— travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams —

travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams


SGMT — On my first attempt to get to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, being a bit of an idiot I ended up 40 km away, in Nara. But I found my way to the shrine later that day. * _ The distinctively orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari are paid for by companies or individuals — their names are […]

Kodaiji Temple (Kyoto)

SGMT  — The Higashiyama ward is home to many temples and shrines. The Kodaiji Temple isn’t the most famous — that distinction goes to Kiyomizudera — but it’s also worth a visit if you are in the area. It was built in honor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a badass feudal lord in the late 1500’s whose list of accomplishments […]

The seasons at Kiyomizudera Temple

SGMT – There are iconic images of Kiyomizudera Temple — images of the World Heritage Site’s wooden platforms and graceful dark roofs wreathed in cherry blossoms or maple leaves — but you will not find them here. Other things caught my eye, other markers of the passage of time, and although they can’t quite be called iconic, these are […]

Old Japan in the Streets of Higashiyama

SGMT – Narrow lanes, lovely temples, traditional Japanese architecture and…free food! Why you should stay in — or at least visit — Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward. (Plus: where to stay in Higashiyama) _ I didn’t know Higashiyama was one of Kyoto’s best preserved historic districts when I booked a 2-night stay at the Gion Ryokan Q-beh […]

Kyoto Notes: Temples, Trees and Blossoms

. . Before I left for Japan last year, I made all these quick notes on places that I thought would be interesting to see. In this post, I’m sharing my Kyoto notes. There are 5 places listed here, though I only got to visit two — the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Kiyomizudera Temple. The latter is […]