Entries by Tom Bricker

Robot Restaurant Review & Discount Ticket Info

Robot Restaurant is a crazy show in Tokyo, Japan’s Shinjuku district with dancers, lasers, monsters, and more. In this review, we’ll share how to buy discount tickets, assess whether Robot Restaurant is worth the money, what you should expect, and photos from our experiences. (Last updated February 26, 2019.) If you want the short answer: YES! Robot Restaurant […]

2019 Universal Studios Japan Tips & Strategy Guide

In this guide to Universal Studios Japan, we’ll offer tips & tricks for visiting this very popular theme park in Osaka. Due to its location, size, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, USJ is a busy park. This strategy is essential for avoiding crowds at Universal Studios Japan…so you don’t wait in a 240-minute […]

Yosemite Firefall 2019 Photo Report

This year, I opted to visit Yosemite National Park during “Firefall Season” over Presidents’ Day Weekend. In this post, I’ll share my 2019 Horsetail Falls photos, plus commentary and tips for those planning on shooting the Firefall this year or in the future. Note that while this offers advice, it’s not comprehensive. For that, refer […]

Top 10 First-Time Tips for Kyoto, Japan

When planning trips and picturing the traditional side of Japan, Kyoto is what first-timers envision. It’s the quintessential cultural experience filled with temples, shrines, gardens, teahouses, geisha, quaint alleys, wooden homes, etc. While there’s so much more to Kyoto than all of this, it is the notion of Japan that you’ve seen or imagined. First-timers with […]

Tips for Surviving Crowds in Kyoto, Japan

No city has been as impacted by Japan’s rising tourism numbers as Kyoto. Crowds during cherry blossom and fall colors seasons can be oppressive, as can national holidays and school breaks. In this post, we’ll offer a sober appraisal of the congestion you might face in Kyoto, plus ways to survive and avoid the worst […]

Yosemite Firefall Photography & Viewing Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible for about 3 weeks each year in February. This post offers tips based upon my experiences, plus updates on the parking and viewing procedures for 2019, recent California weather patterns, and how both could effect the Firefall. (Last updated February 21, 2019.) First, […]

Kyoto on a Budget: Money-Saving Japan Tips

Visiting Japan is not cheap. Kyoto, in particular is known for ritzy restaurants, luxury hotels, and a level of personalized service via teahouses, ryokan, and geisha performances that are expensive. With that said, it is possible to do Kyoto on a tighter budget, and in this post we’ll cover money-saving tips for that. The easiest way to […]

Best Coffee Shops in Kyoto, Japan

Some of Japan’s best independent coffee shops and cafes can be found in Kyoto, which is one of the world’s hottest places for third wave coffee. While Kyoto is famous for its tea ceremonies and matcha, locals are actually more coffee-obsessed. This list features our favorite coffee shops in Kyoto, including a couple that are must-do […]

Where to Eat in Kyoto, Japan: Best Restaurants & Dining Guide

Kyoto, Japan has some of the world’s best restaurants, great teahouses, coffee shops, and more. This dining guide covers where to eat in Kyoto, listing the top spots for a variety of price points, from cheap ramen to high-rolling kaiseki multi-course dinners. This includes the best izakaya, tempura, soba, udon, ramen, katsu, unagi, sushi, and okonomiyaki […]

1-Day Brickers’ Perfect Kyoto Itinerary

The beginning of our 1-Day ‘Best of’ Kyoto, Japan Itinerary is basically just why you should not use it. In that diatribe, we promised this itinerary, a superior option that would offer fewer of the greatest hits, but better balance between popular and hidden-gem temples. We’re dubbing this alternative touring plan the Brickers’ 1-Day Perfect Kyoto, Japan Itinerary because […]