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

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, […]

Okochi Sanso Villa Info, Tips & Review

Okochi Sanso Villa (大河内山荘) is a garden and the former residence of Denjirō Ōkōchi, a famous Japanese actor, located in Kyoto, Japan. In this post, we’ll share photos from Okochi Sanso Villa & Gardens, plus thoughts from our visit, and whether it’s worth the money. For many visitors to Japan, a stop at one of […]

Silver Pavilion Review, Tips & Info

Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji Temple) is one of Kyoto, Japan’s most popular zen temples and gardens located at the edge of the Higashiyama mountains. In this post, we’ll offer tips for visiting Ginkakuji Temple, photos of the silver pavilion and its beautiful gardens, and whether it’s worth your time to make the trek out to the […]

Kennin-ji Temple Info, Tips & Review

Kennin-ji (建仁寺) is the oldest Zen temple Kyoto. Located in Gion, which is renowned as Japan’s most famous geisha district. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Kennin-ji Temple, its history, info & tips for visiting, thoughts on our experience, and whether Kennin-ji is worth your time. Despite Kennin-ji’s claim to fame as […]

Higashiyama District in Kyoto – Tips for Visiting

Higashiyama District is a historic neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan nestled between Kiyomizudera and Maruyama Park. The area features restored traditional townhomes (machiya) with a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, in a picturesque setting evoking the look of “Old Kyoto.” In this post, we’ll share photos of the Higashiyama District and offer tips for what to […]

Kodaiji Temple Info: Kyoto, Japan Tips

Kodaiji (高台寺) is a temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District, located between Maruyama Park and Kiyomizudera. Kodai-ji Temple is famous for its nighttime illuminations, which occur for extended periods in the spring and fall. In this post, we’ll share photos of the temple, thoughts on our experiences there, and tips & info for visiting Kodaiji Temple. Kodai-ji […]

Kyoto Railway Museum Review, Info & Tips

Kyoto Railway Museum shares the the history of Japan’s railways from steam trains to the Shinkansen. In this post, we’ll review Kyoto Railway Museum, compare it to other major train museums we’ve visited in Japan, share photos from our visit, and offer tips & info. Japan has a lot of railway museums, and Kyoto Railway […]

Sanjusangendo Temple Info, Tips & Review

Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂, Rengeo-in) is a temple in central/eastern Kyoto famous for its 1,001 Kannon statues. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Sanjusangendo Temple, its history, info & tips for visiting, and a review of our experience at Sanjusangendo. There are 1,0001 reasons to visit Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo Temple, but my photos here ain’t […]

Starbucks Cherry Blossom Food, Drinks, & Merchandise in Japan

Spring in Japan means sakura season, and while we’re still a few weeks away from the first cherry blossoms, Starbucks has released its line of sakura drinks, food, and merchandise designs. We stopped into the Starbucks near Kyoto Station yesterday to try a few items, along with photos of the merchandise. Worth noting is that […]