Riding around Wazuka-chō

One of the great things about living in Nara city is that Kyoto prefecture is only a few kilometers away. While there are numerous things to see and do in Kyoto city, the surrounding area has much to offer as well, especially when it comes to cycling!  

Having been very busy this last weekend I was left with only a few hours of riding time. As a result I decided to ride up to Wazuka-chō which is in the Soraku District of Kyoto Prefecture.

 countryside around Kizugawa

Bamboo forest in Kizugawa

Rice fields around the Kamo area

Riverside break at Wazuka-chō

 Riverside in Wazuka-chō

This area of Wazuka-chō is most well known for the tea plantations of Shirasu-Ishidera. Tea has been grown in this area since the Kamakura period (1192- 1333) which is why it has been called Japan's "Home of Tea".  For 800 years this area has been one of the main producers of Ujicha, one of the mostly highly prized and respected teas in Japan.  

 Tea plantations of Shirasu-Ishidera

Tea plantations of Shirasu-Ishidera

Some nice climbs in the area as well

After arriving back in Nara, I decided to head over to the Uemura Ranch. It is located directly across from the Hannya-ji Temple in Hannyaji-cho, Nara. The ranch has been here since the Meiji period and still produces milk which is delivered locally.  This milk is also used to make soft serve or "soft creme" which is sold in their shop.  It's a great place to stop after a summer's day of riding!

 Hannya-ji temple located directly across the street


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