Japan

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times in 2021 & 2022

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 in 2021 or 2022 to visit, and when you should travel to Kyoto depends in large part on your priorities. (Updated March 26, 2021.) For […]

Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan: Review & Info

Robot Restaurant is a crazy show in Tokyo, Japan’s Shinjuku district with dancers, lasers, monsters, and more. In this review, we’ll share how to buy discount tickets, assess whether Robot Restaurant is worth the money, what you should expect, and photos from our experiences. (Updated March 26, 2021.) Robot Restaurant has now been temporarily closed for over […]

November 2021 in Kyoto, Japan

November 2021 will bring Kyoto’s peak fall colors, cool temperatures & great weather, a full calendar of 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. In this […]

Ultimate 2021 Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Our 2021 Tokyo travel guide offers info & tips, things to do, transportation info, where to eat, best hotels, avoiding crowds, itineraries for the city, and everything else you need to know. Whether you’re visiting for the Olympics or at some other point, we’ve got you covered. (Updated March 14, 2021.) Let’s start with the […]

Ultimate 2021 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 2021 Kyoto, Japan guide offers planning tips & tricks, hotel recommendations, best temples & shrines, transportation hacks, where to eat, crowd info, why we love the city, and more. Before we get to the basics, we’ll offer a brief note on travel to Kyoto later this year. (Updated March 14, 2021.) For obvious reasons, it’s […]

Hanatoro in Kyoto, Japan: Higashiyama & Arashiyama

Hanatoro (花灯路, Hanatōuro) is a set of illumination events in Kyoto, Japan that occur in mid-March and mid-December in the Higashiyama and Arashiyama districts, during which thousands of lanterns light the streets, there are public art displays, and other illumination events. Translated literally to “Lanterns and Flower Lane,” Hanatoro is a festival in Kyoto that […]

Kyoto’s Hidden Gem Special Night Illumination

One of Kyoto, Japan’s best autumn illuminations is held at Konkaikomyo-ji or Kurodani Temple. This is near Heian Shrine, Shinnyodo, Honenin, Eikando, and other popular fall colors spots. We attended its special evening opening and share our photos and thoughts on the experience here. If you’re looking for a normal overview of the temple, daytime […]

Kobe Luminarie: Japan’s Wonderful Winter Illumination

Kobe Luminarie is one of the best winter light displays in Japan, a free event held early to mid-December in memory of the victims of 1995’s Great Hanshin Earthquake. We attended Kobe Luminarie and wow is about all I can say. In this post, we’ll offer some background about the event, plus photos and thoughts from our […]

Japan Fall Colors Forecast & Autumn Foliage Viewing Guide

Our fall colors forecast for Japan offers peak viewing info & tips for popular autumn foliage spots, including Kyoto, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji, and Nara. We’ll also share strategy for visiting the best temples, shrines, and evening illuminations. Autumn is one of the most stunning times of the year in Japan, and one […]

Kiyomizudera Temple Info: Kyoto, Japan 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. (Updated June 15, 2020.) Let’s start with some […]