My favorite place in Kyoto is an unassuming little town called Uji. I first found out about it from a former colleague, a Japanese who grew up in Wakayama. She said it I might be interested to go there if I was fond of green tea. In Uji you’ll find real matcha in pure tea form, soft cream (with a dream dusting of green tea powder! I’d been going to the same store for three years straight), ramen, takoyaki, gyoza, crepe…and just about everything.
Matcha aside, what keeps me coming back to Uji is its endearing quaintness. It’s a refreshing stop rightfully sandwiched between the tourist favorites Fushimi Inari Taisha and Nara (the Nara line stops in all three stations, if I’m not mistaken).
During our autumn trip last year, my friend and I were supposed to go to Fushimi first but upon seeing the massive crowd alighting the station, we decided to go straight to Uji and thought of going back to Fushimi later that afternoon. We ended up spending the entire afternoon in Uji. The longer stay this time afforded me a visit to unexplored spots in town.