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 →

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 →

Vondelpark Plaza Hotel

Modern Hotel in a Quiet Location

Staying in the center of Amsterdam can be a bit pricey and jam-packed, especially on a UK Bank Holiday weekend. If crowds of Brits on a stag  aren’t your scene, but you would still like to stay near the center of town, then the Vondelpark area is perfect for you.… Continue Reading →

Things to Do in Amsterdam

I Amsterdam Museumplein Here is a list of the best things to do in Amsterdam. We've personally visited each and every attraction to find the most engaging places for you to visit. From world-class museums to beautiful parks, Amsterdam has a lot to offer every visitor.



Daytrip From Kyoto

Kyoto is filled with so much to see and do that you could easily spend your entire trip there visiting the many gardens, temples, shrines and shops. But there are two things Kyoto doesn’t have: the world’s largest bronze Buddha and hundreds of tame deer roaming the city.… Continue Reading →


Historic Neighborhood in Northwest Kyoto

Everyone talks about the old neighborhoods, temples, shrines and gardens in Kyoto, but when you arrive at the train station, it is easy to wonder where these historical places are. The station is large and modern, and so is just about everything you can see from there.… Continue Reading →

Saihoji Temple


Buddhist Temple and Moss Garden In Kyoto

The gardens at the temples in Japan are some of the best in the world, but the best of the best is the moss garden at Saihoji Temple (also called Kokedera) in Kyoto. Anyone can make a flower look beautiful, but it takes talent to create a breathtaking landscape made entirely of lowly moss, and this talent earned the garden a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.… Continue Reading →

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle

Feudal Castle in Central Kyoto

Nijo Castle, located in the center of Kyoto, is a feudal castle with a couple of moats, expansive gardens and some floors you won’t find anywhere else. In 1603, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu started construction on Nijo Castle. It was expanded and finally completed 23 years later under the reign of his grandson, Iemitsu.… Continue Reading →

Fushimi-Inari Shinto Shrine

fushimi-inari shrine

Tunnel of 10,000 Torii Gates

L&A has been to their fair share of places of worship, from cathedrals and country churches to synagogues and Buddhist temples, but there is just something mystical about the Fushimi-Inari Shinto shrine in Kyoto. With its seemingly endless tunnel made of Torii gates and countless stone foxes watching your every move, it’s something you just experience yourself. … Continue Reading →