Japan

Hakone cable car

Hakone Freepass | Is it good value?

Hakone is a popular day-trip from Tokyo or an interesting short stay option.  For visitors who want an onsen experience while in Japan but don’t have the time to travel further afield it’s easily accessible in Hakone and there’s so much more to see and…

The gardens of Gion Kaburenjo Theatre

Exploring the geisha districts of Kyoto

Planning to see geisha in Kyoto?  Head into the areas where they live and entertain.  These geisha districts are known as hanamachi and there are 5 in Kyoto. The city of Kyoto is a dream for anyone with an interest in Japanese history.  It’s a…

Osaka Amazing Pass | Is it good value?

We often don’t find city passes or discount passes to be great deals for us because we’re slow travellers.  We like to have a good look around, spend some downtime in a local cafe or tea shop, take time out to eat and wander off…

The Rakan of Daisho-in Temple

Daisho-in temple on Miyajima Island

If you’re planning a visit to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture you will probably have Itsukushima Shrine at the top of your list of things to see.  The waterfront shine is famous for its ‘floating’ tori gate and shrine buildings and is especially dramatic at…

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle – Ume blooms and a Samurai past

I was drawn to Osaka castle for the ume, a stunning display of 1,250 plum blossom trees that offers one of the best collections within a major city.  Ume have a less dedicated following than the sakura (cherry blossoms) that burst into their dramatic bloom a…

Mt Misen Miyajima

The stunning Mt Misen, Miyajima

Goal for the day?  The top of Mt Misen! I enthusiastically parted the curtains of our room high up in the Hiroshima Granvia Hotel to watch the daylight creeping into the sky across over the city.  The weather was grey and more hazy then would…

Eikan-do Temple

Eikan-do Temple in Kyoto

Eikan-do is one of those temples that we wandering into off of the Philosophers Path without any intent or prior conception of what to expect.  That can be a blessing and a curse.  It’s nice to experience everything with completely fresh eyes and no expectations but also…

Shinkensen at the station

10 of the best day trips from Kyoto

A super fast and efficient public transport system, being geographically compact and with so much diversity makes Japan an ideal country to explore. You don’t need to be constantly moving from one base to another to see new parts of Japan, so much is accessible within a reasonable commute from a central city. We’ve taken these trips from Kyoto but they’re equally suitable if you are based in Osaka, Kobe or Nara. Have fun!

Hikone castle

A visit to Hikone Castle town

Hikone Castle is an Edo period castle in Shiga Prefecture.  It’s one of only 12 castles in Japan where the main keep is still standing and one of only 4 that are listed as National Treasures.  On a previous trip to Japan we visited Himeji…

Golden Pavillion

15 of the Best Temples in Kyoto

In a city of over 1600 temples, you are going to need to quickly narrow down your choice. The most visually stunning, the most interesting history, the most spectacular garden in all seasons. These 15 represent some of the best temples in Kyoto for visitors – which will be top of your list?

Hiroshima A-dome

Hiroshima Self Guided Walking Tour

Our first stay in Hiroshima was planned mostly to give us a full day to explore Miyajima Island, it wasn’t until we were sitting on the Shinkansen from Tokyo that I started wondering how I would actually feel wandering around Hiroshima.  It’s a city with…