Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast for 2024 & Kyoto Sakura Season Viewing Guide

This guide to sakura season in Japan and cherry blossom flowering forecast for 2024 covers our favorite spots, best temples & shrines in Kyoto, tips & tricks for avoiding crowds. We also take a deeper dive into the topic, highlighting hidden gems where you’ll find fewer people and no busloads of tour groups. (Updated March […]

Best Cherry Blossom Nighttime Illuminations in Kyoto

Evening illuminations during sakura season are popular at temples, castles, and gardens in Kyoto, Japan. This list shares the best nighttime cherry blossom spots throughout the city, with 2024 dates & details, plus our recommended 1-night itinerary if you only have a single night to see all of the special lights. We’ve experienced sakura season […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

This guide covers where to stay in Kyoto, with recommendations for the best area of the city. We also weigh pros & cons of various styles of accommodations: Japanese lodging (machiya & ryokan), luxurious or budget-friendly hotel rooms, top Airbnbs, and more. (Updated March 14, 2024.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you […]

Griffith Observatory Review & Guide

Griffith Observatory is a planetarium & astronomy museum, one of the best free things to do in Los Angeles, California. It’s also great for hikes with excellent panoramic views of the Hollywood Sign, Downtown L.A., and Pacific Ocean on clear days. This offers a review, photos, tips for visiting and everything you need to know. […]

Keyhole Arch ‘Light Show’ on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach

A few weeks each winter, a natural phenomenon lines up sunset through Keyhole Arch on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach. If you’re in Monterey, California in the winter, it’s a must-see. This post shares peak dates, photos, and tips for experiencing this ethereal “Light Show.” (Updated March 14, 2024.) The light comes through the Keyhole Arch […]

Hirano Shrine: Kyoto’s Sakura Season Party Scene

During spring sakura season, Hirano Shrine is one of the top spots in Kyoto cherry blossoms. Its nighttime illuminations and parties are among the best events in all of Japan. This post offers hanami at Hirano tips and our thoughts on the Oukasai Cherry Blossom Festival. (Updated March 14, 2024.) As we shared in updates […]

Cherry Blossom Night Lighting at Kiyomizudera Temple

For sakura season, Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan has special night illumination. We’ve visited during the night lighting for cherry blossom season many times, and share some of our experiences, photos and tips we’ve learned during the visit. (Updated March 14, 2024.) During the 2024 cherry blossom season, Kiyomizudera Temple is open for nighttime illumination […]

TeamLab Review: Tokyo Top Pick or Tourist Trap?

TeamLab Planets and Borderless are interactive digital art museums in Tokyo Japan that offer galleries of immersive and Instagrammable surreal installations. This review explains what that actually means, shares photos from inside the exhibits and covers whether it’s worth the time, money & effort to visit, plus tips for buying tickets. teamLab offers a number of temporary exhibitions […]

Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide for Universal Studios Japan

Our Universal Studios Japan restaurant reviews feature food photos from dining spots throughout the park, menu photos, and tips for what to order while at this theme park in Osaka, now including Super Nintendo World. From cute snacks to hearty meals, and Mario to Harry Potter to Hello Kitty, we’ve got you covered! (Updated March […]

Tips for Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium & Games

Dodger Stadium is a perfect setting for a Major League Baseball game, and an excellent way to spend an afternoon or evening in Los Angeles. In this guide, we’ll cover which seats to choose, what to eat, how to get there from Downtown LA and elsewhere in Southern California. (Updated March 11, 2024.) The Los […]