Japan

Top 10 First-Time Tips for Kyoto, Japan

Our first-timer’s guide to Kyoto covers what you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Japan’s cultural capital, and second most popular destination in the country after Tokyo. Avoid common mistakes and learn everything for the ideal vacation with our top 10 tips & tricks for your first visit to Kyoto, Japan. (Last […]

What’s New in Kyoto, Japan for 2019 – Part 2

We pick up from Part 1 of our What’s New in Kyoto, Japan post with more on temple construction, soda updates (including new Coke and Pepsi flavors), cool summer fun in northern Kyoto, and more. We’ll also share some ‘just for fun’ photos from this visit to Kyoto. But first, we encountered a family of […]

What’s New for 2019 in Kyoto, Japan

We just got back from our summer trip to Japan, which included nearly two weeks in Kyoto. As we’ve already visited every major temple and shrine in the area, this visit was more about checking in on familiar favorites, eating at new places (for the sake of research!), and seeing seasonal events. In this update, […]

Kiyomizudera Temple Photos & Tips

Kiyomizudera is one of the most popular temples in Japan. Also known as the “Pure Water Temple,” it’s a Kyoto highlight, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and unequivocal must-do. This post features my photos from the temple, plus tips for avoiding crowds, and other assorted info about it. (Last updated July 27, 2019.) Perched in a […]

Park Hyatt Kyoto Photos & Preview

Hyatt is months away from opening its third flagship hotel in Japan with Park Hyatt Kyoto, which is slated to debut on December 1, 2019. We have the latest construction photos of this nearly-completed resort and commentary about Park Hyatt Kyoto, which promises to be a great use of points. As regular visitors to Japan […]

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. (Last updated July 16, 2019.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, […]

A Tribute to Tanuki: Japan’s Magical Scrotumonster

We love Tanuki, Japan’s magical scrotumonster. Or more accurately, scrotum-monster. If you’re unfamiliar with Tanuki, the Japanese raccoon dog, perhaps you thought these ubiquitous character statues are just a weird thing we are into. Although in fairness, if you are familiar with Tanuki, there’s an even greater chance you thought it was a weird thing we’re into. For the […]

1-Day Western Tokyo, Japan Itinerary: Shinjuku, Harajuku & Shibuya

Have one day to spend in Tokyo and want to see the ultra modern skyscrapers and shopping areas of Japan’s busy capital? This 1-day itinerary offers an efficient step-by-step touring plan for visiting Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, and Roppongi. Along the way, we’ll cover architecture, museums, parks, and even a couple of historic sites. For most visitors […]

Transportation Tips for Getting Around Kyoto

Kyoto is incredibly easy to explore by public transport (trains, subways, buses and taxis) or under your own steam (by bicycle or walking). This is a guide to getting around Kyoto, with information on the best way to get to each part of the city. It covers things like our favorite railway lines in the […]

Hidden Gem Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, Japan

Despite having 2,000 temples & shrines, most tourists to Kyoto, Japan visit the same dozen or so big name points of interest and high-profile UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In theory, this leaves about 1,980 hidden gems you can visit to avoid the crowds. However, as we discuss in our Top 100 Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, […]