Japan

Unguided Tours to Japan – Reopening Phase Rules

Japan is further relaxing its border restrictions, including opening to “unguided tour groups” or “non-escorted visitors on package tours.” In this post, we’ll discuss the details of the latest reopening step, info about new guidelines for self-guided groups, and more. (Updated September 5, 2022.) In this latest step towards fully reopening, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio […]

Rules for Monitored Tour Groups in Japan

Japan’s tourism ministry has released guidelines for tourists and travel agencies that will run monitored tours as part of the country’s very limited resumption of group tourism. This post will cover the preposterous proposals, and offer commentary about what’s motivating these rules. First, basic background about the monitored tours that’ll begin on June 10, 2022 […]

Japan Reopening for Guided Tours

For over the past year, we’ve been chronicling every little update to Japan’s border closure in When Will Japan Reopen for Travel? Well, that’ll happen in June 2022…but with the colossal asterisk that Japan will only accept guided tour groups. It’s not quite time to retire that post, but this is technically a reopening to some degree. […]

10 Hidden Gem Kyoto Photography Spots

One of the dirty secrets of Kyoto photography is that the reality of what you’ll end up shooting is rarely the serene, uncrowded temples and peaceful landscapes you see in marketing photos. To the contrary, most images of Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizudera, Yasaka, and other locations are taken incredibly early in the morning […]

%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, […]

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 […]

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 […]