Byodoin Temple (World Heritage)
This used to be the country villa of a man named Minamoto-no-Toru, on whom the Shining Genji is purportedly modeled.
Later, however, the villa was inherited by Fujiwara-no-MIchinaga, the imperial "kampaku" (chief adviser to the Emperor) at the time.
In 1052 his son, Fujiwara-no-Yorimichi, turned the villa into a temple and renamed it "Byodoin".
Byodoin has been called "the re-creation of Heaven" and the very finest elements of Imperial Culture were brought together to build the "Ho-o-do"(main hall).
The spectacular architecture remains unchanged in the present and still overawes the modern-day visitor.
Treasure house named the "Byodoin Museum, (Hosho-kan)" exhibited some national treasures such as a "Ho-o” (phoenix) and "Unchu-kuyo-bosatsu" (Buddhist saint). Other images have been restored by computer graphics and high quality images are on display.
Ujigami Shrine (World Heritage)
Ujigami Shrine houses the spirits of the Ujinowaki-Iratsuko, Ojin and Nintoku Emperors (semi-legendary emperors).
According to Japan’s oldest history book, “Nihon-Shiki”, the Emperor Ujinowaki-Iratsuko was the son of the Ojin Emperor, and had to violently defend his throne from his usurping brother Nintoku.
Following such a battle, he committed suicide in Uji.
The main building was constructed in the latter part of Heian period and is the oldest shrine architecture standing today.
Oubakusan Manpukuji Temple
In 1661, Manpukuji Temple was founded by a Chinese monk called Ingen and located on the home mountain of the Oubakushu Sect of Buddhism.
The prayer and ceremonial methods still retain their original forms and the architecture is strongly influenced by Chinese style from those times.
The large temple grounds almost feel as if they might be in a different country.
Even today the monks adhere to a strict training regimen both days and night.
Chinese “sho-jin” cuisine (a vegetarian diet) is popular here and known for being a quintessential Zen taste as well as being a healthy way to eat.
It is believed that Mimurotoji Temple was built during the 8th century.
In the beautiful gardens azaleas blossom in May and hydrangeas in June.
Also within the grounds is the monument for the heroine, “Ukifune” of the ten chapter of Uji.
Rebuilt in 1648, this temple has a characteristic Chinese-style “Sakura-mon” (cherry gate) and a tranquil Zen atmosphere within.
The slope rising up to the temple grounds from the river is called “koto-zaka” and very popular with tourists who gather to appreciate the young greenery of spring and turning leaves of autumn.
Uji Shrine is dedicated to Ujinowaki-Iratsuko.
These two shrines, originally the Imperial Villa, were actually one shrine until 1868.
Ujigami Shrine was called the upper detached palace of the shrine, while Uji Shrine was the lower detached palace.
Eshin-in Temple is said to has been reestablished in 1005 by the Buddhist priest Eshin.
Eshin is the historical model for the heroic Priest Yokawa, of “The Tale of Genji”.
In the “Ten Chapter of Uji” He rescues the heroine Ukifune, who attempted to commit suicide by drowning in Uji River.
The precinct is well-known as [The Flower Temple」because, many kinds of flowers come out in spring and autumn.
This was the “protecting shrine” for Byodoin Temple until the Edo period.
The famous Agata festival held annually on June 5th is known for its unusual style and attracts many visitors.
The Tale of Genji Museum, Uji City
The Tale of Genji museum, Uji City opened in 1998,and is the one and only museum of its kind, in the world.
The museum offers opportunities for one to familiarize oneself with the wonderful and unforgettable tale of The Tale of Genji and the culture of the Heian era, through the use of replicas and motion pictures.
Please immerse yourself in the glamorous world of The Tale of Genji.
The Monument of "Ten Chapters of Uji"
This monument is the main symbol of the Ten Chapter of Uji, it represents all the monuments around the city that individually mark the 10 chapters.
The image itself is a representation of the heroine Ukifune and Prince Niou as they set off by small boat onto the Uji River.
This is a good place to reflect on their individual story and the story they belong to, as well as for taking photographs or resting during a walk around Uji.
The Uji Rive and The Uji Bridge
The Uji River is the only river that originates from Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.
It has been an important waterway between Shiga and Osaka since ancient times.
Following the construction of the Uji Bridge by the Buddhist Priest Doto in 646, the bridge became a strategically important geographic location.
The Uji Bridge is said to be one of the Three Famous Old Bridge of Japan.
The “San-no ma”, protruding toward the upper stream, is a main feature of the bridge.
The present bridge constructed in March 1996 is in harmony with the historic image of the bridge and surrounding views.