Uji, Kyoto

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Uji (Japanese: 宇治市; -shi) is a city on the southern outskirts of the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

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 is the home of Byodoin (with its Amida Hall or Phoenix Hall), built in 1053, a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
  • it is the site of the Battle of Ujigawa;
  • 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). Another famous temple is Mampuku-ji, the head temple of the Ōbaku Zen sect, built in Chinese Ming style in 1661. Mimurodo-ji is famous for its abundance of purple hydrangeas, which are now available for viewing at night. Uji also is home to the Ujigami Shrine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site;
  • it is the source of "Uji Tea", a form of very high quality Japanese tea. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (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).
  • the final chapters of the Tale of Genji are set there, attracting visiting literature buffs from all over the world.

The city was founded on March 1, 1951. As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 188,660, making it the largest city in Kyoto Prefecture apart from Kyoto itself and the density of 2,793 persons per km². The total area is 67.55 km².

The Keihan line and the JR Nara Line serve Uji.

External links

Template:Kyotoja:宇治市

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