Kyoto Day 6

Wazuka - The most beautiful place.

Out of the city and into the country was our aim for today. We had organised a tour around the Wazuka Tea fields with Greg. Wazuka is one of the main towns that produces and sells organic green tea in Japan. It is also known as one of the most beautiful places in Japan and after today we agree. We travelled an hour out of Kyoto and were picked up by Greg at a country station called Kamo. Greg picked us up in his van and drove us to his own house high up in the Wazuka Mountains.

Even just driving through the town I fell in love with the area. It is beautiful. Greg’s house is surrounded by tea fields and forests and is so peaceful. On the car ride there Greg told us about the town and pointed out sights along the way. He also caught us up to date with all the different types of tea. We got seated in Greg’s tea ceremony room and he presented us with our first local tea to try a Organic local matcha. I watched Greg make it and I know he did not touch the tea with milk or cream. But OMG it was so milky and amazing. 400X better then the tea back home. We also got a Japanese sweet that was very nice.

After the matcha Greg took us walking (hiking) through the region. We went up to the top of the tea fields and along these tiny roads. Greg showed us how to pick tea and showed us the most spectacular views. We also hiked through parts of the forest and along rivers and springs. All the while Greg answered our questions and showed us things to eat or smell along the way. Greg also showed us how to make pocket tea. This is where you pick the wild tea leaves and let them dry in the heat of your pocket. The pictures do not do this place justice, I loved it so much I decided I should live here.

We headed back to Greg’s house and had a bento style lunch. We sampled some roasted tea which also amazing and finished with sencha tea. The sencha was so fresh that Greg brewed it 4 different times for us. Each cup had a different taste and was beyond amazing. Greg then on our request took us to the local tea market to buy some products.

This tour was absolutely one of the best tours I have ever been on. Greg was knowledge, an amazing host and a pleasure to spend time with. I really wanted to just keep following him around the town.

We then made our way to Nara. We walked through the main street and eventually found our way to Kofuku-ji temple. We received another Shrine stamp here and had a look around. It was a very pretty temple and the Pergoda is soooo tall.

We then headed to Todaji Temple. We had to try and rush to get there as it was getting close to last entry. We made it in and omg it was amazing. The temple is one of the biggest buildings i have ever seen. All made of wood. Housed in the temple is a giant Buddha which is scarily tall. We looked around got another page signed of the temple book. It was then Joe decided to try and for through the tiny hole. There is a hole in a piece of wood that is the same size as the buddha statues nostril. It is said that if you can squeeze through the hole you will have enlightenment in your next life. Surprisingly Joe managed to squeeze through.

We then walked around the grounds and fed some deer. They were so cute!! They make this really weird noise though that would be terrifying at night. I got lots of pictures of them and patted so many of them. It was great. They also really do bow to you!

We headed to Go go curry for dinner. Then to a sushi train for 2nd dinner. It was a great but long day!