Posts

Top 10 Day Trips from Kyoto, Japan

When traveling to Japan’s Kansai region, Kyoto is a great home base. It’s easy to get to several other major cities by standard rail or Shinkansen in under an hour or two, and a few lower profile mountain escapes are also easy to access. We’ve done numerous day trips from Kyoto, and in this post, […]

Château du Clos Lucé Review & Tips

Château du Clos Lucé is located in Amboise, France near the Loire River in the Centre Val de Loire region. The castle’s claim to fame is being the residence of Leonardo da Vinci during the last 3 years of his life. You can’t miss this fact when visiting, as Château du Clos Lucé’s entire existence […]

Castle to Castle: Himeji to Hikone – Japan Trip Report

Our original plan for our first full day in Kyoto was to relax and decompress. It was a weekend during foliage season, meaning all of the tourist spots with fall colors would be crazy-busy. The day before, I suggested maybe we should do something in Osaka or Nara to get more value out of our […]

Château d’Amboise Review & Tips

Château d’Amboise is one of our favorite castles in France, thanks in part to a mix its location, history, and beauty. Perched on a hill at the edge of the Loire River and towering above the Centre Val de Loire region, Château d’Amboise is reminiscent of a fortress. That’s by design, as it was built on […]

Chateau de Villandry Review & Tips

Château de Villandry is a Renaissance country house in the Loire Valley region of France. It’s best known for its flowers and gardens, which is the reason we ranked it #3 on our Best Castles in the Loire Valley list. In this post, we’ll share photos of Château de Villandry and our thoughts on why […]

Chateau Montpoupon Review & Tips

Château de Montpoupon is a castle in the Loire Valley east of Tours, in a picturesque valley at the edge of a forest. We were big fans of this stop on our recent trip to France, and in this post, we’ll make the case for visiting Château de Montpoupon, sharing some photos along the way. […]

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 […]

Best Castles in France’s Loire Valley

Following our recent trip to France, we’ve visited Loire Valley twice, and have spent all of our time there touring the beautiful castles, manors, and country houses that comprise the châteaux of the region. (Well, touring the châteaux and eating!) Based on our experiences, I thought I’d rank the château we’ve visited. Note that this is […]

Osaka Castle Tips & Review

Osaka Castle (大阪城, Ōsakajō) is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions, with millions of people visiting the iconic landmark each year, particularly during cherry blossom season when there are special hanami parties and night illuminations. I’ve had the chance to visit both during sakura season and regular times of year, and will share some […]

Hanami Party at Himeji Castle!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you combined a frat party and a beloved world heritage site? I’m guessing no, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast at Himeji Castle’s cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) held each year during sakura season. In this post, we’ll offer some hanami at […]