Japan

2023 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 January 14, 2023.) This guide assumes multiple […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times (2023)

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–it depends on your priorities. (Updated January 8, 2023.) In this guide, we’ll narrow down your options to help you assess when is the best time […]

Ultimate 2023 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 2023 Kyoto, Japan planning guide offers tips & tricks, recommendations for hotels and other accommodations, best temples & shrines, transportation hacks, where to eat, crowd info, what it’s like to visit post-reopening, why we love the city, and more. (Updated January 8, 2023.) For the first time in a long time, it’s now possible that […]

Face Masks in Japan: Rules v. Reality (2023)

Japan was behind the world in reopening, and as COVID-19 is now endemic, Japanese continue to wear face masks more commonly than almost any other country. This covers Japan’s face mask rules, laws (or lack thereof), and expectations, as well as other health safety measures and our experiences with masking in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & beyond. […]

2023 Universal Studios Japan Guide & Tips

This 2023 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 January 8, 2023.) Universal […]

Ultimate 2023 Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Our 2023 Tokyo travel guide offers info & tips, things to do, transportation info, where to eat, best hotels, avoiding crowds, itineraries for the city, and more. Whether you’re visiting for cherry blossom, fall colors, or in between, we’ve got you covered. (Updated January 8, 2023.) It’s now possible that some of you reading this are […]

1-Day to 1-Week Japan Itineraries for Kyoto, Tokyo & Beyond

Our 2023 Japan itineraries provide plans and step-by-step strategy for self-guided tours of Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Miyajima Island, Kyoto, Uji, and more. These offer tips & info for temples to visit, where to eat, transportation, and efficiently seeing the highlights as part of a 1-day itinerary. With our 1-day to 1-week Japan plans, you’ll […]

November 2023 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

November 2023 is Kyoto’s peak fall color dates, great weather, 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. Note that exact dates listed below are tentative and based […]

October 2023 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

October 2023 is the start of fall in Kyoto, Japan. Leaves begin to change color, weather improves, and big festivals celebrate the season. It’s a great month to visit to enjoy lower crowds, special events & night illuminations, with lots of things to do in the city, its temples & shrines. This guide to October […]

2023 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. Autumn is one of the most stunning times of the year in Japan, and one […]