Kyoto

Planning resources and itineraries for Kyoto, Japan. Tips to save money, avoid crowds, best temples & shrines, plus tons of photos by Tom Bricker.

Park Hyatt Kyoto Photos & Preview

Hyatt is months away from opening its third flagship hotel in Japan with Park Hyatt Kyoto, which is slated to debut on December 1, 2019. We have the latest construction photos of this nearly-completed resort and commentary about Park Hyatt Kyoto, which promises to be a great use of points. As regular visitors to Japan […]

Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan

Choosing the right hotel, ryokan, or other place to stay in Kyoto is important—not from the perspective of having a comfortable bed and the most high-tech toilet (although having the right temperature of heated seat is important), but primarily due to location. (Last updated July 16, 2019.) No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

%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. Founded in Kyoto and the source of the iconic % symbol coffee cups that are now ubiquitous in Arashiyama and Higashiyama, % ARABICA is incredibly busy and beloved. This post reviews whether %ARABICA is worth your […]

Yoshida Shrine & Hill Info: Kyoto, Japan Tips

Yoshida Shrine is one of several temples and other places on a hill overlooking Kyoto University. This cluster includes some of our favorite hidden gem temples in Japan: Kurodani Temple, Shinnyodo Temple, and Yoshida Shrine along with its array of sub-shrines. In this post, we’ll share further thoughts, tips, photos, and anecdotes from Yoshida Hill […]