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Choraku-ji and Anyo-ji: Hidden in the Hills, Lost in Time.

Kyoto is abundant in micro-temples which atmospherically melt into forests and hills. Naturally, they're a perfect antidote to the more popular and all too often overcrowded temples and shrines in the city. Two such temples in Kyoto city lie hidden in Higashiyama's...

Nison-in: Busy Arashiyama’s Secret Mountain of Fire

Visiting Arashiyama in autumn will be one of two things: incredible, or infuriating. Unfortunately, Arashiyama's exceptional autumnal beauty makes it a victim of its own success. Recently, the area has become so crowded that people cannot walk from one part of town...

Jindaiji Temple: A Spiritual Day Trip From Tokyo

Follow the Keio line to Chofu in West Tokyo where you'll find a massive, magnificent temple complex. The second-oldest temple in Tokyo, a day trip to Jindaijii lets visitors feel transported to the Edo era, without actually leaving the city. Read on...

Myoshin-ji Temple and Taizo-in’s Garden: Kyoto’s Past, Perfectly Preserved.

Although much of Kyoto city's architectural and cultural history has skyrocketed in popularity in the last five years, many almost 'undiscovered' sites also exist. The lack of visitation creates a tangible atmosphere of living, breathing history. The vast temple complex of Myoshin-ji...

Tofuku-ji Temple: Mirei’s Modernism in the Heart of Kyoto

Japan's abundance of breathtaking gardens makes it a promised land for plant lovers and landscapers alike. The problem is, which gardens should take priority when you only have limited time in the country? Tofuku-ji temple's gardens aren't Kyoto's largest or oldest, but...

Hozan-ji Temple: in the Mountains of Ikoma, Nara’s Hidden Wonder.

Hozan-ji is in many ways the embodiment of a perfect Japanese experience, in miniature. The otherworldly mountain temple complex is largely unknown to foreign tourists and seldom crowded by local visitors outside of the spring/autumn peak seasons. If you feel like riding...

Daihikaku Senkoji: The Best Views in Arashiyama!

It won't surprise anybody to learn that Kyoto is becoming the centre of tourist activity in Japan. Kyoto is a small, safe and affordable city, with more culture per square mile than anyone can handle in a one-week visit. However, the well-received...

The Oldest Things to See in Tokyo: Ultimate Guide

tokyo oldest things
While the historic aspects of Tokyo aren’t as immediately obvious as in some other Japanese cities, there’s plenty to see if you do a bit of digging. From old town areas (also known as Shitamachi) such as the Yanesen District to historic...

Zenkoji Temple, The Heart and Soul of Nagano City

Japan, like many other countries, has its own indigenous nature-based religion: Shinto. These prehistoric practices involve worshipping the kami who inhabit trees, waterfalls, mountains, objects and even ancestors. While Shinto served Japan well for a very long...

Late Night Fortune Telling At Sensoji Temple

Founded in 645, Senso-ji is the oldest temple in Tokyo—and with 30 million visitors per year, it’s also one of the busiest. What is meant to be a spiritual exercise can quickly become one of trying to...

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