Kyoto

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

Ryoanji Temple Info, Tips & Review

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺, Ryōan-ji) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northwest Kyoto, featuring the most famous Zen rock garden in Japan. In this post, I’ll share photos I took at Ryoanji Temple, info & tips for visiting, history of the temple, and thoughts on our experience here. While famed for that rock garden, Ryoanji Temple […]

Honen-in Temple Info, Tips & Review

Honen-in (法然院) is a free temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama area, located along Philosopher’s Path just south of the Silver Pavilion. In this post, I’ll share photos of the temple, offer brief history, info & tips for visiting, and why the experience at Honen-in Temple is so special. The approach to Honen-in Temple is quite lovely, […]

Kyoto Fall & Winter Trip Report – Part 3

All right! We’re finally back with the final installment of our Kyoto Fall & Winter Trip Report (if you’ve missed it, start with Part 1); the culmination of our 2-month stay in Japan. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in this final installment, so rather than beginning with a rambling introduction, I’m going to […]

Our Favorite Restaurants in Kyoto, Japan

Over the course of our time in Kyoto, we’ve spent a lot of time “researching” the best places to eat. This list focuses mainly on cheap and authentic Japanese cuisine, with a clear emphasis on value for money rather than fine dining. From that perspective, it’s probably the best restaurants in Kyoto for value, but we’re […]

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 […]