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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  •  9 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: Another Gem in Kyoto

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  •  7 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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Cherry Blossom Night Lighting at Kiyomizudera Temple

Posted on Jan 17, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  6 Comments

For sakura and fall colors seasons, Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan has special night illumination. We visited during the lighting for cherry blossom season, and thought we’d share some of our experience and tips we learned during that visit. Prior to this, we had previously ben to Kiyomizu-dera Temple in October, and we missed the fall […]

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Walking the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, Japan

Posted on Jan 15, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  7 Comments

This post offers tips for one of our absolute favorite (and free!) experiences in Kyoto: the Philosopher’s Walk. Unlike other points of interest in Japan, this one doesn’t feature a centuries-old cultural or spiritual icon. It is not a UNESCO World Site and it isn’t even marked with a clear entrance. It’s literally a path, but […]

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Silver Pavilion Review, Tips & Info

Posted on Mar 26, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  5 Comments

This post offers tips for visiting the Silver Pavilion, which is one of Kyoto’s most popular zen temples and gardens located at the edge of the Higashiyama mountains. It’s actual name is Ginkakuji, but the temple is known colloquially as the Silver Pavilion (…or Ginkaku-ji or 銀閣寺…I’m just going to refer to it as the […]

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Kiyomizudera Temple Photos & Tips

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 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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