Daigoji temple - Bentendo Hall

Daigoji Temple and a Sakura Festival


Local festivals are a great time to visit a Japanese Temple or Shrine. This large UNESCO listed temple is especially beautiful during the cherry blossoms and the Hanami Gyoretsu festival but it’s not the only season that it’s excels.

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Kyoto Walking Tour – Central Kyoto


Explore the city with this self guided Kyoto walking tour around central Kyoto. Follow the marked route or pick attractions to suit your interests. This Kyoto walking tour of central Kyoto is entirely self guided.  Take it at your own pace and spend the most…

Nishiki market (ichiba) in Kyoto city

A walk though Nishiki Market, Kyoto


As a self confessed and unashamed foodie it’s not surprising that we found our way to Nishiki market (Nishiki Ichiba 錦市場) within hours of arriving in Kyoto.  Known as Kyoto’s kitchen this is a market used extensively by locals to source fresh ingredients, artisan produce…

Kenka-sai ceremony at Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

Kenka-sai festival at Fushimi Inari Shrine


As soon as I knew we’d be in Kyoto on the 1st April I mentally blocked out the middle of the day for the Kenka-sai festival.  Incorporating festivals and cultural events on our Japan trips is something we’ve done since our first visit and it’s provided some…

The golden pavilion temple, also known as Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, Japan

The Golden Pavilion Temple


Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion Temple should be on your list of things to do in Kyoto. Here’s what you need to know to plan your visit. We’ve been to the Golden Pavilion temple during spring time and in winter and thoroughly enjoyed both visits.  It’s…

Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Visiting Nijo Castle in Kyoto


Nijo Castle is one of the must see spots on our Kyoto list.  We were really surprised to hear several visitors to the city say they weren’t going because there’s ‘no point when there’s no castle’.  It is true that the main tower of Nijo castle…

Okayama Castle in Japan

A visit to Okayama Castle


Okayama castle is easily accessed from the main Sanyo bullet train line making it a practical day trip from Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. For anyone with an interest in castles, gardens or Japans feudal history Okayama is a worthwhile city to visit.