Kyoto’s Hidden Gem Special Night Illumination

One of Kyoto, Japan’s best autumn illuminations is held at Konkaikomyo-ji or Kurodani Temple. This is near Heian Shrine, Shinnyodo, Honenin, Eikando, and other popular fall colors spots. We attended its special evening opening and share our photos and thoughts on the experience here. If you’re looking for a normal overview of the temple, daytime […]

Ultimate 2021 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 2021 Kyoto, Japan guide offers planning tips & tricks, hotel recommendations, best temples & shrines, transportation hacks, where to eat, crowd info, why we love the city, and more. Before we get to the basics, we’ll offer a brief note on travel to Kyoto later this year. (Updated November 12, 2020.) For obvious reasons, it’s […]

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 December or January, it’s a must-see. This post shares peak dates, photos, and tips for experiencing this ethereal “Light Show.” (Updated November 11, 2020.) As with so much, things are […]

2020 Japan Fall Colors Forecast & Autumn Foliage Viewing Guide

Our fall colors forecast for Japan offers peak viewing info & tips for popular autumn foliage spots, including Kyoto, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji, and Nara. We’ll also share strategy for visiting the best temples, shrines, and evening illuminations. (Updated November 11, 2020.) Autumn is one of the most stunning times of the year […]

2021 Universal Studios Japan Guide & Tips

This guide to Universal Studios Japan offers tips & tricks for visiting Osaka’s popular theme park, which is home to Wizarding World of Harry Potter and in 2021, Super Nintendo World! This includes USJ strategy & info about where to eat, what to do, how to avoid crowds, minimize wait times, and more! (Updated November 10, […]

1-Day “Best of” Los Angeles Itinerary

Have one day in Los Angeles and want to see the city’s highlights? This step-by-step guide is a jam-packed plan that includes the top 5 things to do in L.A., including free museums, beaches, and dining. It’s an ambitious Los Angeles 1-day itinerary, optimized to avoid driving & time stuck in Southern California traffic. (Updated […]

When Will Japan Reopen? (November Update)

A common question we’re receiving is when will Japan lift its travel ban and reopen for international tourists? As a planning site with strategy for visiting Kyoto, Tokyo, and beyond, we’re closely monitoring all advisories and the latest news. (Updated November 9, 2020.) As background, the Japanese central government declared a state of emergency after much […]

Fall Colors in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Cleveland and Akron, Ohio is not one of the “big name” US National Parks, but it features beautiful fall colors. This post shares the best spots for autumn foliage, leaf peeping, a fabulous fall hike to a waterfall, and the current operating status of CVNP. (Updated September 23, 2020.) Let’s […]

When Will Europe Reopen to American Tourists?

The European Union travel ban is still in place for the United States, as the USA was left off the list of countries whose tourists may visit with or without travel restrictions. As such, Americans still can’t vacation in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, etc. In this post, we’ll answer the question of when will Europe […]

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Looking for the best things to do in Acadia National Park or tips & tricks for visiting Bar Harbor, Maine? Here are our top 10 recommendations including scenic drives, hiking trails, and breathtaking views. We also share photos & thoughts from our experiences in Acadia National Park. (Updated September 16, 2020.) Before we get going, […]