Uji is famous for its green tea or its Match Green Tea but green tea was virtually unheard of in Japan when it first arrived from China in the 700s. It was during the Kamakura period, between 1192 and 1333, green tea leaves imported from China which by now was cultivated in Uji became a popular drink amongst the noblemen and priests.
The benefits of green tea, its cultivation and preparation was introduced in a book written by a Zen priest, Eisei, who brought Zen Buddhism to Japan from China, hence, bestowing Uji the reputation of producing superior quality green tea as it was the first place to cultivate green tea.
A short walk from Byodoin Temple, at the southern bank of Uji River, you will find Taihoan, a public tea house. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to participate in an authentic tea ceremony. It serves matcha tea (powdered green tea) in a traditional tea-house setting and the correct tea ceremony etiquette.