Tag - Art & Culture

Shigetsu restaurant in Kyoto

An introduction to shojin ryori: Japanese vegan monastery cuisine

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and have never visited Japan before, don’t despair. You might have a picture of porky ramen, wagyu beef, and raw sushi in your head when you think of Japanese cuisine, but I’d like to introduce you to another style of cooking that is authentic, wonderful, and uniquely Japanese. Even if you are an omnivore like myself...

Private spa at Suiran / Image via Agoda

Serene Japanese ryokan with private onsen in Kyoto

Picture yourself sitting on the tatami mats in your private room, enjoying a cup of tea. You step out on to the deck of your private garden and slip out of your yukata nightrobe for a nighttime (or daytime) dip in your private tub, surrounded by a bright green carefully sculpted and curated garden. What more could one ask for? What is a ryokan? A ryokan (旅館)  is...

Landscape of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

Where to camp with Bedouins in Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

Welcome back to Wondrous Paths! Thanks for everyone still reading and here’s my latest in a post series on Jordan. My favorite part of my trip was the Jordanian famous red sand desert, Wadi Rum. This otherworldly desert is definitely something every visitor to Jordan should make a top priority to see. I know many people just come for Petra and leave, but it’s worth...

Blue Mosque view in Istanbul

How to explore Istanbul’s Old City, Sultanahmet

If you’re new to Istanbul, chances are you are going to be spending time in the Old City, a.k.a. the Sultanahmet neighborhood. Sultanahmet is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, on the southeast coast of the European side.  Sultanahmet is the oldest part of Istanbul, and was historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium.  Sightseeing in...

Red torii gates at the Fushimi Inari shrine

Visiting the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

Thousands of bright orange torii gates winding up the mountain, contrasted and framed with the neon green of the mountain forest. You’ve undoubtedly seen pictures of this striking Japanese Shinto shrine, Fushimi Inari. History of the shrine Inari Okami is the Shinto god of rice and business, and Inariyama is the sacred mountain dedicated to this god. There are about...