Japan

ryozen temple

Walking Kyoto – Ryozen Kannon

In this series we set out a self guided walking tour around Eastern Kyoto from Kyoto station in the south to the Silver Pavillion in the north. Complete one long walk or take just the section that interests you. In this posts we continue on from Kiyomizudera to the Ryozen Kannon temple.

Kiyomizudera

Walking Kyoto: Kiyomizudera

This post is one of a series that make up a self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto. The full route is around 10 km from Kyoto station to Ginkakuji, the silver temple, in the north. Make a day of it or select only the sections that appeal the most.

Sanjusangendo temple in Kyoto, Japan. The size and number of gold plated statues in this unassuming hall is incredible.

Exploring Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Sanjusangendo is an unique and impressive temple in Kyoto. It dates back to 1164 and is famous for it’s 1001 golden statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy. We explored Sanjusangendo as part of our self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto.  For this leg we…

Kyoto station, the starting point for our self guided walking tour of eastern Kyoto

Exploring the Kyoto Train Station Precinct

Kyoto station is the hub for all transport in Kyoto. It’s also a major shopping district and there’s restaurants to satisfy every taste and budget. This post is one of a series that make up a self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto. The full route…

Walking Kyoto

Walking Kyoto: A guide to exploring eastern Kyoto

This post will take you on a self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto. The full route is around 10km from Kyoto station to Ginkakuji, the silver temple in the north. Make a day of it or select only the sections that appeal the most.

Tulips on Enoshima Island

Blooming great tulips in Enoshima

The sight of 20,000 tulips in perfect bloom is extraordinary at any time but in the middle of winter, on top of Enoshima Island, and after having been dusted with flakes of snow several times that morning it was quite unexpected. Enoshima Island is on…

Bonbai in Nagahama

Bonbai blooms again in Nagahama

If you love bonsai (the Japanese art of miniature trees) or ume (the beautiful flowering plum trees) then Nagahama bonbai is for you! Held in an historic villa in the friendly town of Nagahama this quick detour on our way to Hikone turned out to be an absolute highlight of the trip.

Benten-Kutsu cave at Hasedera

This small shrine within Hasedera temple is an example of the blending and co-existence of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan.  I’m really interested in Japanese and Buddhist history so I was excited to find this spot at our first stop in Kamakura. We visited on…

Heian Shrine

A visit to Heian Shrine in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of my favorite cities to wander and get lost in, it’s flat, relatively compact and packed full of interesting things to see.  Heian Shrine is located centrally and easy to incorporate into either a walking tour or access via the public transport…

Yasaka Shrine

How to visit a Shinto Shrine in Japan

Visiting a Shinto shrine is tightly woven into the daily life, culture and history of Japan.  As a tourist you will probably want to visit at least one during your stay.  I had a list of shrines and shrine festivals I wanted to see but…

A day trip to Enryakuji, Mt Hiei

Enryakuji – A Day Trip from Kyoto

Enryakuji is an easy day trip from Kyoto, just half an hour on the train and you can be breathing the mountain air with stunning views out over Lake Biwa. This peaceful collection of historic temples on Mt Hiei is the perfect spot for a bit of light hiking, a living history lesson and a whole lot of serenity.

Sakura blossom at Ryoanji temple

Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Japan

In late March and early April the Cherry Blossom trees bloom across most of Japan.  This is called Sakura and it’s a magical time to visit.  Not only are cherry blossoms beautiful but they’re a symbol of new beginnings, of impermanence, the coming of spring…