Nanzen-Ji Temple and Dinner at Asuka

Across the street from the Keage Subway station and the Westin Miyako Hotel, is an arched entrance to a brick lined tunnel with leads to the Southern end of the Philosopher’s Walk. This pathway follows a canal lined with cherry trees and temples. We arrive in the late afternoon as the weather is turning overcast…

A Visit To Kyoto’s Nijo Castle

After our morning filled with food, we finally make it onto the subway and exit across the street from Nijo Castle where we’d attempted to walk to the day before in driving wind and rain. Tip: we bought a 600 yen subway day pass. This is a good value because the least expensive trip is 210…

Kyoto’s Nishiki Market and Daimaru Depachicka (Food Hall)

Kyoto’s Nishiki Market Street If you’re interested in food, when researching Kyoto, it’s almost impossible not to come across references to Nishiki street. This market is often referred to as an “alley” but really, it’s quite clean and comfortable because it’s located one of the covered arcade streets running parallel to Shijo St between Teramachi St…

Kyoto; Westin Miyako Hotel Review

Kyoto; Westin Miyako Hotel Review We arrive into Kyoto station on the Shinkansen train from Tokyo and head outside to in search of the hotel’s free shuttle bus which turns out not to be clearly marked. It’s located where all the other buses stop on a small traffic island across from the Harvey’s grocery store in…

Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto and Our First Okonimiyaki

Taking the Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto Our reservation is on the 8am Shinkansen train from Tokyo station to Kyoto and it’s raining. Hard. On a nice day, without luggage, it’s about a 10 minute walk from the Tokyo Hilton to the Shinjuku station where we could have used our JR passes on a…

Tips and Observations For A First Time Traveler To Japan

I’ll admit, I was intimidated by the thought of traveling to Japan. Even though I’m fairly well traveled in Asia, I knew things would be different. There’s the language issue, etiquette, unfamiliar food and even with the research I did, I found myself confused by how certain things would work. So I thought it might be helpful to include some…