Posts

Face Masks in Japan: Rules v. Reality (2023)

Japan was behind the world in reopening, and as COVID-19 is now endemic, Japanese continue to wear face masks more commonly than almost any other country. This covers Japan’s face mask rules, laws (or lack thereof), and expectations, as well as other health safety measures and our experiences with masking in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & beyond. […]

Is Japan Rail Pass Worth Buying? (2023 Prices & Review)

Wondering whether the Japan Rail Pass is worth the money? This buying guide covers where you can use the JR Pass, how much value you’ll get on a normal trip to Tokyo and Kyoto, and answers to frequently asked questions about the unlimited train ticket. It also covers our many experiences purchasing the JR Pass […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times (2023)

When to visit Kyoto to avoid crowds, experience seasonal beauty, and enjoy the top festivals is important for first-timers to Japan. There will be no single worst or best time–it depends on your priorities. (Updated February 15, 2023.) In this guide, we’ll narrow down your options to help you assess when is the best time […]

What’s New in Kyoto, Japan for 2023

Following the reopening of Japan to tourists, we returned to Kyoto and spent several weeks in the city. Suffice to say, a lot has changed. We revisited every major temple and shrine, checked in on hotels, wandered Gion, Arashiyama, Higashiyama, and other districts to see what things are like as of 2023. This update shares Kyoto photos, how […]

2023 Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast & Kyoto Sakura Season Viewing Guide

This guide to sakura season in Japan and 2023 cherry blossom flowering forecast covers our favorite spots, best temples & shrines in Kyoto, tips & tricks for avoiding crowds. We also take a deeper dive into the topic, highlighting hidden gems where you’ll find fewer people and no busloads of tour groups. (Updated February 15, […]

2023 Yosemite Firefall Viewing Guide: Best Dates, Reservations Info & Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible in winter. This viewing guide offers info & tips from my experiences, best dates & locations, 2023 reservation requirements, parking restrictions, California snowfall & more. (Updated January 14, 2023.) First, you can read about my last photography attempt in Firefall Snowy Weekend Photo Report from […]

Ultimate 2023 Paris, France City Guide

Our 2023 Paris travel guide offers info for making the most of your vacation, including things to do, transportation tips, hotel recommendations, where to eat, and more. It also covers how to efficiently see the city–where to stay and step-by-step itineraries. (Updated January 14, 2023.) Paris is a world capital of culture: everything from art to food […]

Ultimate 2023 Los Angeles City Guide

Our 2023 Los Angeles, California planning guide offers visit tips, including top things to do, best places to eat in L.A., hotel advice, and how to transportation hacks for SoCal’s notorious traffic. LA is one of our favorite cities in the world, and we’ll help you experience the touristy highlights and hidden gems. (Updated January […]

Ultimate 2023 Kyoto, Japan Planning Guide

Our 2023 Kyoto, Japan planning guide offers tips & tricks, recommendations for hotels and other accommodations, best temples & shrines, transportation hacks, where to eat, crowd info, what it’s like to visit post-reopening, why we love the city, and more. (Updated January 8, 2023.) For the first time in a long time, it’s now possible that […]

Ultimate 2023 Tokyo, Japan City Guide

Our 2023 Tokyo travel guide offers info & tips, things to do, transportation info, where to eat, best hotels, avoiding crowds, itineraries for the city, and more. Whether you’re visiting for cherry blossom, fall colors, or in between, we’ve got you covered. (Updated January 8, 2023.) It’s now possible that some of you reading this are […]