How to Visit the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range in Japan

Monks walking toward Torodo Hall, Okunoin, Koyasan. Photo credit by Nick Kembel. Used with permission.

Japan’s wild, mountainous Kii Peninsula, located south of Osaka and Nagoya, has been sacred for thousands of years. Ancient Japanese believed the area was inhabited by kami, or Shinto spirits, which were later incorporated with the idea of Bodhisattvas when Buddhism arrived. Priests and emperors would come from afar and trek along pilgrimages connecting the … Read more

10 Stunning UNESCO World Heritage Cities For Your Bucket List

Japan - Kyoto - Byodoin Temple

We all travel for different reasons. Whether it is to see cool sights, eat new foods, make new friends, or be transformed by the journey itself. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in traveling to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I know my UNESCO World Heritage Bucket List is quite long! These … Read more

The 50 Most Beautiful Castles in the World and the Pictures to Prove It

Chateau de Chambord, royal medieval french castle and reflection. Loire Valley, France, Europe. Unesco heritage site. Long exposure.

As a history and travel lover, there’s no kind of building in the world that piques my interest more than a beautiful castle. Whether it’s learning about the history of Windsor Castle, comparing the summer and winter palaces of the Shaki Khans while traveling Azerbaijan, or sleeping in a castle in Ireland, visiting castles always … Read more