Voigtländer 10mm f/5.6 Hyper Wide Angle Lens Review

The Voigtländer 10mm f/5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E is a revolutionary lens, and as a member of the ultra wide angle “cult,” it was one of my motivations for jumping back into mirrorless photography with the Sony a7 III. This photography review weighs the strengths and weaknesses of the lens, with sample photos I’ve shot while […]

Keyhole Arch “Light Show” on Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

For a few weeks each year during the Winter Solstice, the sunset casts an ethereal glow through Keyhole Arch on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach that is absolutely breathtaking. This natural phenomenon doesn’t have fixed dates, but if you’re in Monterey, California in December or January, it’s a must-see. In this post, we’ll share tips for […]

Kyoto, Japan Fall Trip Report – Part 1

It’s almost the heart of fall colors season in Japan, which follows our recent two-week stay in Kyoto. In this trip report, we’ll share thoughts on our experiences, the crush of crowds, and various other perspectives on Kyoto. I’ll also scatter random (and not-so-random) photos throughout, as I took thousands of them and know I won’t […]

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 […]

Toji Temple Review & Tips

Toji Temple (東寺, Tōji) is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is located within walking distance of Kyoto Station. It’s famous for having the tallest pagoda in Japan, and that’s why most visitors are drawn to Toji. In this review, we’ll share info and our thoughts on visiting, including whether it’s worth the […]

Our Favorite Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

There’s no shortage of ‘Best Ramen in Tokyo, Japan’ lists on the internet. We thought we’d take a different approach in sharing our favorites. Instead of focusing solely on highly-acclaimed, Michelin-starred places far from tourist areas or easy to find chains, we thought we’d do both. Our rationale for this is pretty simple: meal time […]

Kobe Luminarie: Wow-Inducing Winter Illumination in Japan

Kobe Luminarie is one of the best winter light displays in Japan, a free event held December 7 – 16, 2018 in memory of the victims of 1995’s Great Hanshin Earthquake. We attended Kobe Luminarie and wow is about all I can say. In this post, we’ll offer some background about the event, plus photos and thoughts […]

5-Day Kyoto, Japan Itinerary

Our 5-day Kyoto itinerary is an efficient step-by-step Japan plan of attack for visiting temples, villas, shrines, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. In addition to the “best of” and hidden gems in Higashiyama, Arashiyama, and beyond, this Kyoto itinerary takes you away from the crowds in the mountains to the north and south of the […]

Shinnyodo Temple Info: Kyoto, Japan Tips

Shinnyodo is an under-the-radar and free temple in Kyoto, Japan (officially known as Shinsho Gokuraku-ji Temple). It makes both our Top 10 Fall Color Spots and 10 Best Hidden Gem Photography Spots lists for Kyoto, an impressive feat as usually the best autumn foliage locations are among the most popular temples and shrines in Japan. […]

Shimogamo & Kamigamo Shrine Info: Kyoto, Japan Tips

Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrine (or the Kamo Shrines) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto, Japan. In this post, we’ll share photos from the these ‘important’ (and free!) Shinto shrines and thoughts on whether they’re worth including in your itinerary. In terms of basic background and placement, Shimogamo Shrine, or the Lower Kamo Shrine, is located […]