Category: Kyoto

If you’re in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and looking for one other city to visit between events or just for a bit of sightseeing while you’re in the country, Kyoto is the obvious choice. As Japan’s capital from …

Kyoto Quick Guide Read More »

On my recent visit to Japan (researching my new website Rugby Guide Japan for the Rugby World Cup) I spent a day in Kyoto doing a couple of hikes so I could update the crappy photography on those pages (namely, …

Damage to Kyoto’s Hiking Trails from Typhoon Jebi Read More »

The Gion Matsuri is foremost among the 3 great matsuri (festivals) of Kyoto (the others are the Aoi Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri), as well as being recognised as one of the 3 great festivals of Japan (along with Tokyo’s Kanda …

The Gion Festival Read More »

One time while living in Kyoto… “I went for a midnight stroll around Mt Inari, the red gates picked out against the snow, and with the sounds of the city muffled to nothingness, the night deathly quiet and utterly still …

An Ode to the Crows of Japan Read More »

From this distance the train appears to be suspended in the air across the valley, high above the river and motionless with its lights standing out like beacons against the backdrop of brooding forest in the deepening gloom. The tinny …

Hozukyo Station Read More »

Kyoto has so many shrines & temples, where do you even start? There’s no way you can see them all in a short visit (I haven’t come close even after many visits and living there for over a year), and …

Which Shrines & Temples Should You Visit in Kyoto? Read More »

Seeing the spring cherry blossoms in Kyoto is on many a bucket list, but an equally awesome time to visit the city is during the autumn colours (the Japanese word is koyo, 紅葉, lit. red leaves). The cherry trees go first, starting …

The Best Places to See the Autumn Colours in Kyoto Read More »

When visiting the incredible Fushimi Inari shrine in southern Kyoto for the first time, there are too many routes to check them all out; most visitors simply follow part or all of the main trail up, and perhaps the loop …

Fushimi Inari to Tofukuji Hike Read More »

Fushimi Inari is hands down my favourite place in Kyoto, and my favourite place in Japan that isn’t a ski resort! When I first lived in Kyoto, my apartment was between Fushimi Inari and Tofukuji Temple, near one of the …

Fushimi Inari: Complete Guide Read More »

The cool air wafting across my face, combined with the train’s extended lack of motion, coaxed me out of my slumber. “Shit,” I thought, “where the hell am I?” To which the answer was: I was drunk and jet-lagged on …

Drunk Sleeping on the Train in Japan – and Getting Stranded in the Wrong Prefecture! Read More »

Tetsugaku-no-michi, the Philosopher’s Path, is a pretty 2km path alongside a canal in northeast Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. It’s named for the early-20th Century philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who used to stroll along it in quiet contemplation on …

Kyoto City Walk: Tetsugaku-no-michi (The Philosopher’s Path), Keage Incline, Nanzenji and the Silver Temple, and Mt Daimonji Read More »

So I was just answering a question by another user over on the Japan Guide forum (which btw is a great place to ask if you’re planning a trip to Japan and have some questions), and decided I’d make a …

Higashiyama and Gion Walking Tour Read More »

Should you be fortunate enough to be in Japan in early April, here are my top 6 places to see the sakura (cherry blossoms) in Kyoto. This was supposed to be a top-5 list (in this age of top-5 clickbait), …

The Best Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto Read More »

It finally hit me in Maruyama Park, when I saw once again the great weeping cherry tree. The last time I’d seen it, it had been in glorious full bloom, the petals cascading down in an explosion of life greeting …

Mono-no-aware: the transience of things Read More »