Japan

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times in 2021 & 2022

When to visit Kyoto to avoid crowds, experience seasonal beauty, and enjoy the top festivals is important for first-timers to Japan. There will be no single worst or best time in 2021 or 2022 to visit, and when you should travel to Kyoto depends in large part on your priorities. (Updated March 26, 2021.) For […]

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 March 26, 2021.) This guide assumes multiple […]

Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan: Review & Info

Robot Restaurant is a crazy show in Tokyo, Japan’s Shinjuku district with dancers, lasers, monsters, and more. In this review, we’ll share how to buy discount tickets, assess whether Robot Restaurant is worth the money, what you should expect, and photos from our experiences. (Updated March 26, 2021.) Robot Restaurant has now been temporarily closed for over […]

November 2021 in Kyoto, Japan

November 2021 will bring Kyoto’s peak fall colors, cool temperatures & great weather, a full calendar of special events & night illuminations, and festivals at temples & shrines. Despite heavy crowds, it’s an excellent month to visit Japan, and you’ll have too many choices for seasonal things to do during a November trip to Kyoto. In this […]

When Will Japan Reopen in 2021?

When will Japan lift its travel ban and reopen for international tourists? We’re closely monitoring all advisories, the latest news, and plans for allowing spectators (or not) at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. (Updated March 20, 2021.) The latest update is a mix of good and bad news–mostly bad. On the plus side, Japan’s central government has […]

2021 Universal Studios Japan Guide & Tips

This 2021 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 March 15, 2021.) After […]

Ultimate 2021 Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Our 2021 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 at some other point, we’ve got you covered. (Updated March 14, 2021.) Let’s start with the […]

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 March 14, 2021.) For obvious reasons, it’s […]

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 […]

Kobe Luminarie: Japan’s Wonderful Winter Illumination

Kobe Luminarie is one of the best winter light displays in Japan, a free event held early to mid-December 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 from our […]