Sanjusangendo Temple

Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂) is a completely breathtaking temple containing one thousand life-size, golden Kannon statues. This place really has to be seen to be believed, and of course photos are prohibited! Budget travel tips If you don’t have a Kyoto bus pass, you can walk here (see below). Come early to avoid the tour buses.Continue reading “Sanjusangendo Temple”

Toji Temple

Toji Temple (東寺) is one of the two ‘guardian temples’ that was built when Japan’s capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto. Toji translates as ‘east temple’. It is a World Heritage listed Buddhist temple, famous for its grand 5 story, 54.8 m high pagoda, which is the highest wooden tower in Japan. Budget travel tips Walk to the temple from Kyoto stationContinue reading “Toji Temple”

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺), meaning The Temple of the Dragon at Peace, is a World Heritage listed “dry landscape” garden and temple. It is considered to be one of, if not the best, examples of these in Japan.This garden style features large rock formations with pebbles raked in linear patterns to help in meditation. Budget travel tips Note thatContinue reading “Ryoanji Temple”

Uji

Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it’s many centuries old shrines and temples, 2 of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. While it is famous for these sites, Uji has also been blessed with amazing nature and is a good place to come for an easy walk or hike. BudgetContinue reading “Uji”

Top 5 Autumn Color Spots in Kyoto and Kansai

Just like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto in the Kansai region have some great spots for viewing the colorful autumn leaves. Here are the best! Unless otherwise noted, the best time is usually Mid November to early December. 1. Kiyomizudera Temple (清水寺) In our opinion the best place in Kyoto for autumn colors, his temple becomes a hugeContinue reading “Top 5 Autumn Color Spots in Kyoto and Kansai”

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima. Budget travel tips If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (linkContinue reading “Himeji”

Ise Shrines

The Ise shrines are often regarded to be in the top 3 shrine areas in Japan.  The simple, yet spectacular shrines really have to be seen with your own eyes to understand their beauty. Budget travel tips Try to be here outside the holidays, as Ise can get horribly busy. May be a good ideaContinue reading “Ise Shrines”

Nara

Nara iorr a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of great shrines and temples, not far from Kyoto and Osaka.  A must-visit for most travelers coming to Japan, Nara has a large park where most of the action is, while there are a few more shrines and temples a short bicycle or bus ride away. Budget travel tips BeContinue reading “Nara”

Shitennoji Temple

If all the lights of downtown Osaka get too much, head to Shitennoji Temple, the oldest temple in Japan. It’s very well known Buddhist temple with a nice little garden, treasure house and plenty of temple buildings to have a look around in. Budget travel tips For a wider selection of shrines and temples, go toContinue reading “Shitennoji Temple”

Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade

Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade is the main shopping area in central Osaka.  It’s always busy, and is full of all kinds of shops and restaurants.  Expect to spend a while window shopping and finding some good bargains. Budget travel tips Come here for cheaper and more family friendly restaurants than Dotonbori Street. For a full days shopping, combineContinue reading “Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade”