Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Trip to the Land of Tea: Uji

I will have all blogs written before I leave. ::determined::

So after school today, a friend and I journeyed to Uji, a train station not to far from where we live. What I know about Uji is that it is a very famous river that is prominent in history and is the setting for the first (romance) novel, The Tale of Genji. I really know it from class when we talked about the Battle of Uji River.

What I did not know was all of the tea that comes from there, green tea especially! There are multiple tea places that have been making tea since the Edo Period. (A very long time). We went to a tea shop that makes green tea (and other tea of course) and we met a man who is a world champion tea maker and is the 16th generation to be making tea. His family's tea was the first to be in the US; he was very proud of his tea. There was even a little museum on the top of the tea shop. It was really cool! (Of course I bought some tea haha)

Lunch was delicious green tea soba noodles (mmmm)! Also featured was a mysterious tofu....that looked and tasted very much like the "soba tofu" my teacher said we ate when we went to No, that I couldn't find anywhere. WELL, turns out that is not what it is called! It's "goma dofu"  (I can see how that would sound similar) and it is made from a sesame seed. No wonder I like it so much! :p

Next, I went to the Byodoin Temple, which also features in the history stuff I learned. To go in the Phoenix Hall part of the temple itself it was very expensive, but there really was no reason to because you can take pictures of the outside and most of the artifacts from inside were moved to the free museum...? So yeah, odd.

Did I mention it was raining and ridiculously windy? Because of course it was.

And I managed to find the stamp for the Byodoin by luck because it was so famous and museum like, I didn't think it had one...Wo0t!

Then we went to a random shrine my friend discovered that was literally a tori gate and a closed shrine with boxes in front. The one box was normal, you put money in and you can pick a fortune. The other was you put money in, and you get a little bag with a type of rock omamori, or amulet-thing. It was cute, so I got one! It means health, but I haven't figured out the rest yet ;p

Finally after walking around the river a little, we headed home before we were blown away! It was a very nice time! Pictures!

Well....I guess I'm off to Nagasaki tomorrow, aren't I? ^.^


1 comment:

  1. Tea sounds awesome! Have a good time and be safe. Love Ya!