More posts by Ryan Bender

Travel Tip #41: Consider Renting a Car

Renting a Kia Optima Hybrid

The Pros and Cons of Car Rental While Traveling

Travel is about experiencing all that the world has to offer. It is about letting go of your inhibitions and preconceived notions. It is about making every minute of everyday count. Travel is supposed to be about getting away from your normal daily routine and waking up each day wondering where you will end up.… Continue Reading →

Brasserie Beck

Belgian Restaurant in the Heart of DC

Belgian restaurants are all the rage these days and rightfully so. The Belgians monks weren’t subject to Germany’s Reinheitsgebot beer purity law, so they could add all sorts of extracts and flavors to make mighty tasty (and potent) Trappist beer. And it was the Belgians, not the French, who brought us fried slices of potato.… Continue Reading →

Philosopher’s Path

The Philosophers Path, Kyoto

Stroll Along The Canal on the east side of Kyoto

The best way to reach the Silver Pavilion is to follow the Philopher’s Path. This two-kilometer long footpath hugs the Higashiyama mountains that make up the eastern border of Kyoto. The path follows the Lake Biwa Canal from Nanzen-ji Temple, past Eikan-do Temple to Ginkaku-ji Temple.… Continue Reading →


silver pavilion

Silver Pavilion Buddhist Temple

In the 15th century, the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement home in the foothills of the mountains in eastern Kyoto. He modeled the building after the retirement home of his grandfather, which would become the Golden Pavilion. When he died in 1490, the home became a Buddhist temple in accordance with his will.… Continue Reading →

Travel Tip #40


Bring a First Aid Kit

Stowing a few small items in your dopp kit to make a travel-size first aid kit can save you a lot of pain and misery when you are away from home. This kit is not meant to substitute proper medical attention; a good rule of thumb is that if an injury looks or feels serious, it is serious.… Continue Reading →

Heian Shrine

heian shrine

Kyoto’s Most Popular Shinto Shrine and Gardens

Although only a little over 100 years old, the Heian Shrine is very popular among visitors and residents. Built in 1895, to celebrate Kyoto’s 1100th anniversery and dedicated to Emperor Kammu who made Kyoto the capital of Japan in the 8th century (Kyoto remained the capital for next 1000 years, until the Meiji Restoration);  the shrine was built to be a 5/8 replica of the Heian Palace, the original imperial palace in Kyoto.… Continue Reading →

Swissotel Amsterdam

Business Hotel on the Damrak

Swissotel Amsterdam
is located right on the Damrak, Amsterdam’s main drag which bustles with tourists and souvenir shops and is just a stone’s throw from Centraal station. It is a large hotel with big, clean, light-filled rooms, polite staff, and a location that can’t be beat.… Continue Reading →

Links We Love Vol. 41

san francisco

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