Japan

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, […]

Komyoin Temple Tips: Kyoto, Japan Info

Kōmyō-in is a sub-temple of Tofuku-ji located near Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. It’s a hidden gem best known for its traditional Chinese dry landscape garden. In this post, we’ll share further thoughts, tips, photos, and anecdotes from Komyoin Temple. While Komyoin ranks as #30 on our list of the Top 100 Temples & Shrines […]

Kurama-dera Temple Info, Tips & Review

Kurama-dera (鞍馬寺) is a mountain temple in Northern Kyoto that is one of the most beautiful places in Japan. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Mount Kurama, info & tips for visiting Kurama-dera, and thoughts on my experience of hiking from the village of Kurama up the mountain and over to Kibune. […]

Review: Is Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo, Japan Worth It?

Sumida Hokusai Museum is an art museum in Tokyo, Japan dedicated to the internationally-famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, commonly referred to as Hokusai. In this review, we’ll take a photo tour of the exhibits, review whether the Hokusai Museum is worth your time, and offer tips & basic info for visiting. Katsushika Hokusai is […]

Biggest & Best Burger in Kyoto, Japan

As we detail in our Dining Guide to Kyoto, Japan, the city is renowned for its Michelin-star restaurants and traditional Japanese cuisine. However, sometimes you just want a delicious burger. In this post, we review the best burger joint in Kyoto, and share our experience devouring their biggest burger. Some of you might be cringing […]

1-Day Eastern Tokyo, Japan Itinerary: Ueno, Asakusa & Akihabara

This 1-Day Eastern Tokyo, Japan Itinerary covers highlights including Sensoji Temple, fish markets, museums, and the SkyTree. This touring plan is an efficient step-by-step route for visiting the best of what the city has to offer. It’s a jam-packed day that covering the best of Eastern Tokyo’s highlights, all in a time-saving manner. Tokyo is commonly divided […]

Best Free Temples & Shrines in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan is home to thousands of shrines and temples–literally. Most cost around 500 yen, but some are free to enter. In this post, we rank the best options that don’t charge an admission fee and recommend which to include in your itinerary. While spending around $3 to $5 per temple may not sound like […]