Japan

When Will Japan Reopen to Tourists?

When will Japan lift its travel ban and reopen for international tourists? Will borders open in 2022? These are two common questions among those planning trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and beyond. We monitor foreign visitor advisories, news, states of emergency, vaccine passports, and inoculation progress for answers. (Updated November 29, 2021.) New infections have […]

10 Hidden Gem Kyoto Photography Spots

One of the dirty secrets of Kyoto photography is that the reality of what you’ll end up shooting is rarely the serene, uncrowded temples and peaceful landscapes you see in marketing photos. To the contrary, most images of Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizudera, Yasaka, and other locations are taken incredibly early in the morning […]

2022 Universal Studios Japan Guide & Tips

This 2022 guide to Universal Studios Japan offers tips & tricks for visiting Osaka’s popular theme park, which is home to Super Nintendo World, Harry Potter, Jaws, and more! This includes USJ strategy & info about where to eat, what to do, how to avoid crowds, minimize wait times, and more! (Updated October 5, 2021.) Universal […]

2022 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. 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 October 5, 2021.) This guide assumes multiple […]

Guide to Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Sensoji Temple is one of the most popular free things to do in Tokyo, Japan. Due to it being one of the city’s most iconic and significant sites, Senso-ji can be very crowded. This info guide provides tips & tricks for visiting, a unique aerial view, and photos of Asakusa Kannon Temple. (Updated August 9, 2021.) If […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Choosing the best hotel, ryokan, or other accommodations when visiting Japan is important. This guide covers where to stay in Kyoto, with recommendations regarding the perfect location, luxurious rooms, Japanese lodging (machiya & ryokan), top Airbnbs, and more. (Updated July 14, 2021.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you won’t have enough time. […]

October 2021 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

October 2021 is the start of fall in Kyoto, Japan. The leaves begin to change color, the weather improves, and big festivals celebrate the season. October is a great month to visit to enjoy lower crowds and a good calendar of special events & night illuminations, with lots of things to do in the city […]

%ARABICA – Kyoto, Japan’s Most Popular Coffee Shop

%ARABICA is the most popular coffee shop in Kyoto, which is the heart of Japan’s third wave coffee scene. The iconic % coffee cups are now ubiquitous in Arashiyama and Higashiyama, where %ΔRΔBICΔ was founded–and is now incredibly busy and beloved. This post reviews %ARABICA, shares photos from the cafes, and discusses worth your time, […]

Studio Ghibli Museum Review & Tips

Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan is a tribute to anime films, and the technical & creative process of animation. This review covers whether it’s worth the time, money & effort to visit, plus tips for buying tickets. This is one of the best things to do in Tokyo, regardless of whether you love My […]

Devious Deer of Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan is an excellent place to visit, and a big part of this is the wild deer that roam the city. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “gee, I really want to go to a park where I can interact with and feed over one thousand deer” then it’s time to book your trip […]