Japan

Ultimate 2024 Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Our 2024 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 February 28, 2024.) Tokyo can be an intimidating place to visit. As […]

Is Japan Rail Pass Worth Buying? (2024 Prices & Review)

Wondering whether the Japan Rail Pass is worth the money? This buying guide covers where you can use the JR Pass, how much value you’ll get on a normal trip to Tokyo and Kyoto, and answers to frequently asked questions about the unlimited train ticket. It also covers our many experiences purchasing the JR Pass […]

Face Masks in Japan: Rules vs. Reality (2024)

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. […]

Kiyomizudera Temple Fall Foliage Evening Illumination

In autumn, vibrant fall colors are illuminated at Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto, Japan for a special night lighting. We’ve done the event multiple times, and share info, our experiences, and tips we’ve learned during visits to see the 1,000+ maple trees that form a veritable sea of red koyo along the temple’s hillside. Kiyomizudera is […]

Guide to Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Sensoji Temple is one of the most popular free things to do in Tokyo, Japan. Due to it being one of the city’s most iconic and significant sites, Senso-ji can be very crowded. This info guide provides tips & tricks for visiting, a unique aerial view, and photos of Asakusa Kannon Temple. If you watched […]

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

Our 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 be […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times (2024)

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 3, 2024.) In this guide, we’ll narrow down your options to help you assess when is the best time […]

Ultimate 2024 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 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 3, 2024.) If you’re already in Kyoto and are scrambling to figure out what to […]

2024 Universal Studios Japan Guide & Tips

This 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 3, 2024.) After being […]

November 2024 in Kyoto, Japan: Special Events, Crowds & Weather

November 2024 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 […]