Japan

Golden Pavilion Temple in Kyoto, Japan

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji, 金閣寺) in Kyoto, Japan is a world-renowned temple named (and famous) for its pure gold leaf finishing. In this post we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of visiting the Golden Pavilion, share some photos from our experience there, and offer random thoughts and history on the pavilion. For starters, […]

Should You Buy the Japan Rail Pass?

This post offers details about the Japan Rail Pass, including whether it’ll be worth buying for your trip, and answers to frequently asked questions about its use. For starters, the JR Pass for foreigner visitors is a cost-effective “all inclusive” pass on the JR rail lines available for purchase outside of Japan. It allows visitors […]

Himeji Castle Review & Tips

One of my all-time favorite experiences in Japan was our visit to Himeji Castle during cherry blossom season. In this post, we’ll detail our experience making a day-trip from Osaka to Himeji, as well as review the castle relative to other comparable places in Japan (including whether it’s worth your time if you have to […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Choosing the right hotel, ryokan, or other place to stay in Kyoto is important—not from the perspective of having a comfortable bed and the most high-tech toilet (although having the right temperature of heated seat is important), but primarily due to location. No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you will not have enough […]

Robot Restaurant Redux

A lot has changed in the 3 years since we first visited the Robot Restaurant. The same week we originally reviewed the Robot Restaurant, Anthony Bourdain profiled it on Parts Unknown. It thereafter received a flurry of media coverage (what can we say–people love dancing robots!) and has even since been featured in commercials for Expedia and a […]

Nanzen-ji Temple Tips & Review

This post offers my review of Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, along with tips and photos from our visits to this popular spot. I was tempted to dub Nanzenji “underrated” or a “hidden gem” in the title, but neither are entirely apt since it is one pretty well-renowned. Still, I don’t hear it mentioned in the same […]

Eikandō Zenrinji Temple Review & Tips

Eikandō Zenrin-ji is a sprawling Buddhist temple located at the base of the northern edge of the Higashiyama mountain range in Kyoto, Japan. This post offers our thoughts on whether Eikando is worth a visit, and if so, how to incorporate it into your tour of Kyoto. Along the way, we also offer photos of Eikandō […]

Hanami Party at Himeji Castle!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you combined a frat party and a beloved world heritage site? I’m guessing no, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast at Himeji Castle’s cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) held each year during sakura season. In this post, we’ll offer some hanami at […]

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum Review

This post reviews Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, which is located outside of Tokyo, Japan. In our review, we’ll offer photos of Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, our thoughts on the ramen, and whether it’s worth your time and money to go here while visiting Tokyo. On our last visit to Japan, we went to two ramen museums, including this one in […]

Cherry Blossom Night Lighting at Kiyomizudera Temple

For sakura and fall colors seasons, Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan has special night illumination. We visited during the lighting for cherry blossom season, and thought we’d share some of our experience and tips we learned during that visit. Prior to this, we had previously ben to Kiyomizu-dera Temple in October, and we missed the fall […]