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

Kyoto Imperial Palace Info, Tips & Review

Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所) is the former residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved to Tokyo. In this post, we’ll share photos from inside the palace and the Imperial Park, offer info & tips for visiting, and share our somewhat contrarian perspective on this popular spot in Kyoto. […]

Our 10 Favorite Experiences in Japan (So Far)

Japan is our favorite country to visit in the world. We’ve traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto more than any other cities, and have fallen in love with Japan’s culture, people, cuisine, beauty, and history. In this post, we’ll share some of our favorite experiences in Japan thus far. It was actually pretty tough to narrow […]

Chion-in Temple Info, Tips & Review

Chion-in (知恩院) is a large, free temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama area. It is one of the most popular Jodo Buddhist temples in Japan. In this post, I’ll share photos from Chion-in (including of its ongoing construction), history, info & tips for visiting, and thoughts on the current experience at Chion-in Temple. The free grounds at […]

1-Day Eastern Kyoto, Japan Itinerary: Higashiyama & Beyond

Our ideal 1-Day Eastern Kyoto Itinerary offers a touring plan for stops along the Higashiyama Mountains, spanning from Silver Pavilion to Kiyomizudera, and beyond. Our plan of attack emphasizes efficiency while also slowing down to appreciate the majesty of Kyoto, and walking through some of the city’s most charming and historic districts. We wanted to […]

Best Restaurants in Kyoto, Japan – Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of our ongoing series highlighting the best restaurants in Kyoto. In these posts, we share our favorite dining options from around the city that offer good food at great prices. While we’re big fans of ramen and udon, we also highlight other cuisine like tempura, steak, Matcha, etc. If you missed […]

Kyoto Cherry Blossom Photo Update – Higashiyama

Today we wandered around Kyoto enjoying the cherry blossoms that are reaching full bloom. Realizing most people aren’t planning a trip to Japan during sakura season, adding even more to our already multi-thousand word Kyoto Cherry Blossom Viewing Guide & Sakura Season Tips post might be excessive. Instead, I thought a photo update might be […]

1-Day Central Kyoto Itinerary

This post offers a step-by-step itinerary for Central Kyoto, with advice on transportation between temples, museums, and other points of interest recommended in this Japan touring plan. If you’re visiting for 3 or more days, you should dedicate the third day of your itinerary to Downtown and Central Kyoto. In a way, you can think […]

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple Review, Info & Tips

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is a temple in Arashiyama with a collection of 1,200 Rakan Buddhist statues. It’s one of Kyoto, Japan’s most unique and, frankly, bizarre temples. In this post, we cover whether this off-the-beaten path temple is worth your time, details about its fascinating history, and also offer some tips for visiting. Honestly, I’m still […]

Daikaku-ji Temple Review, Info & Tips

Daikaku-ji (大覚寺) is a partially-free temple complex near Kyoto, Japan’s Sagano and Arashiyama districts. In this post, we’ll share photos of the temple, thoughts on our visit, tips & info for visiting, and whether it makes sense to simply experience the free areas or splurge to enter the paid buildings. In terms of those buildings and […]

1-Day Western Kyoto, Japan Itinerary: Arashiyama & Sagano

Our 1-day Western Kyoto Itinerary features a range of temples, gardens, and other stops in Arashiyama and Sagano, along with one of the best places to see monkeys in Japan (because we’ve got our priorities straight). In this touring plan, we’ll provide strategy for efficiently seeing everything from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to under-the-radar gems, […]