this morning i was quite excited to go to uji, the green tea capital of japan. somehow i thought it was in the country, surrounded by fields of tea, and quaint, with little shops and quit streets, and that the moment i stepped off the train i would be overwhelmed by the smell of green tea in the air.
i don't know what i was thinking or where i got this image from, for reality is strikingly different. while riding on the train there i never really felt like i left the city, and though i saw some small fields of tea growing between the houses it was rather underwhelming, and once there the only thing i smelled in the air was car exhaust.
this isn't to say that some parts of uji that i saw weren't beautiful; for i found that walking along one side of the river was peaceful and rather pretty, and while facing away from the city and into the surrounding hills the view was very picturesque.
the matcha sweets i ate while in uji were either delicious or so-so, and so too was the tea i drank. so, overall, i'm at a loss as to what i think of uji. but one thing is certain, the matcha that comes from this area is the best tasting stuff i know of.