy Pinpoint Traveler Osaka Guide

Levy

With nearly twenty years in Osaka, Levy's got this place WIRED. He's a major samurai and history aficionado, and in addition to knowing all the top sights like a true pro, he knows Osaka's nightlife better than (dare we say it!) the vast majority of Japanese who call Osaka home. Levy's originally from Israel, and runs tours in Hebrew too.
Suzie Pinpoint Traveler Osaka Guide

Suzie

Suzie is Japan born and raised, and we can't recommend her enough for tours in Tokyo and Yokohama. Our prior guests frequently say nicer things about Suzie than any of our own mothers have said about us! The consummate pro, she's not just got all the info, but also an uncanny knack for knowing what to show our guests.

Not profiled here are guides who speak Spanish (Kyoto, in addition to Dan in Osaka), French (Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo), and German (Kyoto and Tokyo).

Pickup Point

We can meet you at JR Uji Station or Keihan Uji Station. Let us know what works best for you, or tell us where you are coming from and we will advise which station would be easiest for you. Note that you can't use the JR pass on the Keihan line, but it's not an expensive trip.

Comments are closed.
Select your currency