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Uji

Uji is a city in Japan on the southern outskirts of Kyoto, on the Keihan[?] line or the JR Nara line towards Osaka. It has a population of 191,000 people, making it the largest city in the Kyoto prefecture apart from Kyoto itself. The city sits on the Uji River ("Ujigawa"), which has its source in Lake Biwa[?] ("Biwa-ko"). In the 4th century the son of Emperor Ojin established a palace in Uji.

Uji is famous in Japan for a number of reasons:

  • it boasts an abundance of Shinto and Buddhist temples, all clustered about the centre of the town, including the Kosho-ji Zen temple, constructed in 1648, with its famous Kotozawa slope entrance (framed with dense thickets of peach, plum, willow, cherry, and maple trees, each of which dramatically change colour with the seasons). It also is home to Ujigami Jinja Shrine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site;

  • it is the source of "Uji Tea", a form of very high quality Japanese tea. Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (1358-1408) promoted cultivation of green tea in the Uji area, and since that time Uji has been an important production and distribution centre of superior quality green tea (including Tsuen tea, continuously manufactured since 1160).



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