Capture the Color Photography Contest

I’m really not one for entering contests. Primarily because like most people, I think my chances of winning are so small, why waste my time? But this contest buzzing about the interwebs, Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Color, got me to change my mind. Plus, I was nominated by the awesome Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless, so really,…

Tokyo Dome, Last Minute Shopping, Food Hall Lunch

On our last day in Tokyo we have about half a day before we have to leave for the airport for a 7pm flight back to Los Angeles. The hotel has allowed us a (slightly) late checkout at 2pm, so we set out to do a little last minute shopping and sightseeing. The first goal…

Tokyo’s Ameyoko Market and Yakitori with the Local Crew

We all hope for unscripted moments when we travel, don’t we? It’s those precious minutes when you actually get to interact with someone who lives in the place you have traveled halfway around the world to visit, someone who isn’t paid to interact with you (like a hotel employee, tour guide or waiter). These experiences seem fewer and…

Tokyo’s Ramen Jiro, A Delicious Happy Accident

Our trip back to Tokyo from Kyoto was easy and quick. We bought bento boxes in the station for lunch on the 10 am train and had an uneventful and fast ride back to Tokyo. When we arrived back at the Hilton around 1:15, our room was not ready. This was especially frustrating because clearly the hotel was not…

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Exit the Inari train station, cross the street, and you are practically at the entrance gate to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Behind the main shrine temple is a 4km circular route (actually more like a figure eight) which cannot be seen from the start. It’s almost impossible to judge the scope of the setting and we…

Nara Japan; Sacred Deer, Todai-ji Temple and Lunch in a Bus Station

Ancient temples? Check. World’s largest bronze Buddha? Check. Sacred deer roaming the streets who will eat our of your hand? Che….whoa…what? Oh yes, Nara Japan has it all, including a few thousand tame “sacred” deer who are free to roam the streets, wander into shops and restaurants and lounge about the local parks. These deer are…

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…