Fall Colors in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is not one of the “big name” US National Parks, but it certainly does have some beautiful fall colors. I spent a weekend in Cuyahoa Valley National Parks during the tail end of the autumn foliage and did some hiking out to see its waterfalls and do as much […]

Hirano Shrine: Kyoto’s Sakura 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. In this post, we’ll offer hanami at Hirano tips and our thoughts on the Oukasai (Cherry Blossom Festival). As we shared in updates to our 2020 Kyoto […]

1-Day Monaco Itinerary

If you’re visiting the French Riviera, we highly recommend spending one day in Monaco. This itinerary covers our step-by-step plan of attack for seeing Monte Carlo Casino and other top spots in the world’s second-smallest country–as well as the most expensive and the wealthiest. For starters, some quick background for those who are only familiar […]

2020 Kyoto Cherry Blossom Guide & Sakura Season Viewing Tips

This guide to sakura season in Kyoto, Japan covers our favorite cherry blossom spots, best temples & shrines, tips & tricks for avoiding crowds, plus a 2020 cherry blossom forecast. 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 February […]

Kawadoko River Dining in Kibune, Japan: A Fun Escape from Kyoto’s Crowds

Kibune is a mountain town located a short train ride north of Kyoto, and is a great place for escaping the city’s summer heat, humidity, and peak season crowds. In this post, we’ll offer dining recommendations for kawadoko, which are patios built over the river by restaurants in this rural village. This is something of […]

Ultimate 2020 Los Angeles City Guide

Our 2020 Los Angeles visitor’s guide offers tips to plan a vacation, including best things to do, best places to eat in L.A., hotel suggestions, and how to navigate Southern California. LA is one of our favorite cities in the world, and we’ll provide you insider tips to experience both the touristy highlights and hidden […]

2020 Yosemite Firefall Best Dates & Viewing Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible for ~3 weeks in February 2020. This post offers tips based upon my experiences, best dates & viewing locations, new parking restrictions, California weather, and more that could impact Firefall. (Updated January 28, 2020.) First, you can read about my experience last year in […]

Ultimate Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Tokyo 2020 is only months away! Japan’s capital city hosts the Summer Olympics July 24 to August 9, and our Tokyo travel guide offers info & tips, things to do, transportation info, where to eat, best hotels, avoiding crowds, itineraries for the city, and everything else you need to know. Whether you’re visiting for the Olympics or […]

Japan Itineraries for Kyoto, Tokyo, and Beyond

Our 2020 Japan itineraries provide 1-day plans and step-by-step itinerary, strategy, and walking tours of Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Miyajima Island, Kyoto, Uji, and more. These itineraries offer tips & info for temples to visit, where to eat, transportation, and efficiently seeing the highlights. (Updated January 7, 2020.) None of our Japan itineraries require use […]

What’s New in Kyoto, Japan – Part 2

We pick up from Part 1 of our What’s New in Kyoto, Japan post with more on temple construction, soda updates (including new Coke and Pepsi flavors), cool summer fun in northern Kyoto, and more. We’ll also share some ‘just for fun’ photos from this visit to Kyoto. But first, we encountered a family of […]