Things to Do


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 →


Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto

So, you have decided to go to Kiyomizu Temple. Everyone keeps talking about how charming Kyoto is, but so far you just haven’t seen it. You got off of the shinkansen at the train station and the city looks like every other city in Japan-hopelessly modern.
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Our Lord in the Attic Church

Hidden Church near Amsterdam’s Red Light District

The Dutch government has a history of  tolerance. Take a few steps from Centraal Station and smell the marijuana smoke and take a peek at the ladies in the window boxes and the word “tolerance” does not seem, I don’t know, strong enough. So when anti-Catholic sentiment was all the rage in Europe, what did the tolerant Dutch do?… Continue Reading →

Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Flower Market

Only in Amsterdam will you find a flower and bulb market floating in a canal. Seriously, how much Dutch imagery can you combine? I suppose if they also sold windmills made out of Gouda…

The Bloemenmarkt has been selling flowers along the Singel canal for over 150 years.… Continue Reading →


Amsterdam’s Central Park is the Perfect Place to Relax

Amsterdam has a lot to offer: picturesque canals, impossibly cute houses and quaint little shops, but sometimes you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. Any metropolis worth their salt has a large public park for its citizens and visitors to stretch their legs, kick back and relax.… Continue Reading →

Atomic Interiors

eames chair

Mid-Century Modern Furniture in Madison

Atomic Interiors doesn’t just sell furniture; they sell an idea that good design is timeless. Yes, they are one of Madison’s two Herman Miller retailers, but most of their show room is filled with used furniture. Actually, that term does not quite fit what they have, nor does “antiques.” What they sell is well-designed, mid-century modern furniture-be it new or not.… Continue Reading →

Memorial Union & Lake Mendota

memorial union

The perfect Summer (or Spring or Fall) Day in Madison

So you are in Madison for a day and the weather is just too gorgeous to be inside. You are aware that the summers are painfully short here and you want to take advantage of the sunshine while you can. The perfect day?… Continue Reading →