Posts

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 […]

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 […]

Hasedera Temple Review & Tips

Hasedera (長谷寺, Hase Kannon Temple), is located south of Tokyo, Japan on Mount Kamakura with an ocean view. It’s home to a giant statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. In this post, we’ll share our photos from Hasedera, thoughts about visiting this temple, and general info about it. In terms of Hasedera Temple’s history, […]

Tips for Tian Tan: Hong Kong’s “Big Buddha”

Tian Tan Buddha is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and popular attractions. In this post, we’ll offer tips for visiting “Big Buddha,” share photos from our experiences, and offer ideas for other things to do on Lantau Island to make it worthwhile as a day or half-day trip. Tian Tan Buddha is a 34-meter […]

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 […]

Kamakura Great Buddha & Kotokuin Temple Review

An hour south of Tokyo lies the seaside town of Kamakura, which is a popular side trip for visitors to Japan thanks to its “Daibutsu” Great Buddha of Kamakura statue and gorgeous Kotokuin Temple, among other things. In this post, we’ll share some thoughts and photos from our visit to Kamakura (namely, these two sites). […]

Todaiji Temple Review & Tips

Todaiji Temple (東大寺, Tōdai-ji) in Nara is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and houses several National Treasures of Japan. In this post, we’ll share photos of Todaiji, tips for visiting this important temple, and our experience in visiting. Thanks to its huge bronze Buddha, Todaiji Temple is a […]

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 […]

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, […]