Saturday, June 09, 2007

uji

The other day, I had seen a live broadcast of an area filled with ajisai (hydrangea) and found out that it was located in Uji. In Japan, ajisai is usually in full bloom during the rainy season.

While the rain is coming down, it is kind of nice to see these pom-poms of pastel colors brightening up a gloomy day. So, despite the rain, thunder and lightning and that the rainy season hasn't officially started here, we went to Uji--located in the South-Eastern part of Kyoto. If you remember, I went there a couple of months ago during the Spring with my Aunty and her friend.

The temple that these ajisai were at was called Mimurotoji. It was a 15 minute walk from the Mimuroto station. The temple is actually located at the top of these steep stairs. (We are looking forward to going back in July to see their hasu no hana (lotus flowers)).

At the bottom of the steep stairs, there is a beautiful garden with about 10,000 ajisai plants.

Despite the weather, the flowers were beautiful. And I was amazed at how many different varieties there were.

I was also surprised at how red the leaves of this maple tree was, it reminded me of something you might see during the Fall.

Since Uji is known for their green tea, we had lunch at a place called Magozaemon and had their zaru udon (cold wheat noodles) with green tea in them. The noodles were really chewy and delicious.

After lunch, we walked along the shopping street and you could smell tea roasting. Ho-ji cha is a very smoky flavored tea and is actually roasted green tea. This is what a roaster looks like.

You could even see tea plants along the roadside.

We also got some cha-dango (rice cakes made with green tea) and warabi mochi (bracken rice cakes). Bracken is a fern and the young shoots are turned into a powder to make this mochi. In Osaka, we usually eat this with kinako (ground roasted soy beans), but in Uji, they eat their warabi mochi with what else, green tea powder. Both were nice treats and as we were going home, the sun came out.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

everything is so beautiful! the zaru udon, the dangos and the mochi with tea powder look tasty, too. i miss stuff like that. i think one of these days i'd like to try to grow tea. thanks for such a lovely post. -bourgogne

K & S said...

Glad you enjoyed this Bourgogne! I'd sure like to see your tea plants flourish in France, that would be something!

Take care.
Kat

The Chocolate Nerd said...

That sounds like such a lovely day! Those noodles look great, and the countryside so amazingly beautiful! I have to visit one day:)

K & S said...

Anytime but summertime, Chocolate Nerd. (Unless you like humidity and heat.)

Take care.
Kat

MeltingWok said...

hiya Kat, another beautiful day-out at the garden :) I'm curious why the warabi mochi is in brown color ? Is it because of the brown sugar syrup or something ? Thanks :)

K & S said...

Hi MeltingWok,
It could be brown because of the sugar that they use. Most warabi mochi I've seen here are clear though.

Take care.
Kat

beadexplorer said...

What a wonderful hydrangea pic. It really makes me smile! :)

K & S said...

Thanks Beadexplorer, I'm glad I made you smile.

Thanks for stopping by.
Take care.
Kat