Entries by Tom Bricker

When Will Japan Reopen in 2021?

When will Japan lift its travel ban and reopen for international tourists? We closely monitor foreign visitor advisories, news, plans for Tokyo’s Summer Olympics, states of emergency, vaccine passports, and inoculation progress. (Updated July 23, 2021.) The troubled Tokyo Olympics are officially underway, but begin under a cloud of surging cases, slowing vaccinations, adamant opposition […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Choosing the best hotel, ryokan, or other accommodations when visiting Japan is important. This guide covers where to stay in Kyoto, with recommendations regarding the perfect location, luxurious rooms, Japanese lodging (machiya & ryokan), top Airbnbs, and more. (Updated July 14, 2021.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you won’t have enough time. […]

2021-2022 Grand Cayman Island Planning Guide

The Cayman Islands are the Caribbean’s most picturesque place, popular with travelers and cruise-goers. This vacation planning guide offers tips for visiting Grand Cayman, best & worst things to do, where to eat, hotel & resort recommendations, beach photos, and more. (Updated July 10, 2021.) Before we get started, let’s discuss the phased reopening plan […]

%ARABICA – Kyoto, Japan’s Most Popular Coffee Shop

%ARABICA is the most popular coffee shop in Kyoto, which is the heart of Japan’s third wave coffee scene. The iconic % coffee cups are now ubiquitous in Arashiyama and Higashiyama, where %ΔRΔBICΔ was founded–and is now incredibly busy and beloved. This post reviews %ARABICA, shares photos from the cafes, and discusses worth your time, […]

Studio Ghibli Museum Review & Tips

Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan is a tribute to anime films, and the technical & creative process of animation. This review covers whether it’s worth the time, money & effort to visit, plus tips for buying tickets. This is one of the best things to do in Tokyo, regardless of whether you love My […]

Griffith Observatory Review & Tips

Griffith Observatory is a planetarium & astronomy museum, and great free thing to do in Los Angeles, California. It’s also great for hikes with excellent panoramic views of the Hollywood Sign, Downtown L.A., and Pacific Ocean on clear days. This offers a review, photos, and tips for visiting Griffith Park, which is one of the […]