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Should You Buy the Japan Rail Pass?

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Tips  •  10 Comments

This post offers details about the Japan Rail Pass, including whether it’ll be worth buying for your trip, and answers to frequently asked questions about its use. For starters, the JR Pass for foreigner visitors is a cost-effective “all inclusive” pass on the JR rail lines available for purchase outside of Japan. It allows visitors […]

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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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Robot Restaurant Redux

Posted on Feb 22, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  7 Comments

A lot has changed in the 3 years since we first visited the Robot Restaurant. The same week we originally reviewed the Robot Restaurant, Anthony Bourdain profiled it on Parts Unknown. It thereafter received a flurry of media coverage (what can we say–people love dancing robots!) and has even since been featured in commercials for Expedia and a […]

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Sacré-Cœur Basilica Review & Tips

Posted on Feb 21, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  7 Comments

Sacré-Cœur Basilica or “Sacred Heart” is a Roman Catholic church perched atop Montmartre that offers sweeping views of Paris. While Sacré-Cœur is downright modern as compared to Notre Dame de Paris, this is exactly what we had in mind when recommending an alternate destination for a more ‘spiritual’ experience in our post about Notre Dame being […]

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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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Move Over Mountains, Cows Are the Real Reason to Visit Switzerland

Posted on Feb 19, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  8 Comments

The title seems silly, doesn’t it? The landscape of the Swiss Alps is some of the world’s most jaw-dropping, and yet a bigger selling point of Switzerland is…cows? Animals that are seemingly the sole inhabitants of miles (and miles…and miles…) of the most boring interstates in America? Perhaps cows are a novelty if you’re a […]

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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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The Peyto Lake Snow Chase

Posted on Feb 6, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  19 Comments

Our drive on the Icefields Parkway from Jasper National Park back down to Banff National Park seemed interminably long. That was before the scattered snow showers lifted, revealing an absolutely stunning landscape. We stopped a couple of times for quick roadside photos (like the above), but were otherwise on a tight schedule trying to get back down […]

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