Koyasan is a Buddhist community located on top of Mount Koya in the Wakayama Prefecture (just south of Kyoto and Osaka). We decided early on in our planning to make the trek up the sacred mountain and spend the night at Kongo Sanmaiin, one of the Buddhist temples.
Unfortunately we had one day of rain during our time in Japan. We didn’t let it stop us, and we headed to Gion and the Nishiki Market, aka Kyoto’s Kitchen.
Dining at the 3 star kaiseki restaurant Kikunoi in Kyoto for our 8th year wedding anniversary was a highlight of the trip. Kaiseki is Japanese haute cuisine, and a big influence of the Michelin tasting menus we know today. A kaiseki dinner is made up of many courses (our’s had 12) that change monthly with the season.
The Hamarikyu Gardens in the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo, offer a bit of peace in the middle of the busy city. In stark contrast to the skyscrapers surrounding the garden, Hamarikyu is a beautiful oasis where you can enjoy a stroll along the pond or a bowl of matcha with sweets at the traditional teahouse.