Things to Do

Points of interest and things to do when you travel. Includes photos, tips and tricks for making the most of each location so you know how much time to spend there and more!

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 […]

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, […]

Komyoin Temple Tips: Kyoto, Japan Info

Kōmyō-in is a sub-temple of Tofuku-ji located near Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. It’s a hidden gem best known for its traditional Chinese dry landscape garden. In this post, we’ll share further thoughts, tips, photos, and anecdotes from Komyoin Temple. While Komyoin ranks as #30 on our list of the Top 100 Temples & Shrines […]

Kurama-dera Temple Info, Tips & Review

Kurama-dera (鞍馬寺) is a mountain temple in Northern Kyoto that is one of the most beautiful places in Japan. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Mount Kurama, info & tips for visiting Kurama-dera, and thoughts on my experience of hiking from the village of Kurama up the mountain and over to Kibune. […]

Review: Is Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo, Japan Worth It?

Sumida Hokusai Museum is an art museum in Tokyo, Japan dedicated to the internationally-famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, commonly referred to as Hokusai. In this review, we’ll take a photo tour of the exhibits, review whether the Hokusai Museum is worth your time, and offer tips & basic info for visiting. Katsushika Hokusai is […]

Best Free Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan is home to thousands of shrines and temples–literally. Most cost around 500 yen, but some are free to enter. In this post, we rank the best options that don’t charge an admission fee and recommend which to include in your itinerary. While spending around $3 to $5 per temple may not sound like […]

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral Paris: Photos & Info

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris is one of the most popular tourist spots in France, drawing millions visitors every year. In this post we’ll share photos of the architecture inside, outside, and above Our Lady of Paris’s bell towers, along with some tips for visiting Notre Dame de Paris and avoiding crowds. (Last updated April 18, […]

Yoshida Shrine & Hill Info: Kyoto, Japan Tips

Yoshida Shrine is one of several temples and other places on a hill overlooking Kyoto University. This cluster includes some of our favorite hidden gem temples in Japan: Kurodani Temple, Shinnyodo Temple, and Yoshida Shrine along with its array of sub-shrines. In this post, we’ll share further thoughts, tips, photos, and anecdotes from Yoshida Hill […]

Kyoto Monkey Park Iwatayama Photos, Tips & Review

Iwatayama Monkey Park is the home of Japanese Macaque in the Arashiyama Mountains of Kyoto, Japan. This post features my photos from several visits to the park, info & tips for visiting this wild monkey gathering place, and a review of whether it’s worth the time and money. Monkey Park Iwatayama is located on Mount Arashiyama, […]

Walking Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, Japan

This post offers tips for one of our favorite (and free!) experiences in Kyoto, Japan: Path of Philosophers. This iconic walk is not just an enjoyable journey, but it also connects Golden Pavilion to Nanzenji Temple, making it something that we include in almost all of our 1-Day to 1-Week Itineraries for Kyoto, Japan. Unlike […]