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Hillside Delights and Giant Buddhas at Hasedera Temple, Kamakura

Ah, Kamakura. The historic seaside town brimming with ancient wonder. Though it's perhaps best known for the Giant Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kōtoku-in, there are plenty of other impressive attractions in Kamakura. For example, the Hasedera Temple, only minutes away, perched on a...

Zōjōji Temple, underneath Tokyo Tower, is full of great local history!

If you’re only going to visit a few religious sites in Tokyo, put Zōjōji Temple on the list. For the devout, it holds importance as the main temple of the Jōdo-shū Chinzei sect of Buddhism in the Kantō region. For everyone else,...

Moss: An Essential Element of Japanese Culture

Stone lantern surrounded by moss
Ask someone what they would associate with Japanese culture, and many things might crop up in their answers: tempura, geisha, Mt. Fuji, sushi. These are all true, of course. But there’s something that is so ubiquitous in everyday Japan, and plays such...

Tokyo’s Secret Wilderness: Exploring Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley is one of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Had your fill of busy streets and perfectly manicured gardens? Craving something mercifully secluded, unsparingly green and unapologetically wild? These Tokyo parklands are here for you. Defying generations of dutiful landscapers, Todoroki is a...

Miyajima’s Stunning Mountain Temple: Daisho-in Temple

The forested hills of Miyajima Island are full of beauty and wonder. Wild deer and tanuki forage for food in the underbrush while the native maple trees display a spectrum of colours throughout the seasons. And at Mount Misen’s base you’ll find...

Strolling Around the Famed Tenryuji Temple Grounds in Arashiyama

The Bamboo Grove may be the most Instagrammed attraction in Arashiyama, but Tenryuji Temple is without doubt the most important. This World Heritage Zen temple was established all the way back in 1339, and quickly became the top ranking temple of Kyoto’s...

Kiyomizudera: Beyond The Main Hall

As I lower my camera amidst a sea of temple goers at Kiyomizudera, I get the feeling I’m being watched. Sure enough, in my peripheral vision, I spot two school boys, perhaps 14 years old, nervously looking from one another to me...

Half-day Kyoto Walking Tour Part 1: Gion to Kodaiji Temple

Looking for a short walking route in Kyoto that will give you real time chills and great photo opportunities? Look no further. We’ve put together a fabulous walking tour that winds through Kyoto’s Gion district and finishes at the Kodaiji Temple complex....

Taking in the Sights on a Kamakura Tour

Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine
Kamakura is the ultimate Tokyo day trip. From the Great Buddha of Kotoku-in to the tree-lined grounds of the Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura affords a chance to see some of the most iconic landmarks Japan has to offer. Best of all, it’s all...

The Tranquil Gardens of Kodaiji Temple: A Higashiyama Must

Kyoto’s eastern Higashiyama area is positively packed with beautiful historic temples, shrines, statues, pagodas, gardens and much, much more. But with so many outstanding places to see, where should you start? One of my personal favourite spots in the area is Kodaiji...

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