Usually when we hear about Kyoto, we think of a city mostly undisturbed, placid and preserved in the richest and most authentic setting of traditional Japan - and rightfully so! Many travelers usually go straight to Kinkakuji. We cannot blame them, however, on the other side of the town are a handful of other amazing temples. Nanzen-ji and Zenrin-ji are worth a mention. Take the Philosopher's Walk and get off the beaten track!
August 27, 2016
Many of these temples have magnificent gardens in their precincts that are sanctuaries of peace and tranquillity from all the crowds and noise of the big cities in Japan. In this article, I will highlight some of the less well-known temple gardens in Nara that offer you a chance to experience this peace and tranquillity for yourself.
August 13, 2016
The steep hill should not discourage you from climbing further ahead, as the best part of Hiraizumi awaits at the top of the hill in Chuson-ji. The beauty of multiple pagodas built in a form of a “Buddhist Pure Land” is just the beginning. The highlight is, of course, saved at the very end: the Golden Hall.
August 13, 2016
If there is one thing Japan is often associated with abroad, it must be a cat. But not just any cat: the little waving cat called maneki neko. Usually, at a shop’s entrance there are figures of cat with a raised paw, which is said to attract good fortune. Some cat figures are automatic lifting and lowering the paws non-stop.
August 5, 2016
Besides getting to know more about Japan through major cities like Tokyo or Osaka, Japanese culture also can be seen from historical prefectures, such as Ishikawa Prefecture, located in Japan's central Honshu. To visit Kanazawa, capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, is to explore the well-preserved Edo Period districts, samurai culture as well as Japanese handicrafts products and beautiful nature.
August 4, 2016
With so many temples in Japan, pilgrimages across temples are very common. Only in Tokyo there are dozens of them. The most famous are those about the seven gods of good luck, or Shichifukujin Meguri (literally, the tour of the seven lucky god temples), found, for example, around Nihombashi, Sumida, Yanaka, and Meguro.
July 25, 2016
Air BnB is a wonderful thing. It’s added a completely different dimension to holiday accommodation. I’m a big fan. You can find all manner of weird and wonderful places, all over the world, and quite often for a lot less than a hotel. This in mind, a Buddhist temple probably still wouldn’t figure in your top 5 of places you can find on Air BnB (it sure wasn’t on mine), but here we are. Allow me to tell you the story of when I stayed at just such a place.
July 25, 2016
It may only be the end of June as I write this, but already, rainy season is ending, the sun is shining, the skies are blue and the beer gardens are calling to me. Yes, dear readers and friends, summer is here in Osaka.
June 27, 2016
Only at Imamiya Shrine, can you find the 1000-year-old traditional Kyoto confection, aburi-mochi which is roasted rice cakes skewered on a bamboo stick. Just 2 kilometers from the famous Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). One may go to Kyoto for sightseeing, but in my opinion, you’re not in Kyoto yet if you haven’t tried it.
June 11, 2016