But despite being “Japan’s green tea capital”, Uji is also famous being the set of the last ten chapters of the masterpiece "The Tale of Genji" (Genji no monogatari).
Genji no monogatari is said to be one of the first psychological novels, written over 1000 years ago by Lady Murasaki Shikibu. The novel depicts the life of the imperal prince Hikaru Genji, divided in three parts with the first one covering Genji's path to power, the second part detailing the end of Genji's life and the third part, set in Uji, depicting the life of Genji's son. The 54 chapters are full of love, forbidden desires, tragedy and life at court, with its schemes and struggles for power.
The story has been so captivating for depicting life at court during the Heian period, when noble women were supposed to only be seen by their fathers and their husbands, leaving them more or less confined to shut off rooms. Life as a lady-in-waiting at court however, allowed for women to pursue romantic relationships with the gentleman at court, which often resulted in a tangle of polyamorous affairs. It's no surprise that Murasaki's tale became particularly popular with the noble ladies, who longed for some sort of escape from their rather secluded lives.
Lady Murasaki herself was a lady-in-waiting to the empress Shoshi from 1006, after having lost her husband which had prompted her to start writing the Tale of Genji to cope with her grief.
The statue of Lady Murasaki, sitting with a scroll of her masterpiece in her lap, can be found by the Uji Bridge.
If you want to learn more about Genjo no monogatari, the time it takes place in and of course its ties to the city of Uji, then make sure you stop over at the The Tale of Genji Museum.
There you will find exhibitions of the copies of the novel, an ox cart used by aristocrats during the Heian Period, furnishings and garments such as the Junihitoe, a twelve-layered ceremonial kimono for women.
In addition to that, there is also a large screen theater and a computer screen that allows you to virtually try on Heian period costumes and take photos of it.
Should you get hungry, there is also a garden area with a tea room where you can enjoy some hot beverage and typical Japanese confectionary inspired by The Tale of Genji.
The Ultimate Glamping Experience in Oita at the Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa
If you love the idea of camping but don’t want to forgo the comforts of home then the glamping experience at Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa is for you. We recently had the fortune of heading out to Bungo-ōno city in Oita prefecture where we got to experience the ultimate glamping experience without breaking the bank.
Featuring in the 14th century Japanese epic novel 'Taiheiki', Fujiwara no Chikata Kutsu was the residence of the Fujiwara clan who proclaimed war upon the imperial court and was said to use the wrath of four demon deities to aid his cause and terrify oncoming forces.