Kyoto

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

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 […]

Golden Pavilion Temple in Kyoto, Japan

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji, 金閣寺) in Kyoto, Japan is a world-renowned temple named (and famous) for its pure gold leaf finishing. In this post we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of visiting the Golden Pavilion, share some photos from our experience there, and offer random thoughts and history on the pavilion. For starters, […]

Himeji Castle Review & Tips

One of my all-time favorite experiences in Japan was our visit to Himeji Castle during cherry blossom season. In this post, we’ll detail our experience making a day-trip from Osaka to Himeji, as well as review the castle relative to other comparable places in Japan (including whether it’s worth your time if you have to […]

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. No matter how long you’re staying in Kyoto, you will not have enough […]

Nanzen-ji Temple Tips & Review

This post offers my review of Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, along with tips and photos from our visits to this popular spot. I was tempted to dub Nanzenji “underrated” or a “hidden gem” in the title, but neither are entirely apt since it is one pretty well-renowned. Still, I don’t hear it mentioned in the same […]

Eikandō Zenrinji Temple Review & Tips

Eikandō Zenrin-ji is a sprawling Buddhist temple located at the base of the northern edge of the Higashiyama mountain range in Kyoto, Japan. This post offers our thoughts on whether Eikando is worth a visit, and if so, how to incorporate it into your tour of Kyoto. Along the way, we also offer photos of Eikandō […]