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My trip in March 2019
Uji city is the sacred site of green tea. And you can find a unique travel theme, thanks to Green Tea like a cafe tour. There are pretty and trendy cafes a lot. In particular, you can enjoy contemporary and traditional sensibilities at the same time under the theme of "Matcha" here.
※ Matcha, Green Tea??!
Matcha(in Japanese) is the powder of green tea. It is difficult to take in 100% of the useful ingredients of tea leaves with after boiling but in the case of Matcha, which is the tea that has ground the leaves, You can take the useful ingredients 100%. A long time ago, Green tea leaves were ground into a millstone and drank in powder form, and now people use modernized mechanical methods.
Green tea everywhere in Uji city.
It is possible to walk from Uji Train Station to Byodoin, the representative temple in the area. In particular, from Uji station to Byodoin there are numerous green tea-related cafes and restaurants . (It is called Omotesando road near the Byodoin Temple.) Green tea ramen, Green tea whipped cream cakes, green tea soba(noodle), green tea sweet rice balls and green tea crepes, etc. You can't count the kinds of food with green tea here. You can enjoy any food or dessert with green tea according to your taste. It is easy to buy and try without any information of Green tea. This is writing is my experience that there are some foods.
When I arrived at the Uji train station, I felt like I would be in a good mood. But the problem was rain. The closer I got to Uji city, the darker the sky and the thicker the raindrops. When I sent my luggage to Kyoto from Kansai airport, I also sent my portable umbrella, so I had to buy an umbrella in Uji city. It was my mistake for predicting that it would not rain that day, I was annoyed. “I can't help it," I said. I got down from the Uji train station and found a place to buy an umbrella. Coming out of the exit No.1, I could find the information center for travelers. I ran to the place.
at Information Center for Travelers
As soon as I opened the door, What surprised me was the smell of tea that filled the inside. It was the scent of real great green tea. The well-roasted, well-ground green tea scent was amazing!
"Do you sell umbrellas?"
"Yes, ma’am. Where are you from?“
"Wait a minute.“
The staff asked for my nationality and gave me a tour map in Korean with umbrella. The umbrella was 53cm long and the price was 530 yen. Thanks to the tourist map, it was fine without any information of Uji city. I could start my trip with rain and map.
A tour of traditional cafes and modern cafes
1. Itoh-Kyuemon in front of JR Uji station (伊藤久右衛門 JR宇治駅前店)
- Address: Umonji-16−1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan ▶see GOOGLEMAPS
- Contact: +81 774-22-0475
- Business hours: 10:30 to 18:30 (Cafe L.O. 18:00)
Itoh-Kyuemon was founded 180 years ago and is now a large brand with several branches. There are a total of eight branches, mostly in the city of Uji. It's also at Kyoto Station, so even those who travel only to Kyoto can enjoy Ito-kueemon's tea and dessert. it was not difficult to find because it was just in front of the Uji train Station in JR Nara Line. There is a modern cafe inside the store, which is full of people who are always waiting. When I visited here, I had to wait a long time because seven teams were already on standby. I decided not to wait for long time here because there were many dessert teahouses where I could enjoy green tea here in Uji city.
In addition to the teahouses to be introduced in this article, I have toured other places, but I think it is Itoh-Kyuemon that sells the most diverse range of products related to Green tea. you can easily buy various kinds of tea. The most notable was the “Green Tea Curry."
The most popular Green Tea KitKat(Chocolate), there were various roll cakes with matcha, However it was the green tea curry that kept catching my eyes. It was amazing to see a green curry, not a regular yellow curry! It was a ready-to-eat foods (with microwave oven) product in the same retort form. I bought it and didn't expect much, but I couldn't bring it to Korea Because I left it in my hotel room!! I'm planning to visit there again in the second half of this year, So I may try it at that time.
2. Nakamura Tokichi Uji Honten (Main Store) (中村藤吉 宇治本店)
- Address: Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyoto, Uji, Ichiban−１０ ▶ see GOOGLEPAMS
- Contact: +81-(0)774-22-7800
- Store Hours for April:
① Tea Shop 10:00-18:30
② Cafe 10:00-18:30(last order at 17:00)
- Golden Week Hours: April 27〜May 6
① Tea Shop 10：00〜19：00
② Cafe 10：00〜18：00（last order at 16：00）
This is Nakamura Tokichi, the most famous place for Koreans. It's a two-minute walk from the Itoh-Kyuemon(Umonji-16-1 Uji) branch in front of the JR Uji station.The two stores are next to each other. Unlike anywhere else here, the inside cafe is very attractive. The reason was simple. The cafe is located in a good view of the Japanese style garden. There were also tea ceremony rooms and other places of the atmosphere of Japan. Just looking at the entrance like the picture above, the space wasn't too big, but it was amazing to see the atmosphere of entering a new world when you passed through there.
In fact, all the teahouses in the Uji city sell different kinds of tea. It was so ordinary that Selling tea was not characteristic of the store. However, different stores had different types of products and specialty. In the case of Nakamura Tokichi, I felt that it was serving as much Hoji tea as Matcha. And there were a lot more tools related to teaware.
Among the desserts here, puddings caught my eyes. I also had to wait for eating and having tea at a cafe here, too. Furthermore, the day I visited was raining heavily, so most tourists settled in notable cafes and teahouses. It was a famous main store, and it was raining, so the store was full of people. But I didn't want to spend time there waiting. I decided to skip here too. Perhaps because of many people like me, they were selling various puddings and jelly on the subject of Matcha so they could be taken out. I like th rice cake(mochi in japanese) so I bought it instead of pudding.
Matcha Dango 756 yen
It didn't taste as sweet as I thought. It was unique because it was chewy. This did not taste much green tea compared to its dark color. It wasn't very delicious, but it had the charm to keep eating when eating. It is unclear to say that it is delicious to explain the taste, but when I ate it, my hands kept taking it. Maybe it was because the sweet taste wasn't strong. It's hard to have a huge feature, but I think I'll buy it again if I go here next time. If you like rice cake like me, it is a strange rice ball that make you continue to eat.