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Kyoto Hidden Gem: Explore Beautiful Tea Fields In Wazuka

Vibrantly green tea fields in Wazuka

Green fields roll over the hillsides as a mower hums in the distance. You bicycle in the middle of the road through vibrant, organized rows of tea leaves.


Wazuka is where modern farming meets Japanese tradition meets nature.


Contrary to popular belief, Japan’s famed Uji tea isn’t produced in the city of Uji. Instead, it’s mostly grown in the rolling hills of Wazuka, a small agricultural town outside of Kyoto city. Compared to Kyoto’s most popular attractions with throngs of crowds, Wazuka feels free. Free from overtourism, free from noise, free from everyday stresses.


Article Contents


Travel Logistics

Tea fields in Wazuka, Japan

The easiest way to access Wazuka is by car. From Kyoto, driving to Wazuka takes just under an hour.


Using public transportation, it takes about 2 hours to reach Wazuka. From Kyoto Station, take the train south to Kamo Station (transfer at either Narayama Station or Kizu Station depending on departure time). From Kamo Station, either take a taxi or bus 65 to Wazukayamanoie Bus Stop. The train to Kamo Station and the bus run infrequently, so check the time table before leaving.


Taking public transportation to Wazuka is possible, but candidly it is not the simplest route. We generally recommend against it if you are traveling with small children or are uncomfortable traveling in remote areas where you may possibly be delayed.


When To Visit

A road between two tea fields

Wazuka is beautiful any time of year. Most tea farms raise several crops annually, so at any given time you will see rows of tea plants ranging from golden to vibrantly green in color.

There is little to no shade between the tea fields, so especially if you visit between the late spring and early autumn, wear a hat and sunscreen. Temperatures during the summer can be uncomfortably and even dangerously hot, particularly in direct sunlight.


Activities

Cycling

Bicycle in front of tea fields

Cycling along the small, quiet roads between the rolling tea fields is nothing short of magical.


From a practical perspective, if you don’t have a car, cycling is the only way to feasibly see the expanses of tea plantations spread across Wazuka. Even if you do have a car, street parking is prohibited and you aren’t allowed to drive between the tea farms. You can walk, but for the sake of convenience, explore the area by bicycle. Either on foot or by bicycle, you can fully experience the quiet beauty of the countryside.


A road winding past tea fields in Wazuka, Japan

You can rent electric-assisted bicycles from Wazuka Tea Cafe (📍Japan, 〒619-1222 Kyoto, Soraku District, Wazuka, Shirasu, Ohazama−35) or the Wazuka Tourist Information Center (📍Japan, 〒619-1212 Kyoto, Soraku District, Wazuka, Kamatsuka, 小字生水16−1). Bike rentals cost around ¥1,000 per day.


Each location only has a handful of bicycles available, so if you visit on a weekend arrive near when they open (10AM) to ensure you can rent one.


View of Wazuka from the hillside

Roadside view from Ishitera


The most beautiful area in Wazuka to cycle is on the small roads between the Ishitera tea fields. It takes roughly 15 minutes to bicycle from Wazuka Tea Cafe to the Ishitera area, but the views are so spectacular that you’ll likely want to pedal slowly and make many stops along the way.


Wazuka Tea Cafe

Rows of tea plants

The interior of Wazuka Tea Cafe (left) and nearby tea fields (right)


Wazuka Tea Cafe (📍Japan, 〒619-1222 Kyoto, Soraku District, Wazuka, Shirasu, Ohazama−35) is a wonderful shop full of locally picked teas. The cafe also serves phenomenal tea-flavored ice cream (the matcha one was the best matcha ice cream I have ever had) and beverages.


Since you can rent bicycles from Wazuka Tea Cafe, I recommend using it as the start and end point of your visit to Wazuka (the bus back to Kamo Station has a stop just a 5 minute walk from the cafe).


dan dan cafe

The exterior of dan dan cafe in Wazuka, Japan

Lunch from dan dan cafe in Wazuka, Japan

Lunch from dan dan cafe with a breathtaking view of hillside tea fields


dan dan cafe (📍Japan, 〒619-1221 Kyoto, Soraku District, Wazuka, Ishitera, 東谷1-1) is a must-visit during your trip to Wazuka. For lunch, ice cream, or tea, this cafe offers an idyllic view overlooking rolling tea fields. Arrive early (before 11:30AM for lunch) or call ahead for a reservation if you’d like to sit at a table directly overlooking the view.


Tour Of Tea Farm

Rows of green tea plants

If you’d like, you can book a tour of a tea far during your visit to Wazuka. The two main options are:

  1. d:matcha (¥17,500; 4 hours)

  2. Obubu Tea Farms (¥14,000; 4 hours)

Rows of tea plants in a tea field

During the tea farm tours, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the different varieties of tea, farming techniques, and even get to taste and pick tea yourself.


You can absolutely enjoy the scenic area and sample local teas without booking a tour, but the tour will allow you to actually enter tea fields and receive formal information from farmers.


Responsible Travel Tips


Wazuka is a gorgeous countryside town, but ultimately it is a working agricultural area. Locals live and make their livelihoods among the tea fields. Keep these responsible travel tips in mind when visiting:

  1. Tea fields are private property. Do not trespass on private roads or walk between the rows of tea plants.

  2. Do not photograph farmers without formal consent.

  3. Do not touch tea leaves or farming equipment.

  4. No littering.

  5. Be mindful of the volume of your voice if you are near residential buildings.

  6. Wave or say a friendly hello to locals if you see them.

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