Entries by Tom Bricker

Ultimate 2019 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 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 of planning, we’ll share some updates, and why we love Kyoto so much. (Last updated July 21, 2019.) If you’re already in Kyoto and are scrambling […]

Kiyomizudera Temple Photos & Tips

Kiyomizudera is one of the most popular temples in Japan. Also known as the “Pure Water Temple,” it’s a Kyoto highlight, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and unequivocal must-do. This post features my photos from the temple, plus tips for avoiding crowds, and other assorted info about it. (Last updated July 27, 2019.) Perched in a […]

Park Hyatt Kyoto Photos & Preview

Hyatt is months away from opening its third flagship hotel in Japan with Park Hyatt Kyoto, which is slated to debut on December 1, 2019. We have the latest construction photos of this nearly-completed resort and commentary about Park Hyatt Kyoto, which promises to be a great use of points. As regular visitors to Japan […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

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. (Last updated July 16, 2019.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, […]

1-Day Pasadena, California Itinerary

Our 1-day Pasadena, California itinerary covers the most popular things to do in the City of Roses. It provides an efficient yet leisurely walking tour through Pasadena’s Old Town, past its most iconic homes and buildings. In so doing, we’ll take you to the highlights of Pasadena, including gardens, museums, and architecture, all in (under) […]

A Tribute to Tanuki: Japan’s Magical Scrotumonster

We love Tanuki, Japan’s magical scrotumonster. Or more accurately, scrotum-monster. If you’re unfamiliar with Tanuki, the Japanese raccoon dog, perhaps you thought these ubiquitous character statues are just a weird thing we are into. Although in fairness, if you are familiar with Tanuki, there’s an even greater chance you thought it was a weird thing we’re into. For the […]

1-Day Western Tokyo, Japan Itinerary: Shinjuku, Harajuku & Shibuya

Have one day to spend in Tokyo and want to see the ultra modern skyscrapers and shopping areas of Japan’s busy capital? This 1-day itinerary offers an efficient step-by-step touring plan for visiting Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, and Roppongi. Along the way, we’ll cover architecture, museums, parks, and even a couple of historic sites. For most visitors […]

Hidden Gem Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, Japan

Despite having 2,000 temples & shrines, most tourists to Kyoto, Japan visit the same dozen or so big name points of interest and high-profile UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In theory, this leaves about 1,980 hidden gems you can visit to avoid the crowds. However, as we discuss in our Top 100 Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, […]