Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it’s many centuries old shrines and temples, 2 of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. While it is famous for these sites, Uji has also been blessed with amazing nature and is a good place to come for an easy walk or hike.

Budget travel tips

  • The town is easy to get around. Pick up a free map from the train station or on Byodoin Ometesando at the Tourist Information center.
  • Best as a cheap day trip fro Kyoto or Nara.

Things to do

Byodoin Temple (平等院)

The main attraction in Uji will really take your breath away. A stunning example of Buddhist architecture and gardening, this temple also features a great modern treasure museum.

Open: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Price: Adults 300 yen, Children 100 yen

Byodoin Ometesando (FREE)

The main shopping street to Byodoin Temple is a good place to try the hugely popular Uji green tea, especially as many shops are giving out free tea to try!

Koshoji Temple (興聖寺) (FREE)

A quiet temple that is especially great during autumn colours. Has some unique and striking garden features that make it a must visit.

Open: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Price: Free

Daikichiyamafuchi Park Hike (FREE)

A short hike up the hill that gives a great view over Uji. Take a right turn just before entering Koshoji Temple and walk up. After a few minutes take a right, then take a left up the hike path. Continue up the hill and down to Ujigami Shrine.

Ujigami Shrine (宇治上神社) (FREE)

Believed to be the oldest shrine in Japan, the inner shrine has been designated a national treasure.

Open: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Price: Free

Sawarabi Road Walk

A nice walk from Ujigami Shrine down to the bridge, via Uji Shrine (宇治神社). Makes for a relaxing stroll past some interesting old-style homes and cafes.

Uji River

Cross over the river on long traditional foot bridges. Provides a nice view of the surrounding mountains.

The Tale of Genji Museum

The Tale of Genji is a novel consisting of 54 individual chapters that was written at the beginning of the 11th century. This museum illustrates the amazing story. Located up the road from Ujigami Shrine.

Open: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Price: Adults 500 yen, Children 250 yen

How to get there

From Kyoto station, take the Nara Line to Uji (30 mins, 240 yen or free with the Japan Rail Pass)

From Gion Shijo station or others in west Kyoto, it’s usually best to take the Keihan Main Line to Chushojima station, then the Keihan Uji Line to Uji (30 mins, 310 yen).

From Nara station, take the Nara Line to Uji (40 mins, 500 yen or free with the Japan Rail Pass)


Hostels and cheap hotels

The cheapest and best places to stay are in Kyoto or Nara.

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict