Entries by Tom Bricker

Tips for Christmas at Universal Studios Japan

“Crystal Christmas” is a holiday event at Universal Studios Japan celebrating the holiday season, running from November 14, 2019 until January 13, 2020. The holiday festivities at USJ’s Osaka park include a nighttime show, one of the most spectacular Christmas trees in the world, and lots of treats. In this post, we’ll share tips for Universal’s […]

Best Ramen in Kyoto, Japan – Part 2

Our Best Ramen Restaurants in Kyoto, Japan post is a great roundup of the city’s top ramen shops. However, the list “only” has 8 entries. What happens if you want to eat 9 bowls of ramen?!?! You’d be left high and dry! As huge ramen heads ourselves, we’d definitely eat more than 8 bowls of […]

Ultimate 2019-2020 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 2019-2020 Kyoto, Japan guide offers planning tips & tricks, hotel recommendations, best temples & shrines, transportation hacks, where to eat, crowd info, and more. Before we get to the basics, we’ll share updates and why we love Kyoto so much. (Updated November 6, 2019.) If you’re already in Kyoto and are scrambling to figure out […]

Gion in Kyoto: Geisha, Dining & Shopping Tips

Gion is Kyoto, Japan’s famous geisha district, located between Yasaka Shrine and the Kamo River. This guide offers info & tips for visiting, dining & dessert recommendations, including Gion in a Higashiyama itinerary, and how to spot geisha. (Updated November 7, 2019.) Although Gion is a fairly small district, it packs a powerful punch. The […]

Shopping Guide to Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway is a shopping complex in Tokyo, Japan famous for its many stores selling Disney collectibles, used anime, video games, toys, books, souvenirs, antiques, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. In this shopping guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before heading to Nakano Broadway. We first visited Nakano Broadway several […]

Paris, France City Guide

This Paris travel guide will offer tips for making the most of your vacation to the City of Lights, including things to do in Paris, transportation suggestions, where to eat, hotel options, and more. Paris is a world capital of culture: everything from art to food to fashion to architecture, and much more, Paris does exceedingly […]

Cool Coke & Peculiar Pepsi in Japan

I am obsessed with bizarre vending machine drinks in Japan. I’m also a huge fan of novelty Coca-Cola and Pepsi packaging. Put those two things together, and it’s a recipe for me to do some serious “soda stalking” as we travel around Tokyo and Kyoto on a veritable tour of 7-11 and Lawson stores. In […]

1-Day Kurama, Kibune & Kyoto, Japan Itinerary

Want to escape the crowds of central Kyoto? This 1-day Kurama, Kibune, and Northern Kyoto itinerary is a great option for weekends, peak season, fall colors season, hot summer days, during festivals or special events…or really any random day. It includes some of our absolute favorite temples & shrines in Japan, including a couple you’re […]

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Review

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is an oceanfront 5-star luxury hotel perched on a seaside bluff located along Pacific Coast Highway between Dana Point and Laguna Beach, and 60 miles south of Los Angeles, California. In this resort review, we’ll share room photos, thoughts on our stay here, how the Ritz compares to nearby properties, and […]