Tips & Tricks

Tips & tricks for traveling, from choosing the right gear to the best ways to save money on vacations, and more.

November 2019 in Kyoto, Japan

November features Kyoto’s peak fall colors, plus a full calendar of special events, nighttime illuminations, and a few festivals at temples and shrines. Despite the heavy crowds, it’s an excellent month to visit Japan, and you’ll have too many choices for seasonal things to do during a November trip to Kyoto. In this post, we’ll offer a […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan

When to visit Kyoto to avoid crowds, experience the best seasons, and enjoy the top festivals is a common question for first-timers to Japan. There is no single worst or best time to visit, and when you should travel to Kyoto depends in large part on your priorities. In this guide, we’ll narrow down your […]

Top 100 Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, Japan

With over 1,600 temples and shrines, Kyoto is unquestionably the spiritual capital of Japan. This list of Kyoto’s 100 best temples and shrines is narrowed down from the 200+ that we’ve visited during our months in the city. From Kiyomizudera to Golden Pavilion to Fushimi Inari, Kyoto is home to some of the best places […]

Tips for Christmas at Universal Studios Japan

“Wonder Christmas” is a holiday event at Universal Studios Japan celebrating the holiday season, running from November 9, 2018 until January 6, 2019. The festivities at Universal’s Osaka park include a nighttime show, one of the most spectacular Christmas trees in the world, and plenty of holiday treats. In this post, we’ll share tips for Universal’s […]

Best Japan Railway & Train Museum Rankings

Japan has a lot of museums devoted to railways and transportation, and we’ve visited the best of these near Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto. During our two-month stay in Japan last year (documented in our Brickers’ Fall & Winter Japan Trip Report), we used the trains countless times and took several Shinkansen rides courtesy of our […]

Tips & Things to Do in Fall at Mount Fuji

If you want to see Japan’s famous fall colors, the Fuji Five Lakes region is an excellent destination. Here, you’ll not only get some of the best autumn foliage from late October through early December, but you’ll also have photogenic scenes with vibrant momiji in the foreground and Mount Fuji in the background. In this […]

Our Eiffel Tower Visit: Tips & Mistakes

If you’re visiting Paris, France and plan to go up into the Eiffel Tower, we have tips for saving time and money. In this post, we’ll share our experience so you can learn from our mistakes, plus photos of the views from the Eiffel Tower at sunset and night, and other helpful planning advice. We’ve […]

Grutto Pass: Save Big Money on Tokyo Museums

During our summer trip to Japan, we encountered record heat and humidity that made going outside nearly unbearable. Wanting to escape this oppressively hot weather, we purchased the Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass and focused our energy on museums. In this post, we’ll share thoughts on the Grutto Pass, whether it’s worth the money, and to whom […]

Guide to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Hiking, Wildflowers & Dinosaurs!

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the perfect road trip in Southern California if you’re visiting San Diego or Orange County. In this post, we’ll offer tips for visiting, including some of the best locations to visit, what to see, and what to expect from the trip. The first thing we should mention is that although Anza-Borrego […]

Transportation Tips for Getting Around Kyoto

Kyoto is incredibly easy to explore by public transport (trains, subways, buses and taxis) or under your own steam (by bicycle or walking). This is a guide to getting around Kyoto, with information on the best way to get to each part of the city. It covers things like our favorite railway lines in the […]