Uji is one of the oldest cities in Japan, located on the southern outskirts of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Founded on March 1, 1951, Uji is located between the two ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. The city sits on the Uji River, which has its source in Lake Biwa. Uji has an estimated population of 200,000. The city has also been celebrated for its tea for almost a thousand years. During cherry blossom season, the bridge that spans the Uji river makes for a breathtaking walk. An annual Tea Festival takes place on the first Sunday of October. As befits a city built on tea, Uji takes its water seriously. This festival celebrates the rituals involved in drawing up the famous water. Costumes are worn, prayers of thanks are said to the luminaries of tea history, tea-tasting competitions are held, and best of all, there’s free tea on offer.