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Golden Pavilion Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Posted on Apr 4, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  5 Comments

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji, 金閣寺) in Kyoto, Japan is a world-renowned temple named (and famous) for its pure gold leaf finishing. In this post we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of visiting the Golden Pavilion, share some photos from our experience there, and offer random thoughts and history on the pavilion. For starters, […]

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Fushimi Inari Shrine Photos & Tips

Posted on Mar 21, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  15 Comments

Fushimi Inari is a shrine in Kyoto, Japan with thousands of vermilion torii gates stretching as far as the eye can see. This post reviews, includes photos, and offers tips for visiting Fushimi Inari, sometimes known as the “Fox Shrine” in Kyoto. Foxes are so prominent at Fushimi Inari because Inari, the Shinto god of rice, […]

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Kyoto Monkey Park Photos, Tips & Review

Posted on Mar 18, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  14 Comments

Iwatayama Monkey Park is a gathering place of Japanese Macaque monkeys in Kyoto, Japan. This post features my photos from the park, plus tips for visiting this unique location, and a review of whether it’s worth the time and money. This monkey park in Kyoto is extremely cheap to visit (~$5), so whether it’s worth it […]

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Kiyomizudera Temple Photos & Tips

Posted on Mar 5, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  12 Comments

Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto is one of the most popular temples in Japan. This post features my photos from the Temple, plus tips and other assorted info about it. This Temple is another of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and ranks as probably my second favorite site in Kyoto after Fushimi Inari Shrine. It was […]

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Himeji Castle Review & Tips

Posted on Feb 26, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  2 Comments

One of my all-time favorite experiences in Japan was our visit to Himeji Castle during cherry blossom season. In this post, we’ll detail our experience making a day-trip from Osaka to Himeji, as well as review the castle relative to other comparable places in Japan (including whether it’s worth your time if you have to […]

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Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Posted on Feb 23, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Hotels  •  12 Comments

Choosing the right hotel, ryokan, or other place to stay in Kyoto is important—not from the perspective of having a comfortable bed and the most high-tech toilet (although having the right temperature of heated seat is important), but primarily due to location. No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you will not have enough […]

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Nanzen-ji Temple Tips & Review

Posted on Feb 20, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  2 Comments

This post offers my review of Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, along with tips and photos from our visits to this popular spot. I was tempted to dub Nanzenji “underrated” or a “hidden gem” in the title, but neither are entirely apt since it is one pretty well-renowned. Still, I don’t hear it mentioned in the same […]

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Eikandō Zenrinji Temple Review & Tips

Posted on Feb 15, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  2 Comments

Eikandō Zenrin-ji is a sprawling Buddhist temple located at the base of the northern edge of the Higashiyama mountain range in Kyoto, Japan. This post offers our thoughts on whether Eikando is worth a visit, and if so, how to incorporate it into your tour of Kyoto. Along the way, we also offer photos of Eikandō […]

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Hanami Party at Himeji Castle!

Posted on Feb 3, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  22 Comments

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you combined a frat party and a beloved world heritage site? I’m guessing no, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast at Himeji Castle’s cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) held each year during sakura season. In this post, we’ll offer some hanami at […]

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1-Day Kyoto Cherry Blossom Walking Itinerary

Posted on Jan 22, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Itineraries & Tours  •  8 Comments

During sakura season, Kyoto is bursting with cherry blossoms in full bloom, and wherever you go, you’re going to see them. However, there are a few points of interest, including free walks and nighttime illuminations, that we strongly recommend seeing during a day in Kyoto. In fact, on our trip to Japan during cherry blossom […]

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