Japan

Todaiji Temple Review & Tips

Todaiji Temple (東大寺, Tōdai-ji) in Nara is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and houses several National Treasures of Japan. In this post, we’ll share photos of Todaiji, tips for visiting this important temple, and our experience in visiting. Thanks to its huge bronze Buddha, Todaiji Temple is a […]

Senso-ji Temple Photos & Tips

Senso-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple in Tokyo. It is a popular destination for both the Japanese and foreign tourists, and can be very crowded at times. This article will provide photos of some highlights of Senso-ji, along with tips those considering a visit. According to legend, in the year 628, two brothers, Hinokuma Hamanari […]

Yasaka Shrine Info & Tips

Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社, Yasaka Jinja) or Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. The shrine is located between Gion District and Higashiyama District, making it a spot that’s relatively easy to visit when walking between the two districts or to Kawaramachi Station. In this post, I’ll share some photos of Yasaka […]

Nijo Castle Review & Tips

Nijo Castle (二条城, Nijōjō) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, Japan that is the former residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. We’ll review the prestigious Japanese castle in this post and share some of our tips for visiting. While the construction of this site began in 1601, when the Shogunate ordered all the feudal lords […]

Osaka Castle Tips & Review

Osaka Castle (大阪城, Ōsakajō) is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions, with millions of people visiting the iconic landmark each year, particularly during cherry blossom season when there are special hanami parties and night illuminations. I’ve had the chance to visit both during sakura season and regular times of year, and will share some […]

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 […]

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 […]