Better Know a Neighborhood: Nara Park (Nara)

Nara is quite possibly the most popular day trip you could take from Kyoto. Many people don't always realize that Nara was Japan's first established capital, serving as the seat of power from 710AD to 784AD. However, when Japan's powerful ruling families upped sticks and moved to Kyoto at the end of the 8th century mostly... Continue Reading →

Better Know a Neighborhood: Gion (Kyoto)

As evening falls in Kyoto, there's no where else I would rather be than wandering the streets of the Gion neighborhood. This is quintessential Kyoto at its best - willows and cherry trees hang over a languid canal; light filters out the slatted windows of wooden ochaya (teahouses); maiko and geisha dart back and forth on cobbled streets... Continue Reading →

Better Know a Neighborhood: Ginza (Tokyo)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Japan and one of my favorite places to "feel" the holiday spirit is in the Ginza. Tokyo's former silver minting neighborhood is now an unabashed temple to commercialism and yet I never tire of exploring the brick-lined back streets here, stumbling over Michelin-starred sushi joints,... Continue Reading →

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