Japan

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Choosing the best hotel, ryokan, or other accommodations when visiting Japan is important. This guide covers where to stay in Kyoto, with recommendations regarding the perfect location, luxurious rooms, Japanese lodging (machiya & ryokan), top Airbnbs, and more. (Updated July 14, 2021.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you won’t have enough time. […]

%ARABICA – Kyoto, Japan’s Most Popular Coffee Shop

%ARABICA is the most popular coffee shop in Kyoto, which is the heart of Japan’s third wave coffee scene. The iconic % coffee cups are now ubiquitous in Arashiyama and Higashiyama, where %ΔRΔBICΔ was founded–and is now incredibly busy and beloved. This post reviews %ARABICA, shares photos from the cafes, and discusses worth your time, […]

Studio Ghibli Museum Review & Tips

Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan is a tribute to anime films, and the technical & creative process of animation. This review covers whether it’s worth the time, money & effort to visit, plus tips for buying tickets. This is one of the best things to do in Tokyo, regardless of whether you love My […]

Devious Deer of Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan is an excellent place to visit, and a big part of this is the wild deer that roam the city. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “gee, I really want to go to a park where I can interact with and feed over one thousand deer” then it’s time to book your trip […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hirano Shrine: Kyoto’s Sakura Party Scene

During spring sakura season, Hirano Shrine is one of the top spots in Kyoto cherry blossoms. Its nighttime illuminations and parties are among the best events in all of Japan. In this post, we’ll offer hanami at Hirano tips and our thoughts on the Oukasai (Cherry Blossom Festival). As we shared in updates to our 2020 Kyoto […]