Reason #46633869 why Japanese public transport is frikkin awesome: go to your local train station at any time of the day and almost always, you could be in any other major city in no time. Without much hassle. One morning, within 30 minutes, we arrived in Kyoto (from Osaka). Another 20 minutes got us to Uji, a small town famous for its green tea and a world heritage shrine. Amazing!
This building, Byōdō-in, is so beautiful that it is featured in ¥10 coins. The phoenix on top of its roof is featured in the ¥10,000 notes. Apparently, this building was made into a Buddhist temple, dedicated for people to depart to their next life. I think.
Sample set of different soba: one of which is matcha soba.
I had another emo-period of terribly missing my precious, however, as if my dad inlaw knew, I got emails from him with happy photos of Little E. He looks very well loved and spoilt. He’s a blessed boy to have such loving grandparents, who are generous with their time, attention and love. The three most important, and so precious, things anyone can offer. I felt a lot better after seeing the photos 🙂
After lunch, we visited a registered UNESCO world heritage shrine, Ujikami-jinja. I love going to shrines, again, because they remind me of my grandma and my childhood. I also like seeing the bundles of people’s prayers hung up around the place. I personally think that without hope and faith for a better future, what kind of life would you have? 🙂 regardless of your religion or lack thereof.
We then went to the oldest continuing green tea producer and shop. We met the one of the owners, who is a 14th generation of tea producer and saw a photo of his grandson (the 16th generation). He proudly showed us the many awards they won and how apparently, their tea is the tea of choice for the emperor of Japan!
There, we did an introduction to Japanese tea ceremony, including grinding our own matcha (green tea powder). I am not a fan of matcha but I wanted the experience, so I’m glad that I did it. Also, at least now I know for sure that I really don’t like the stuff, because Uji is probably the place to have it 🙂
I liked Uji, it is only a short trip away on the train from Osaka and/or Kyoto, which makes it a good day trip option 🙂