Uji (宇治市, Uji-shi) is a city on the southern outskirts of the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Founded on March 1, 1951, Uji is between the two ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. The city sits on the Uji River, which has its source in Lake Biwa. Most visitors are attracted to Uji for its centuries-old historic sites, which include many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Among the most famous are the Ujigami Shrine (built in 1060) and the Byōdō-in that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". The Byōdō-in, with its Amida (Phoenix) Hall built in 1053, is featured on the reverse side of the 10 yen coin. It was also featured on several Japanese postage stamps, a. o. of 1950, 1957 and 1959. Other religious sites include the Manpuku-ji, the head temple of the Ōbaku Zen sect, built in Chinese Ming style in 1661 and the Zen temple Kōshō-ji, with its Kotozaka entrance (framed with dense thickets of cherry, kerria, azalea, and maple trees, each of which dramatically changes colour with the seasons) constructed in 1648. Noteworthy is the Mimuroto-ji, which is famous for its purple hydrangeas. The city features numerous other small Shinto shrines. With a few exceptions, most of the important historical sites are in walking distance of one another and all are easily accessed by rail. The last ten chapters of the Japanese classic novel The Tale of Genji take place in Uji, and so there is The Tale of Genji Museum. Uji has many natural attractions, including its scenic riverside, large parks, and a botanical garden. Slightly upriver from Uji bridge, the Amagase Dam spans the river and day-trippers can walk to its base in about an hour. The route, which begins directly across from Keihan Uji Station, is along the river on a paved road and offers access to several grassy open spaces where people can rest and picnic. The city hosts two major festivals each year. The Agata Festival, held on June 5, begins in the early morning and runs until late at night. Like many cities in Japan, Uji hosts an hours-long fireworks festival on August 10. Both events draw huge crowds and require that the town's main thoroughfare to be shut down.
There is cormorant fishing in summer during the evening, from mid-June to late September.