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Overview of Uji City

[April 1, 2010]

Uji was historically developed as the center of transportation with main streets to connect Kyoto, Nara, and the eastern provinces and the Uji Bridge over the fast-flowing Uji River.

The Fujiwara clan built personal villas in this area with an emergence of regency government in the Heian Era, and we can still see the whole picture of Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-in, one of the remaining architecture which represents the Fujiwara Era.

The tea industry was important for Uji since the Muromachi Era, and flourished with the reputation of Uji tea. The local governor also controlled teas during the Edo Era, and tea was presented to the shogunate by the teapot procession ("Chatsubo Dochu"), marching to Edo. They say villagers lined the street to welcome and see it off as the daimyo's procession.

After Kyoto prefecture was placed in the first year of Meiji and several changes of the jurisdiction, Uji city was municipalized on March 1, 1951 with a population of 38,000.

Uji city has been steadily growing as a commuter suburb in the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe region since the 1960s with a rush of residential development and a remarkable population increase. The population exceeded 150,000 in August 1979, and 190,000 in September 1998. It is expected to grow furthermore as the core city of Minamiyamashiro.

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