Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Sunday we spent the morning at church for their Autumn service. It was basically the same service as the one during Obon except this time they had chairs for everyone to sit on.

After the service, Satoshi, my MIL and I went to Uji. It is about 40 minutes from the Higashiyama area by train.

I have visited Uji with my Aunty Merle and with Satoshi during various times of the year. This was the first time to visit the Tale of Genji Museum. This museum showcases "The Tale of Genji" and the culture of the Heian period in Japan.

I studied this in college but to tell you the truth, I don't really remember much about the story (guess I should go back and read the book I have stored away...somewhere...)

Anyway, my MIL had been wanting to visit this museum for some time now. Last year was the 1000 year anniversary of the tale being written by Murasaki Shikibu.

Most of the displays were in Japanese, so I couldn't understand most of them, but did find the display on incense intriguing. The display had different items like clove, sandalwood and other items which were combined to make different fragrances for incense.
After walking around the museum and the Ujigami Shrine (the shrine is a UNESCO world heritage), we walked across the river to the Uji shopping arcade.

My MIL was interested in checking out the sweets at Nakamura-Tokichi, a famous green tea shop in Uji.

We found the shop and a VERY L-O-N-G line waiting to get into the cafe. Instead of waiting for a table, we went across the street to Yamakawa, a patisserie.

This tiny patisserie also had a cafe, so we signed our name to their waiting list and after about 15 minutes, had a table.

If you are going to eat anything in Uji, get something made from green tea because Uji is known for their matcha (powdered green tea).

Satoshi got their sencha (roasted green tea) roll. My MIL got the matcha ice cream and a slice of baked cheesecake (she found the ice cream too strong and made Satoshi eat most of the ice cream). I got their matcha vanilla (matcha cake with matcha mousse, a layer of vanilla mousse and adzuki bean and a layer of vanilla whipped cream). This dessert was really light, and the sweetness of the vanilla layers balanced out the bitter matcha layers.

It was a beautiful day and we were glad to get my MIL out of the house.

Tale of Genji Museum
45-26 Uji Higashiuchi
Uji, Kyoto
Phone: 0774.39.9300
Admission: 500 yen (about US$5)
Open: 9:00-17:00, Closed on Mondays

Patisserie Yamakawa : UPDATE: 2/2014: this shop is now called Patisserie Yuji
70 Uji
Uji, Kyoto
Phone: 0774.66.1102
Closed Tuesdays and every 3rd Wednesday


KirkK said...

Hi Kat - I always enjoy your "day-trip" posts....there's so much to see and learn.

kyle said...

Love the shot of the green momiji, looks great in green and when they turn colors in autumn. The pastry shop was really creative with the matcha!

Rowena... said...

Your m-i-l has her prerogatives right....dessert! Everything looks so delicious in that color. What a beautiful outing.

K and S said...

Glad you enjoyed this Kirk :)

Thanks Kyle :)

I was surprised she suggested it Rowena, if you saw her you wouldn't believe she eats sweets (she's as thin as a rail, literally!)

Take care everyone!

Rick said...

ahhh the photos of your food trips... I just can't get enough of them!

K and S said...

Thanks Rick :)

Take care.

jalna said...

Beautiful photos! I love that manhole cover, the light through the leaves, and of course the dessert.

K and S said...

Thanks Jalna :)

Take care.

Debinhawaii said...

Looks like a full and fun day. Love all the matcha desserts. I bet the vanilla was the perfect pairing with the tea.

Lori said...

Ooh, green tea themed cafes...I would have such a hard time choosing just one! :)

K and S said...

Yes Debinhawaii the vanilla definitely helped to balance out the matcha, I think without it, it would have been too bitter.

Thanks Lori, this cafe also had other desserts but had a larger selection of matcha desserts.

Take care you two.