1-Day Southwestern Kyoto Itinerary

Our Southwestern Kyoto Itinerary offers a touring plan for our ideal day on the outskirts of the city, hitting a few places that are simultaneously highlights of Japan and also hidden gems due to their location. As with our other Kyoto itineraries, this one tries to balance efficiency with sufficient time to wander, explore, and […]

Byodoin Temple Review, Info & Tips

Byodoin (平等院, Byōdōin) is a Pure Land Buddhist temple with some of Japan’s most eye-catching architecture. A short train ride from Kyoto on the JR Nara Line, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit. In this post, I’ll share photos from Byodoin (including night shots!), history, info & tips for visiting, and thoughts on […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Review: Is The US Capitol Building Tour Worth It?

The U.S. Capitol tour is free, so in terms of whether it’s worth it, the question is really whether it’s worth your time when you visit Washington, D.C. given the number of other things to do. This post covers that, as well as tips for taking the tour, and what you’ll see if you choose […]

Free Tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall

Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of L.A.’s greatest gems, and one that that you can enjoy for free without seeing a performance of the L.A. Philharmonic. In this post, we share photos from our visit this beautiful venue, and share thoughts on doing a tour of the […]

Victoria Peak: Hong Kong’s Best View

At 1,811 feet tall, Victoria Peak is Hong Kong’s highest point and a popular spot that’s renowned for its stunning view of Hong Kong’s skyline. This post provides tips, photos from Victoria Peak, whether to do the free observation platform or the paid area, and thoughts on whether it’s worth the time. While there are […]

Inside Los Angeles’ Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building is an architectural landmark in Downtown Los Angeles and is also an ‘icon’ of Hollywood places, featuring heavily in Blade Runner. Since we just finished watching Blade Runner 2049, I figured it’d be a good time to finally post about this historic place in California. First, a bit of background. The Bradbury Building dates […]

Gamble House Tour Review

The Gamble House in Pasadena, California is an exemplar of Arts and Crafts architecture. A variety of docent-led tours are offered throughout the week, and the relatively low price (as compared to other architectural tours around Los Angeles) coupled with the intriguing style and history of the home make this a popular option for visitors […]