Miyako Odori | Gions Spring Dance


April in Kyoto is the month of the Miyako Odori; the Dance of the Capital.  Several of the Geisha districts in Kyoto put on dance shows throughout the year but the Miyako Odori is performed by Maiko and Geisha of the Gion Kobu and is…

Sakura - Cherry Bossom

Is that blossom Sakura or Ume?


At this time of year my Instagram feed is full of beautiful blossoms and I’m constantly trying to pick whether it’s an early cherry blossom (Sakura) or a late plum or apricot bloom (Ume).  I’m the same when we’re in Japan in the late winter…

Tips for using the Tokyo subway system in Japan

Mastering the Tokyo Subway


When you first arrive in Tokyo it won’t be long before you need to use the subway.  It’s the most efficient way to get to from A to B in super quick time; you just have to master the lines and how they interact first. …

Himeji Castle | 2 Aussie Travellers

A visit to Himeji Castle


There was something about Japan that awakened my fascination with history even though I’d hated it at high school.  No doubt my distaste for the academic approach wasn’t helped by our genuinely antique teacher whose idea of teaching was to dictate history lessons to us…


10 Reasons why I Love Nara


I’m often asked what my favourite place in Japan is.  It’s a question I can only answer with a very long list.  I find it a strange question really, it makes me a bit uncomfortable that I can’t provide that single place that they are…

Hie Jinja

Hie Jinja Shrine in the midst of Tokyo


Hie Jinja shrine provides an oasis of nature, tranquility and traditional Japan in the midst of modern Tokyo.  Located in Nagatcho, the Japanese seat of government, it sits amongst the sky scrappers and hubbub of the city that has grown up around it.  The shrine…

Tokyo River Cruise

Tokyo River Cruise


Two things I like to do when I arrive in a new city are to view it from up high and to view it from the water.  In Tokyo a range of interesting river boats run up and down the Sumida river between the Hamarikyu…

Shinkansen in the snow

Top Tips For Transport in Japan


A big part of enjoying a trip to Japan is being able to get around effectively so here are some of our top tips for transport in Japan.  There’s a heck of a lot of information on this subject so I’m going to split this…

Otaru snow light path festival

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival


I love a good festival and they usually crop up in my Japan itinerary somewhere.  During the winter the big one everyone talks about is the Sapporo Snow Festival and with good reason, it is huge and fabulous and we had the most amazing time. …

Nara Park at Setsubun

10 things I love about Setsubun


Setsubun is a fun Japanese holiday celebrated on the 3rd February.  It marks the last day of Winter and the imminent coming of Spring.  While it’s definitely summer where I am this year I thought I’d share some of our previous Sebsubun experiences in this…

Japanese Teas

5 Traditional Japanese Teas


I’m a tea drinker, I love most kinds of tea I’ve tried over the years but traditional Japanese teas are among my favourites.  They are unashamedly bold and sometimes bitter but always layered with flavour and complexity.  On our travels in Japan we’ve actively searched…

Japanese wedding kimono |

Japanese Wedding Kimono


Something you will regularly see as you travel around Japan in the shines and in public places are Japanese Shinto weddings, or post wedding photography.  On the first day of our first trip to Japan we were at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and saw three…