Summertime in Japan can be hot and humid and this year temperatures soared to extreme highs making it nearly unbearable to live in. As well as the extreme heatwave Japan was hit by strong typhoons with the eye of the typhoon being Kobe, the city I live in. There’s also been strong earthquakes and torrential rainfall throughout the Kansai area, causing some anxious times over the Summer.
You may not have eaten much tofu before or even be tempted to go to a restaurant that specializes in the food unless you were vegetarian or vegan, I myself would not have if I hadn’t been living in Japan for the last 16 years. I do however after eating at Shoraian which serves set menus featuring Kyoto’s local tofu recommend this to anyone visiting Arashiyama.
Having lived in Osaka for 16 years and been to Kyoto many times as a tourist as well as guiding friends or relatives around Kyoto we thought we would share our favourite temples in this area.
The choice was difficult as the city as over 1600 temples. That makes it difficult for a foreigner to chose which is the best one for them to visit. Of course if you don’t visit these ones you’ll still have an amazing time searching and looking at the other fine temples that Kyoto has but we think these are the best.
We chose three that were all diverse from one another. One includes hiking, one includes quirky stone sculptures and the other for its historical background that is convenient to travellers who are staying in and around the main area of Kyoto.
Arashiyama is an outlying western district of Kyoto which is one of our favourite places in Japan. It is one of those places that are filled with various sightseeing attractions from wildlife such as viewing wild monkeys in the mountainside surrounding the area, to cormorant fishing on traditional boats. The various temples, the bamboo forests and the charming lane way of traditional buildings far from the touristy area make for a great day of exploring this area. Follow our itinerary as we show you how to enjoy this traditional district.
Hiking has always played apart in our travels, ever since Rei was capable of walking considerable distances we started taking him out on the local trails around Osaka. Osaka being an enormous city you wouldn’t imagine there being any hiking trails nearby but these three trails are within an easy thirty minutes from Osaka. Continue reading
Korakuen Park is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan located in the city of Okayama. The garden dates back to 1700 when Lord Ikeda Tsunamasa had it built. The gardens were used to entertain important guests such as Feudal Lords but was used by ordinary people on certain days.
The gardens like many set in Japan are perfect for strolling along the paths and cover over 133,000 sq metres like many landscaped gardens in Japan the garden features ponds full of koi,streams,paths and a hill that can be used as a viewing point. An unusual feature of the garden for Japan is the use of expansive lawn.
In our previous post Hakone Circuit: How to see Mount Fuji we wrote about taking the boat across Lake Ashi and riding the cable car to catch stunning views of Mount Fuji. If I were to go to Hakone on a day trip from Tokyo then that would be the first thing I would recommend but the area has a lot more and deserves more than just a day trip. Here are some other suggestions on what you can do in the area. Continue reading