Photo of the Day: Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

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Top Attractions in Kamakura, Japan

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Not too far away from Tokyo is Kamakura which is famous for the 37-foot bronze figure of the compassionate Amida Buddha.  Kamakura is located about 40km (25 mi) southwest of Tokyo and is easily accessible by train.  The easiest way to get to Kamakura is by taking the JR Yokosuka Line.  The journey takes 56 minutes from Tokyo station and trains run every 10 to 15 minutes.  Upon arrival at Kamakura, there is a local train you can take to visit the main attractions.

There is a Tourist Information Center at Kamakura Station that offers maps and other useful information for getting around Kamakura.

Top Attractions

Great Buddha (Daibutsu)

Cast in the 13th century, the Great Buddha of Kamakura is one the biggest attractions in Japan, where you will get a picture perfect post-card image of Japan.  The Daibutsu was originally housed in a wooden hall, which was washed away by a tsunami in 1495.  The Great Buddha statue now lives outdoors.

Hase-dera Temple

Not too far from the Great Buddha is Hase-dera Temple.  The temple is noticeable from the outside because of the beautiful trees surrounding the entrance.  Once inside, you will be immediately surrounded by beautiful gardens.  This temple faces the sea and on a sunny day, you will have a great view of Kamakura from the temple.

Hase-dera is best known for housing the largest wood statue of Juichimen Kannon, the goddess of mercy.  The statue stands about 9.18 meter (30 feet) tall and can be viewed in the temple’s main building.

For more information on Hase-dera temple and Kamakura, please visit

Photo of the Day: Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji_temple_JapanKinkaku-ji 金閣寺 (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto, Japan.

Photo of the Day: Tokyo Pedestrian Scramble

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Photo of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing.  Picture taken from the Shibuya railway station, Tokyo.

Photo of the Day: Budapest Parliament

HugaryPhoto of the Hungarian Parliament Building.  Picture courtesy of Mariela Vasquez and Tulio Maldonado.

Photo of the Day: Big Ben, London


Picture of the Bing Ben, which stands at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.  The Big Ben is one of London’s most famous and identifiable landmarks.

Photo of the Day: Milan

MilanPicture taken from the roof of the Duomo di Milano, Milan Cathedral.

One Day in Sonoma Wine Country

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Just a short drive north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, you will find Sonoma County.  Sonoma County is a traveler’s paradise featuring hundreds of wineries, scenic Pacific coastline, beaches, golf courses, and incredible restaurants.  Within Sonoma County is Santa Rosa, a popular destination for wine lovers.

Wines in Santa Rosa have been garnering awards and prestige over the years, which is what makes the wineries in Santa Rosa a must-visit during your stay in wine country.  Some winery recommendations include Paradise Ridge, a beautiful winery where you can enjoy breathtaking views; Matanzas Creek Winery, also known for its acres of lavender; DeLoach Vineyards, known for its Pinot Noir; Inman Family Wines, a family owned winery where you might get the unique opportunity to meet the winemaker; and Harvest Moon, known for its delicious zinfandel.  For dinner, stop by Willi’s Wine Bar which has an extensive wine list and a great variety menu.

Photo of the Day: Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Piramide_SolPicture of the Pyramid of the Sun, the largest building in the city of Teotihuacan, Mexico.  The city of Teotihuacan features some of the largest pyramids in the world; along with murals, palaces, and temples.  Picture courtesy of Anna Murphy.

Photo of the Day: Santa Rosa, California

SonomaPicture taken at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California.