Kyoto Photos

From the Yasaka Shrine to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, check out the attractions and foods of this Japanese city.

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Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

Located on the island of Luzon (31 miles south of Manila), Taal Volcano is the 2nd most active volcano in the Philippines. The volcano -- part of what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire -- and Taal Lake is one of most picturesque views in the country. 960 1280

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Diniwid Beach

Diniwid Beach

Visit the upscale Diniwid Beach on Boracay Island, Philippines. Of the 13 beaches on Boracay, Diniwid Beach is perfect for travelers looking for an upscale stretch of sand that’s private, quiet and less populated with beachgoers. 960 1280

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Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills

Located in the Philippines’ Bohol Province, the Chocolate Hills are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 20 square miles. This geological site and popular tourist attraction -- normally covered in green grass -- turns chocolate brown during the dry season. 960 1280

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Boracay Island

Boracay Island

Boracay is a small island located almost 200 miles south of Manila. This island paradise is emerging among the top destinations for a relaxing vacation and exciting nightlife scene. In 2012, Travel + Leisure picked Boracay as the best island in the world. The island is also a great spot for travelers who enjoy water sports, including scuba diving, snorkeling, helmet diving and cliff diving. Visit during Amihan season (usually from September to June) to get the best trade winds for windsurfing, kiteboarding and kitesurfing. 960 1280

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Manila

Manila

Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines with a total population of more than 1.6 million people. Recommended sights to visit include Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Rizal Park, Fort Santiago, Star City, Manila Ocean Park, Café Juanita and the Marikina Shoe Museum, for those fascinated by the footwear of the Philippines’ controversial former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. 960 1280

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Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Arrive at Shangri-La’s secluded Boracay Resort & Spa on a speed boat. Guests can choose to stay in one of the resort’s 219 rooms, suites or villas -- all with a spacious balcony and some with a stunning oceanfront view. Don’t pass up being pampered at Chi, The Spa, or using the resort’s health club, tennis court, dive center or swimming pool, one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the country. 960 1280

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa  

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Commonly referred to by Filipinos as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces carved into the mountains in the Ifugao Province of the Philippines. Locals still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces despite the steady decrease in number of young farmers. We also recommend take a fun road trip to the Batad Rice Terraces. 960 1280

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Cebu

Cebu

Cebu is an island province in the Philippines, consisting of the island itself and 167 surrounding islands. It is one of the most developed provinces, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry. In 2007, Conde Nast Traveler named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region. Cebu is also a great spot for shopping. We recommend shopping at local markets like the Carbon Market or Tabo-an Market. 960 1280

Tom Cockrem / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Snorkeling in Cebu

Snorkeling in Cebu

Spend hours snorkeling and exploring the marine life along the coast of Cebu. Mactan Island and Moalboal Cebu are some of the best spots for an underwater adventure to explore the 4-armed chocolate, blue linckia starfish, black sea urchin, manta rays, barracuda, whalesharks and beautiful coral gardens. 960 1280

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Rizal Park

Rizal Park

Take a stroll through Rizal Park, a historical urban park located along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. This iconic park consists of open lawns, lush gardens, paved walks and wooded areas with monuments that recognize national Filipino heroes like Jose Rizal. On Sundays, locals and visitors can sit back and listen to live entertainment, for free, in the open-air auditorium as part of the Concert at the Park series. 960 1280

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Sensual Spa Treatment

Sensual Spa Treatment

There’s no better way to unwind and relax than to hit the spa for a therapeutic massage to help release the stress sitting in those tight muscles and joints. From a hot stone massage to foot reflex therapy, the Philippines have a several resorts that have their in-house spas and services that cater to its guests’ needs. 960 1280

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SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

Go shopping at the SM Mall of Asia! Located in Bay City, Pasay, this mega-sized mall attracts about 200,000 people every day, and it is one of the largest malls in the world. If you still have satisfied your shopping fix after visiting the SM Mall of Asia (pictured); then you can’t miss out on shopping at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Philippines. It’s the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world. 960 1280

Roberto Verzo, flickr  

White Beach

White Beach

Welcome to one of the finest, stretches of white-sand beachfront in the world. Lined with coconut palms, White Beach -- located on Boracay Island -- is 3 miles long and has a strip of bars, restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops that cater to millions of tourists. The beach is divided into 3 sections from north to south: stations 1, 2 and 3. Station 1 has the widest stretch of sand with pricey hotels. Station 2 is the place to be for eating and shopping, and the Station 3 is the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax. 960 1280

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Sunday in Harajuku

Sunday in Harajuku

Harajuku, which translates as 'meadow lodging,' is actually the name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line of the commuter rail in Tokyo. 960 1280

John Mueller, flickr  

Harajuku girls

Harajuku girls

The Harajuku region is known for its shopping and fashions. It has also become famous for the teenage girls who come dressed in cosplay outfits or fashions they invent. 960 1280

Matt Watts, flickr  

Harajuku girls in Tokyo

Harajuku girls in Tokyo

The focal point of Harajuku's teenage culture is Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets, which are lined with many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast-food outlets geared toward the fashion-and-trends conscious teens. 960 1280

Istolethetv, flickr  

Harajuku girls

Harajuku girls

To experience the Harajuku culture, visit the area on a Sunday. This is when most of the young people gather in their unique fashions. 960 1280

ThisParticularGreg, flickr  

Gothic girl in Harajuku area of Tokyo

Gothic girl in Harajuku area of Tokyo

You'll see many different styles including, gothic, cosplay, visual kei, rockabilly, hip hop and punk. 960 1280

Mehmet Aktugan, flickr  

Colorful Harajuku girls

Colorful Harajuku girls

US singer Gwen Stefani was so impressed with the Harajuku culture that she recorded her hit single "Harajuku Girls." She felt the culture gives youth a way to express themselves. 960 1280

Mehmet Aktugan, flickr  

Harajuku school girl

Harajuku school girl

Gwen Stefani went on to create a Harajuku Lovers clothing line featuring Kawaii-style characters she designed -- Love, Angel, Music and Baby. She now has a children's line of the clothing. 960 1280

John Mueller, flickr  

Harajuku girls

Harajuku girls

Here are some tips for dressing in the Harajuku style: Wear what you think looks good. Don't worry about what others think. If you like it, then go for it! 960 1280

Mehmet Aktugan, flickr  

Wild hair and makeup on a girl in Harajuku

Wild hair and makeup on a girl in Harajuku

Go wild with your hair and makeup. 960 1280

Leishangthem, flickr  

Girls dressed in pink and white outfits

Girls dressed in pink and white outfits

Don't forget to layer. This is one of the hallmarks of this style of dress. 960 1280

Carter McKendry, flickr  

Harajuku girls with lots of accessories

Harajuku girls with lots of accessories

Accessorize -- add jewelry, purses, hairbands and any other items that you think will complete the look. 960 1280

Ethan Hein, flickr  

Baby Doll Harajuku Girls

Baby Doll Harajuku Girls

In addition to the unique teen culture, the Harajuku area is known for its attractions and shopping. Meiji Jingu, one of Tokyo's major shrines, is not far from the station and is located near Yoyogi Park. 960 1280

Elvin, flickr  

Dark Lolita (kodona style)

Dark Lolita (kodona style)

Not too far from Yoyogi Park is Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Built for the 1964 Olympics by famous architect Kenzo Tange, it is now used for ice skating and volleyball competitions, concerts and other events. 960 1280

Carlos Castillo, flickr  

Harajuku Lolita

Harajuku Lolita

Visitors should also check out the Ota Memorial Museum of Art and the Nezu Museum. Both have impressive Asian art collections. 960 1280

Nicholas Wang, flickr  

Harajuku girls dressed like anime characters

Harajuku girls dressed like anime characters

Omotesando, an avenue sometimes referred to as Tokyo's Champs-Elysees, is where you can find cafes, restaurants and famous brand name shops. 960 1280

Mehmet Aktugan, flickr  

Girl dressed as Stitch from the Disney movie

Girl dressed as Stitch from the Disney movie

Also located on this street is Kiddy Land. This 6-floor toy store is one of the most famous and popular in Tokyo. 960 1280

Cory Doctorow, flickr  

17 Photos
Edamame

Edamame

This salty snack of pods of baby soybeans goes well with beer. You can often find it at Japanese ballparks. 960 1280

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Yakitori

Yakitori

Yakitori are small pieces of skewered chicken and vegetables cooked on a grill. Each part of the chicken is typically grilled: the meat, liver, gizzard, skin, tail, cartilage, wing and small intestines. 960 1280

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Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki

This hot pot dish consists of thinly sliced beef, onions and tofu cooked in a sweet soup. It is eaten with rice and raw egg. It is also a popular wintertime treat. 960 1280

Yumi Kimura, flickr  

Tempura

Tempura

Tempura is any food (usually meat, veggies or seafood) that is fried in a special batter. It is usually served with a dipping sauce called tentsuyu. 960 1280

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Sakuramochi

Sakuramochi

Eaten during the Cherry Blossom Festival as well as Hinamatsuri (Girls' Day) in Japan, this pastry comes in 2 varieties: the Kanto (Tokyo) style where azuki bean paste-filled pancake/crepe is wrapped with a pickled sakura leaf, and the Kansai style, which is made with Domyoji-ko, a kind of glutinous rice flour that is steamed and filled with azuki. 960 1280

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Seaweed Salad

Seaweed Salad

Japanese seaweed salad can consist of 1 or more types of seaweed: wakame, arame, dulse, hijiki, ao-nori and agar strips. It is often made with sesame seeds and oil. Seaweed is a super food and is loaded with anti-oxidants and minerals. 960 1280

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Soba

Soba

Soba is another popular soup-based dish. When served hot, the thin buckwheat noodles are topped with items such as tempura, duck, mochi (rice cakes) or mountain vegetables. It can also be served cold with wasabi. 960 1280

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Sake

Sake

This alcoholic beverage is made from fermented rice called shinpaku-mai. The higher the starch content of the rice, the better the sake. There are 4 types of sake, and each uses a different type of rice: junmai-shu, honjozo-shu, ginjo-shu and daiginjo-shu. 960 1280

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Ramen Noodles

Ramen Noodles

Ramen are Japanese noodles with an oily soup that has a meat or fish broth flavored with soy sauce, salt or miso. Ramen noodles can be topped with thin sliced pork, egg, nori (type of seaweed) and green onion. 960 1280

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Miso Soup

Miso Soup

Miso soup is made with a simple stock called dashi (seaweed and fish shavings). A small amount of miso paste is added to the broth, which ends up floating in the mixture. Seaweed, onion and tofu are all toppings that can be used in the soup. 960 1280

cyclonebill, flickr  

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

Often translated as Japanese pancake, these patties are made from a batter of flour, eggs and shredded cabbage. Veggies, meat, seafood and cheese can all be mixed in. They are often topped with fish or seaweed flakes, mayonnaise and pickled ginger. 960 1280

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Shabu-shabu

Shabu-shabu

Similar to fondue, these thin slices of pork or beef are cooked by submerging them in boiling broth using long chopsticks. They can be eaten along with veggies, seafood or tofu. 960 1280

Christian Kadluba, flickr  

Sushi

Sushi

There are 2 varieties of sushi. Maki is when fish, veggies or a combo are rolled into rice and wrapped in seaweed. Nigiri means 'hand made,' and includes rice shaped into a rectangle with a piece of fish on top. 960 1280

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Tsukemono

Tsukemono

These Japanese pickles come in many varieties such as beni shoga (ginger pickle), bettarazuke (Japanese radish pickle), gari (young sweet ginger pickle) and nasu karashizuke (pickled eggplant). They are used as toppings or a side dish. 960 1280

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Udon

Udon

Udon are thick Japanese wheat noodles. They can be eaten cold with a dipping sauce and wasabi, or hot in a broth with toppings such as tofu, tempura or toasted mochi. 960 1280

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Taiyaki

Taiyaki

Taiyaki are fish-shaped Japanese sweets filled with red bean paste or custard and served hot. They are a popular food at Japanese festivals. 960 1280

yomi955, Wikimedia Commons  

Ikura

Ikura

The salmon eggs can be served on rice as sushi or in onigiri (rice ball). 960 1280

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Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

The tallest and most iconic mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji is a symbol of the country. On clear days, the towering mountain can be seen all the way from Tokyo (about 60 miles away). 960 1280

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Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion

It’s easy to see where this Zen Buddhist temple, built in 1397 in Kyoto, gets its name -- the top 2 floors are completely covered in gold leaf. 960 1280

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Mount Aso

Mount Aso

The focal point of Aso-Kuju National Park, Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan with one of the largest calderas (cauldron-like volcanic craters) in the world. 960 1280

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Matsushima

Matsushima

Matsushima, a grouping of 260 small islands covered in pine trees, is one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Points,” along with Miyajima, an island in Hiroshima, and Amanohashidate, a long sandbar in Kyoto. 960 1280

Copyright Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji  

Tojinbo

Tojinbo

The series of spectacular rugged cliffs called Tojinbo are almost 100 feet tall and have been designated one of Japan’s natural monuments. The tall rock pillars were first formed by “columnar jointing” as a result of volcanic activity, and have been shaped by the tumultuous waves of the Sea of Japan. 960 1280

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Lake Mashu

Lake Mashu

Often called the “mysterious lake,” Lake Mashu is one of the clearest lakes in the world, but its surface is often obscured by a heavy mist. Be careful if you’re planning on visiting – legend has it that if you see the lake on a sunny day you’ll be doomed with misfortune. The lake has no incoming or outgoing currents, and the water level stays eerily constant, adding to its mystery. 960 1280

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Mount Zao

Mount Zao

The “ice monsters” of Mount Zao emerge in the winter when Siberian winds pick up moisture from the Sea of Japan and freeze the Aomori Fir trees that line the mountain’s slopes. Eventually, the trees become completely enveloped in snow and ice, creating a truly astounding sight. Winter visitors to Mount Zao can ski through the towering monsters--the best time to visit is late January to early March. 960 1280

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