A relaxing stroll in the beautiful Genkyuen, the garden in the grounds of Hikone castle, featuring a central pond with multiple islands connected by bridges.
An unexpected enjoyable visit to Hikone Castle, one of the 12 original castles. Though the castle keep is small in size, especially in comparison to the likes of Himeji Castle, this hilltop castle offers a view of Hikone and features a number of intact buildings thus allowing visitors a more “complete” experience of a Japanese feudal castle.
A chance for a quiet prayer at Shōrin-in, an often overlooked Tendai sect. of Buddhism temple in Ohara, Kyoto.
A two-hour scenic ride through Hozugawa river from Kameoka to Arashiyama, learning about the history of the boat ride through the tales and jokes from the friendly boatmen.
Catching autumn colors at Hasedera, also known as Flower Temple and famous for its 7000 peonies which blooms from mid April to early May.
A stroll in Hama Rikyu, the only remaining tidal pond garden in Tokyo, offering contrast views of Edo-style garden against the backdrop of skyscrapers.
Looking for blood-red maples leaves at Kongourinji, one of the three Kotosanzan temples of Tendai Sect Buddhism in Japan.
Strolling in one of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gardens, Kiyosumi Teien, featuring a large pond with three islands and manmade hills, stepping stones pathways, and landscape stones collected from all over Japan.
Experience tranquility at the less-visited Raigō-in in Ohara, Kyoto, and a short walk behind the temple to the Soundless Waterfall, Otonashi-no-taki.
First post of the Affordable Japan series! Exploring Highway Buses as a budget travel option between cities.
Special Night Illumination of the Phoenix Hall @ Byōdōin in Autumn 2017.