Mountains, Tea and Sake Around Kyoto | japan-guide.com


Located in the mountains northeast of central
Kyoto, Hieizan is a deeply revered mountain on which Enryakuji, the head temple of the
influential Tendai Buddhist sect, is built on. Founded over 1200 years ago, Enryakuji is
one of the most important temples in the history of Japan, and today, the active mountain temple
is an attractive destination for visitors wanting to learn more about Buddhist culture. On this trip, we will be spending two days
exploring Hieizan and the vibrant tea and sake cultures in Uji and Fushimi in southern
Kyoto. My name is Raina Ong, staff writer for japan-guide.com,
and for the next two days, I’ll be visiting Hieizan, Uji and Fushimi on an overnight trip. Here’s the plan. On Day One, we land at Kansai International
Airport and travel by train all the way to the foot of Mount Hieizan. We continue on the cable car and ropeway up
the mountain. There are three separate areas of Enryakuji
Temple: Yokawa, Saito and Todo. We will take a shuttle bus to Yokawa, the
northern area, and hike towards the west area known as Saito, and the east area known as
Todo to visit the attractions there. The day ends with a stay at the temple lodging
on Hieizan. On Day Two, after participating in the morning
prayers, we descend the mountain and head to the tea town of Uji, south of Kyoto, to
learn more about tea culture as well as visit the local temples along the way. Finally, we end the day at Kyoto’s Fushimi
district with a sake experience and dinner. So follow along as we go on a 2-day trip exploring
mountains, tea and sake around Kyoto. Day 1 After landing at the airport, we forward our
suitcase to the hotel in Kyoto where we will be staying afterwards to avoid having to carry
extra luggage on this overnight trip. Then, we take the train to our destination
for the day, Hieizan. Our hike from Yokawa to the Saito and Todo
areas takes about 2 to 3 hours, including visiting the temple buildings along the way. This tree over here it’s called the Gyokutaisugi and it’s about the midway point between where we started in Yokawa and our next destination Saito. It’s a great place for a rest and we get to enjoy great views of Kyoto on the other side. The Shakado you can see behind me is the oldest building on the mountain. And it houses a wooden Shaka Buddha carved by Saicho, the founder of Tendai Buddhism. I’m going to be heading into the Konpon Chudo, as you can see it’s completely covered up but visitors are still allowed to go inside, so let’s go! One of the interesting things you’re going to experience when staying at a temple lodging is eating Buddhist cuisine which is completely vegetarian. And that’s what I’m going to do! Itadakimasu! Day 2 Good morning, it’s really cold outside and I’ve gotten up early to go for morning prayers in the Konpon Chudo behind me. Now, these prayers are only available to those who stay overnight on the mountain. So let’s go! After the morning prayers and breakfast, we
descend the mountain and head towards Uji by Keihan Railway. Our first stop is Mampukuji Temple, the head
temple of the Obaku Zen sect. My first stop for today is Mampukuji Temple near Uji. This temple is the headquarters of the Obaku Zen Sect which was established about 300 years ago by a Chinese Zen master. And as such you can see a lot of Chinese influence in the temple design. The city of Uji is well known for its high
quality green tea, and there are numerous tea shops selling Uji tea as well as green
tea products. Our first stop is Byodoin Temple, and its
grounds includes a beautiful garden with the Phoenix Hall at its center and an excellent
museum. Next we head to Nakamura Tokichi, a shop
that has been run by the same family for generations. Uji is known for its tea and I’m here now at the Nakamura Tokichi shop in Uji where I’m going to have the full tea experience. Tea lunch and then desserts, and then we get to make some tea. 10 out of 5 stars! I like it! A tea leaf grinding activity followed by a
tea ceremony is offered at their main store in Uji, with explanations provided by an English
speaking tea instructor. And that’s what I’m going to do. Finally, we take the Keihan train from Uji
to Fushimi. Our last destination for today is the Fushimi
Sakagura Kouji, a collection of eight food stalls and a sake bar all under one roof. This unique dining and drinking experience
here allows visitors to sample sake from about 20 sake breweries and order a variety of dishes
that go well with the alcohol. Best way to end the trip! I’ve come to the end of my trip and there’s no better way than to end it here at the Fushimi Sakagura Koji Now here I get to try18 different sake from the breweries and order food, like, different kinds of food from the different food stands. It’s gonna be great and I can’t wait to dig in! And that concludes our 2-day trip to Hieizan,
Uji and Fushimi. Thanks for joining me. I hope this video has been enjoyable and perhaps
even inspires some ideas, should you decide to plan an overnight trip from Kansai Airport. For more information or to watch another video,
click the links on the screen now or head to japan-guide.com, your comprehensive up-to-date
travel guide first hand from Japan. Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan. Happy travels.

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