See Kyoto Temples and ride the Randen Line

Kyoto is Japan’s cultural capital and a tourist hot spot to boot. There is a staggering line-up of 1600 traditional Kyoto temples to be seen. It is difficult to comprehend that many temples in the one city. When viewing temples in Kyoto we like to spend a day or half day (depending on your schedule) […]

Kyoto Train Station and Christmas

Although only one in two million Japanese are Christians, the Festive Season is not overlooked in Japan.  In fact anything involving the national sport of shopping, is embraced with gusto and Christmas with it’s shining lights, trees, gifts and ornaments is enjoyed as a cultural event. [pinit] I was particularly transfixed by the decorations for […]

Ishiyama-dera Temple near Lake Biwa Japan

We were introduced to Ishiyama-dera Temple near Lake Biwa Japan by our Japanese friend Reiko. She collected us from JR Ishiyama train station and took us to Dinner in a Japanese Home but first we went to explore this important temple. It is situated in Otsu, the capital city of Shiga Prefecture, on the south-western shores of […]

Dinner in a Japanese Home

Because Japanese homes are so intimate in size, entertaining traditionally takes place at a restaurant or bar. Therefore we were surprised and pleased to be invited for dinner at the home of our friend’s mother, who lived in a prefecture close to Kyoto. Our hosts seemed as excited for us to be in their home as […]

Budget Kyoto and The Bamboo Forest at Arashiyama

The best things in life and travel are free. Marty and I are not averse to spending money on experiences and there are plenty of ways to do so Kyoto, but there are many budget options as well. Shrines are free to visit – even the amazing Orange Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha and provide an […]

Nara I admire your lines and Lanterns

You might say that spending two weeks in a country is not long to absorb the culture, but I am fairly certain that I got one observation correct on our first trip to Land of the Rising Sun. Japan in Precise. The trees that grow in public places and temples are manicured, sometimes tended on hands […]

Deer and Daibutsu at Nara

When Japan came under imperial control way back in 710, Nara became it’s first Permanent Capital.  Yamato, as modern day Nara Prefecture was then known, was birthplace of the emperors and it’s name graced the bow of Japan’s World War II Flagship.  Prior to Nara, the Capital city changed with each Emperor’s death – due to Shinto beliefs. After […]

Hozugawa River at Arashiyama Kyoto

Arriving by train we followed the flow of people to a vast marshalling area beside the river.  While the area was practically empty in mid-November the thought of it overflowing with people was incredible. Arashiyama at the base of the Arashiyama mountains in Western Kyoto is well known for it’s rather small but impressive bamboo forest. However it is the […]

Looking Through the Chu-mon Gate at Ninna-Ji

Having spent time at the Goten complex at Laid Back Ninna-Ji, a mellower version of myself emerged to peer through the Chu-mon Gate at Ninna-Ji Temple in Western Kyoto.  Ninna ji is well known for it’s late flowering cherry blossom trees. Ninna-ji History Ninna ji is the head temple for the Shingon Sect of Japanese […]

Ninna-Ji the laid back temple of Kyoto

UPDATED MARCH 2018. As we walked from Keifuku’s Omuro-Ninnaji Station my eyes were drawn to the impressive gates of Ninna-Ji Temple Kyoto. This was our first visit to a Japanese Temple and I was excited to see what could possibly be behind this huge gate in the temple viewing district of Western Kyoto. They are […]