When you think of the word Zen, what images spring to mind? Perhaps you might imagine a dry garden of raked sand and rocks, a graceful black circle penned in ink on white paper, a black-robed monk seated in the lotus position with eyes half-shut, or the ripples created when a drop of water falls […]
It is not long now before the hanami (花見, cherry blossom viewing) season is upon us. One of the most famous locations to view the sakura (桜, cherry blossom) is Kyoto. Usually the cherry blossoms bloom in Kyoto between late March and early April. However, this year the cherry blossoms are forecast to open much […]
Imagine Kyoto and you are likely to think first of its many shrines, temples, and tranquil gardens. However, Kyoto is almost as famous for its food as for its historical sites.
Kyoto is famous for the exceptional beauty of its autumn foliage. Certainly, viewing the bright tapestry of crimson and gold in such a gorgeous historical setting is an unforgettable experience. During this season many temples and shrines illuminate their grounds and gardens so that visitors can view the autumn leaves after the sun goes down. […]
Last time, we talked about one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Japan. Up next, we have a spot that’s just about unknown for anyone outside the country, and in some cases, even for someone who’s always lived in Japan (despite being counted as a national treasure and so forth).
Kinkaku-ji, also known as Rokuon-ji (its official, but much less popular name) or as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion (a literal translation of ‘Kinkaku-ji’), is probably among the most famous temples in Japan. If you’ve looked into Japan at all, you can probably recognise it by sight, if not by name.
At first sight, Osaka just seems like a regular metropolis with not much to offer in terms of culture. If it was not for its proximity with Kyoto, a lot of foreign visitors would even skip it just based on its notorious attractions. However, for some reason almost every foreigner I have met, whether they […]