Colorful Event: Day-trip to Uji (宇治)! - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Colorful Event: Day-trip to Uji (宇治)!

At Ritsumeikan there is a club that is making events to bring exchange students and Japanese students closer together. This club is called “Colorful”, and every month they arrange different events for the students to participate in. This weekend they had set up a plan for a day-trip to a place south of Kyoto called Uji. This place is famous for various things, such as the World Heritage Site Byodo-in (平等院) which you might recognize from the 10-yen coin.
A 10-yen coin, depicting the Byodo-in temple 
Another picture of Byodo-in
Tamara and I went directly to Byodo-in, and met up with the others there. In total I think we were between 40 and 50 students attending the event, it turned out to be quite popular. Considering the weather, which was beautiful, it’s no wonder why so many decided to show up. Although I have to say that it was almost a bit too hot.. So after the sightseeing in Byodo-in almost all of us went to buy maccha ice-cream.!
A machine producing tea
You can buy green tea in different qualities
Uji is proud of its tea
Uji is actually famous for its maccha (抹茶), or green tea. Or more generally: products where green tee can be included, such as crepes, ice creams or takoyaki. You name it.
Time for green tea ice-cream
Starting point of the traditional Japanese streets
For those of you familiar with older Japanese literature you might also have heard of Murasaki Shikibu’s story about the romantic Genji (The tale of Genji/源氏の物語). Parts of this classical novel took place in Uji, and walking around in the area you can see statues depicting some of its characters.
Genji and one of his ladies
Totally random: a phone booth with a phoenix on top..
Another Genji-statue by the river
After the ice creams and sightseeing in the traditional streets it was time for luck by the river. We had a good time meeting new people, eating lunch and just relaxing in the sun. From time to time some tourist boats passed by, with Japanese obasans waving at us, so we had a little bit of entertainment as well.
Enjoying lunch by the river
When most of the other students went back to Kyoto we stayed behind with a small group of students who weren’t ready to leave just yet. We checked out the Uji-jinja shrine, and on our way back to the station we ended up in a store where a lady were making clothes out of old kimono. Her husband played a flute for us, and we felt they both went out of their way to make us feel welcome. After having tried on some of the kimono-clothes accompanied by some photos with the owners we finally decided to end the trip and go back to Kyoto.
Uji Jinja
Flute performance
Group picture with the nice Japanese lady
It was a really great trip, I’m already looking forward to what the club is going to plan for next month. Thanks to Colorful for a fun event!

A colorful group of students.. ^^
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Looks like it was a fun event =) Lovely weather and nice pictures! I remember that the scenerey in the park area and at the river close to Byodo-in was very idyllic.

    Have you thought about doing videologs about such events? In this case, maybe just a short compilation video of the boat sailing by on the river, a clip of the man playing the flute, some scenery etc. would be sufficient to express the general feeling.

    I think that would be a nice addition to your blog, and you might get a wave of visitors coming through YouTube. It might be a little bit of work though, so I can totally understand if you're busy and just haven't got the time.

    Anyhow, here are two (quite different) examples of active YouTubers in Japan. Maybe you've seen their videos before?


    1. Yeah, it was a great day! You and Kaja should come back for a visit;) Or.. Since I'm probably studying in Korea from August you could always visit me there instead;)!

      Thanks for the advice! I have thought a bit about it, but unfortunately I have been too lazy to do anything more than that.. But I suppose it would be a nice supplement to my posts!


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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