Kyoto

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

Daitokuji Temple Info, Tips & Review

Daitokuji (大徳寺) is a walled temple in Northern Kyoto with a number of subtemples that feature some of Japan’s finest zen and rock gardens. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Daitokuji, history, info & tips for visiting, and thoughts on our experience at Daitokuji. The free grounds at Daitokuji Temple are highlighted by […]

Kyoto Fall & Winter Trip Report – Part 2

It’s been a while since our two months in Japan ended (and since Part 1 of our Kyoto Trip Report), and this recap seems to be losing steam, both on my end and in terms of reader interest. Rather than dragging it out unnecessarily, I’m going to wrap it up with two final installments. I […]

Tenryu-ji Temple Review & Tips

Tenryu-ji Temple (天龍寺, Tenryūji) is the most important Zen temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city’s Five Great Zen Temples, and is now registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this post, we’ll share some photos from our visit to Tenryu-ji and thoughts on whether it’s worth your time. […]

Top 10 Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan

As Japan’s “cultural capital,” Kyoto has no shortage of things to do and places to see. Its temples and shrines alone number over 1,600, with a dozen of those being UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its allure goes far beyond the spiritual, with Kyoto offering so much that you could spend months here without experiencing all […]

Ninnaji Temple Info, Tips & Review

Ninnaji Temple (仁和寺) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northwest Kyoto, Japan. It’s one of the few high-profile with free admission to the grounds, and it’s near popular spots in Arashiyama. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Ninnaji, info & tips for visiting, history of the temple, and thoughts on our […]

Kyoto Fall & Winter Trip Report – Part 1

As we concluded our last week in Kyoto with a forecast calling for snow, it only feels fitting that I’d finally get around to writing about our first week here for fall colors season. I guess the emphasis should’ve been on ish when I wrote that this would be a live-ish trip report. 😉 With a full month in […]

Fall Colors at Tofukuji Temple

Tofukuji Temple, particularly the valley below Tsutenkyo Bridge, is one of the best spots for fall colors in Japan. In terms of its autumn foliage, it’s not just a top spot in Kyoto (and it is), but the entirety of Japan. Perhaps even the world. In this post, we’ll cover our experiences at Tofukuji Temple, share […]

Bon Voyage!

Greetings from the Windy City! As I write this, Sarah and I are waiting to board our flight to Asia for a two month trip exploring Hong Kong and Japan (…but mostly Japan). Traveling for an extended period of time is an idea that has been percolating for a while for us. At the end […]

Yasaka Shrine Info & Tips

Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社, Yasaka Jinja) or Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. The shrine is located between Gion District and Higashiyama District, making it a spot that’s relatively easy to visit when walking between the two districts or to Kawaramachi Station. In this post, I’ll share some photos of Yasaka […]

Nijo Castle Review & Tips

Nijo Castle (二条城, Nijōjō) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, Japan that is the former residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. We’ll review the prestigious Japanese castle in this post and share some of our tips for visiting. While the construction of this site began in 1601, when the Shogunate ordered all the feudal lords […]