Kyoto Gardens

Experience peaceful landscapes amidst a buzzing city strewn with tourists. Be seduced by holistic hideaways in the form of Kyoto’s most beautiful zen gardens, synonymous with the city’s status of Japan’s cultural heartland. In a place where beautiful gardens number into their hundreds, you won’t be hard pressed to find a secret sanctuary, but here…

Toji Temple

Rising from the city skyline, Japan’s tallest pagoda at Toji is an elegant reminder of Heian Kyo, ‘the capital of peace and tranquility’ and now a symbol of this beautiful ancient city. The arrival of the imperial court in Kyoto in 794 brought with it the new Heian Jidai and the building of a new…

Kyoto’s Best Sakura Spots

It’s that time again. Spring is here and the air is filled with the scent of ume blossom, the pretty pink petals reminding us that sakura season is just around the corner. This year (2019), because winter was warmer than average, the cherry blossoms are expected to open earlier than average, with predictions for first…

Kyoto by the Sea

When imagining Kyoto, beautiful blue sea, tiny fishing towns and Naval ports aren’t the first things that spring to mind. To most, Kyoto means Kyoto City; the heart of Japan’s cultural heritage and home to the most UNESCO World Heritage sites of almost any conurbation on the planet. To most, Kyoto doesn’t mean glorious seaside,…

Guide to Gion Part Two; Drinking, Dining, Buying

Kyoto is renowned for being the home of craftsmanship in Japan. It also has the most kaiseki cuisine per capita, which makes it the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or dip into the wealth of culinary delights on offer. Following my earlier Walking Tour route of Gion, here I’ve chosen a few of…

Kamishichiken; Kyoto’s Oldest Geiko District

The cultural heritage of Kyoto is utterly astounding, but after spending over a thousand years as the capital, this isn’t really surprising. From temples to shrines to gardens, people flock to the city to see ancient landmarks and a glimpse of an era now confined to history books. Peculiarly and often overlooked is Kamishichiken; Kyoto’s…

My Guide to Gion; A Walking Tour

Famed as being one of the most mesmerizing districts in Kyoto, Gion is an area of stunning temples, maiko meeting places and local eateries that are perfect to while away a day in the ancient capital. Kyoto’s magic lies in it’s ability to preserve the old and welcome the new. The Station Building is testament…

Where to See Plum Blossoms in Kyoto

Japan is known for its incredible seasons, particularly the spring when towns, cities and countryside are awash with colour from vibrant petals on myriad types of blossoming trees and plants. Although cherry blossoms – sakura – get all the glory, Japan’s blossom season starts in late February/ early March with the much more fragrant Japanese…

Kyoto’s Only Michelin-Starred Soba

Glowing from the natural light that streams through its front windows, Ogawa’s specialty is soba. Michelin-starred soba; a type of noodle that has been eaten in Japan for centuries. These tasty morsels are usually something that is knocked up at low-key eateries on almost every street corner across Japan, so it’s surprising to find a…

Kyoto’s Michelin Star Restaurants

I’ve had a lot of people asking me about which Kyoto eateries have been awarded stars. Even though the Michelin system is great, Kyoto has a whole host of restaurants (even if I lived here five years and ate somewhere new every night I don’t think I’d get through them all!) that are begging to…

French Michelin Dining in Kyoto

Late last year, Michelin announced its star list for Kyoto. As soon as it came out I downloaded it and started planning dinners and lunches. I love good food, so I was excited. Kyoto, surprisingly, is home to a number of amazing French restaurants and so I sat and deliberated, settling on La Famille Morinaga…

Kyoto’s Top Temples

When you hear the word ‘Kyoto’ images of ancient temples and perfectly preserved pagodas spring to mind. The old imperial capital is home to over 1500 of them and each serves a special purpose, from bringing good fortune in your work life to helping you bag a date with that certain someone you’ve been admiring…