With Kyoto’s 1600 Buddhist temples, and 400 Shinto shrines to choose from, the choice of where to visit seemed overwhelming. After some research, we narrowed our visit down to just a few standouts. Advertisements
Kyoto’s eye-catching bamboo forest is called Arashiyama, and you’ve probably seen photos of it before. The forest is dense and tall, and wandering through it is a lovely, elemental experience, feeling completely enveloped by these hollow giants.
Kyoto is not really a busting supercity like Tokyo or Osaka. While there still are high rises and department stores, Kyoto is best known for its cultural treasures. Think of it as a place of culture; traditional houses, geishas in elegant kimonos, and amazing food. Alll these things are celebrated in a city that has … More Kyoto for first-timers
We were the last ones in the bus, sitting in the back seat with our backpacks still on. We craned our necks to find any kind of sign as to where we were, but night had already fallen, and there were no streetlamps on this zig-zagging mountain road. It reminded me very much of the … More Hiking the Magome – Tsumago trail in winter
It was time to use the most valuable weapon in our Japanese travel arsenal – our JR Japan Rail Passes! We ordered them online in Australia (they cannot be bought in Japan), and picked them up at Shinjuku station with all the required stamps and stickers. We found them to be great value – i’ve … More The Japan JR rail pass – what you should know
In the subway tunnels under Tokyo, 1am – we sat on the carriage and watched a Japanese salaryman fast asleep and snoring, collapsed like a ragdoll, briefcase at his feet. We were witnessing Tokyo’s famous workaholic culture first hand. Or maybe he’d been at the bar for one too many sakes! Tokyo’s subway is amazing. … More Fun facts about Tokyo’s subway
Tokyo has a suburb with long lazy canals, rows of cherry blossoms, quiet streets and old buildings? Could this be a mini Amsterdam in Tokyo? Hmm…not exactly. This was still the mighty concrete jungle of Tokyo, so what Nakameguro canals actually looks like are high-walled, concrete stormwater channels stained green from algae. In the summer, … More The Nakameguro winter illuminations
Two of Tokyo’s hubs of pop culture, Akihabara and Harajuku, are fun microcosms to explore the culture of modern Japan. Akihabara for electronics, anime and video game toilets; Harajuku for fashion, sweet treats and cat costumes!
The sky was a pale blue, with airplane contrails criss-crossing the frozen winter air high above, and a bright, shining sun. It was a great day to visit one of Tokyo’s most peaceful places, the huge gardens of the imperial palace, and residence of Emperor Akihito of Japan.
The Ueno area is known or its large, beautiful park. It has some of the most beautiful green areas and temples in Tokyo city (better, I thought, than the Imperial Palace). But outside of cherry blossom, and in the cold days of winter, what is there to do? Toshogu shrine and Kiyomuzi Kannon are years … More Ueno Park in the winter