Kamakura

Kamakura (鎌倉) makes for a great day trip from Tokyo, and when combined with the Enoshima Kamakura Freepass is a really cheap way to see a more traditional area. Kamakura is full of interesting shrines, great Autumn colour and cherry blossom areas, and a huge Buddha! Top tips Try to just do places in the Enoshima KamakuraContinue reading “Kamakura”

Heirin Temple Autumn Colours Report

Heirin Temple is one of the best places to go near Tokyo for Autumn colours.  I went here not expecting too much.  I thought it would just be a nice park, but Heirin-ji is truly breathtaking.   The wonderfully designed temple is surrounded by bright red and golden leaves. And of course it’s free! To get hereContinue reading “Heirin Temple Autumn Colours Report”

Honganji Temples

The Honganji temples, consisting of Nishi Honganji (west temple) and Higashi Honganji (east temple), are large Buddist complexes walking distance from Kyoto station.  Not as beautiful as Kinkaku-ji Temple or Ginkaku-ji Temple, but nice temples to have a walk around. Budget travel tips Save some money and see the city a bit by walking from Kyoto stationContinue reading “Honganji Temples”

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji Temple, AKA Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is something you really have to see with your own eyes.  The beautiful temple on a lake is surrounded by a quiet, peaceful garden and a real must see in Kyoto.  Also a World Heritage site. Budget travel tips Worth combining with the Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, to save onContinue reading “Kinkaku-ji Temple”

Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji (Temple of Shining Mercy) is a stunning Zen Buddhist temple and a highlight of any trip to Kyoto. The traditional Japanese garden around the temple is full of interesting stone/gravel decorations and a ‘wishing stone’. Budget travel tips Combine this with a trip to Nanzen-ji temple, via the Philosopher’s Walk.  This should provide for a whole afternoon/morning’sContinue reading “Ginkaku-ji Temple”

Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

Why pay to enter a garden when you can walk through some very Japanesy bamboo groves! The Arashiyama Bamboo Groves make a nice walk or cycle ride for people who want to experience the quiet, tranquil side of Japan. Top Tips The Arashiyama area in general makes for a nice scroll, after going through the bamboo groves.Continue reading “Arashiyama Bamboo Groves”

Nanzen-ji Temple

Designated a Monument of Japan, because of its beauty, Nanzen-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple complex at the start/end of the famous Philosopher’s Walk. Budget travel tips Combine this with a trip to Ginkaku-ji Temple, via the Philosopher’s Walk.  This should provide for a whole afternoon/morning’s sightseeing. Most of the temples in this complex have a charge, so justContinue reading “Nanzen-ji Temple”

Nijo Castle

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Nijo castle is another must see in Kyoto.  The free Japanese garden is nice to walk around, and the castle buildings provide plenty of photo taking opportunities. Budget travel tips Come here early, as it takes a while to explore. It’s best to take the bus here, as the subwayContinue reading “Nijo Castle”

Kiyomizudera Temple

One of the most celebrated Buddhist temples in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is plenty to see, such as a pagoda, plus various Buddhist building and monuments.  Also, try out the wish-granting Otowa waterfall! Budget travel tips Check out the shopping street approaching Kiyomizudera. To avoid the crowds, come in the early morning/sunriseContinue reading “Kiyomizudera Temple”

Yasaka Shrine

A large complex of well maintained, stunning shrines, pagodas and other Shinto monuments and buildings. Occasional festivals and events occur throughout the year. Budget travel tips Combine this with a walk around Gion. There are a few other shrines and a pagoda in this complex, so explore around it. How to get there From KyotoContinue reading “Yasaka Shrine”