2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Maiko Portrait Session

May 07 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Maiko Portrait Session |

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

 

I already shared with you about Kyoto and some of the special experiences we had there, but one other special experience in Kyoto that I saved a post for itself was our portrait session with a maiko in Kyoto.  If you have been to Japan Photo Guide before, perhaps you have seen the portrait session with the two maiko from the 2014 cherry blossom tour of Japan, also in Kyoto!  If so, you might recognize this maiko as she is in those portraits as well.  Can you spot what has changed about her appearance since last yet?

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

 

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

Of course she is a year older but now she has lipstick on both the bottom and top lips, not just a style thing, but as they advance in their training, different things like hair style and make up changes as well!  This time we first met at her tea house in Gion Kyoto, had a short tea ceremony and played a game before heading out to Kyoto Botanical Gardens to take portraits of her.

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

Taking portraits of a real maiko is always a unique and special experience itself, but also, just having sometime to talk with her was very interesting for the group visiting Japan as talking with a maiko is so rare, especially for foreign visitors.  Catching a glimpse into the world of geiko (geisha is actually geiko in Kyoto and maiko in Kyoto is a geiko in training) is a special experience that everyone enjoyed, including a couple that was taking their wedding portraits that really wanted to take a portrait with her!

portrait with maiko japan photo guide portrait with maiko japan photo guide

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji Castle and some of us to The Fuji Five Lakes close to Mt. Fuji.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

portrait with maiko japan photo guide

2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Special Experiences in Kyoto

May 05 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Special Experiences in Kyoto |

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

experience japan photo guide

It’s on the front page of Japan Photo Guide, “Don’t Just Visit Japan, Experience Japan” and I strongly believe that!  There are so many different ways to really experience Japan and Japanese culture.  Whether it’s meeting locals, taking part in lessons of culture or witnessing some special events that take place in Japan, unique and special experiences take visiting Japan to the next level!  Often the feedback I get from those on the tours to Japan is that the experiences and new friendships are two of the most memorable and important parts about their trip to Japan.

experience japan photo guide

experience japan photo guide experience japan photo guide

For the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, we had quite a few great experiences!  In Tokyo there was a cooking lesson with an English speaking Japanese chef in her home, a visit to a sumo stable and a meal in a Japanese style restaurant with some Japanese locals interested in meeting visitors.  In Kyoto, I had arranged for some private lessons with the wonderful people at Kafu.

experience japan photo guide experience japan photo guide experience japan photo guide

Our group split into one class for ikebana (flower arrangement) and one class for Japanese Calligraphy and then we all came together again for a tea ceremony demonstration and lesson.  You don’t have to be part of a group to sign up for the lessons and they do offer other lessons like cooking experience, sake tasting experience and some other events throughout the year.  Everyone had a great time not only learning at their lessons, but also interacting with their Japanese instructors!  You can check out their reviews on tripadvisor or visit them on facebook as well!

experience japan photo guide

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji Castle and some of us to The Fuji Five Lakes close to Mt. Fuji.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Arashiyama

May 04 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Arashiyama |

arashiyama kyoto bamboo grove

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

arashiyama kyoto bamboo grove arashiyama kyoto bamboo grove

I already shared with you photos from the group’s tour in Kyoto, but wanted to have another post just for Arashiyama!  Arashiyama is just west of Kyoto and is a great place to visit, walk around and take photos.  Arashiyama is also where the famous bamboo grove you see so many photos of is!  If you have been to Japan Photo Guide blog in the past, you have surely seen photos taken in Arashiyama’s bamboo grove but thought this time I would set aside an entire post for it.  Actually, there is much more to see in Arashiyama than we went to this time, but our time was limited to see the bamboo grove and a little bit of Kameyama Park
.  If you can, I highly recommend visiting Arashiyama in the Fall, though it’s great anytime of the year.  Also, a note about the bamboo grove, if you want photos without other visitors, you really have to come around sunrise!  Other than that, good luck trying to get photos like what you see here on this post not only because of the quality of light, but it will be CROWDED!

arashiyama kyoto bamboo grove

arashiyama kyoto kameyama parkarashiyama kyoto kameyama park

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji Castle and some of us to The Fuji Five Lakes close to Mt. Fuji.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes

Apr 29 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes |

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

 

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

After part of the group returned home after the main group tour, for the extension tour of 2015 cherry blossom tour of Japan, we headed to Yamanashi Prefecture to take photos of Mt. Fuji from the Fujigoko or Fuji Five Lakes.  We stayed at Kawaguchiko, but also took photos of Mt. Fuji from all five of the lakes, including, Lake Motosu, Lake Shoji, Lake Saiko and Lake Yamanaka.  We spent 3 nights and 4 days in the Mt. Fuji area but 2 of them we had rain and clouds all day and 2 we had views of Mt. Fuji.

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

 

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Believe it or not, seeing Mt. Fuji for 50% of the days is actually ahead of the average for this time of year!  It’s well known in Japan that Mt. Fuji is “shy” and I’ve been told that during April, it’s estimated that you can see Mt. Fuji completely clear on only about 1/3 of the days.  So even though 2 days gave us nothing, I think we were lucky to see Mt. Fuji half the time we were there!  In general, you have a better chance of viewing Mt. Fuji in the Winter months and also earlier in the morning, but of course, anything can happen!

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, and Kyoto.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Kyoto

Apr 29 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Kyoto |

kyoto japan photo guide

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

kyoto japan photo guide

I’ve said it many times before, Kyoto is my favorite city in Japan and possibly the world!  The mix of modern and traditional influences is combine for a spectacular place to visit, explore and take photos in Japan.  There is never enough time to fit in all the places I want to share in Kyoto, but with this group tour of Japan, we certainly tried!

kyoto japan photo guide

In addition to visiting places like Nanzenji, the Path of Philosophy, Silver Pavilion, Gion, Higashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Golden Pavilion, Ninnaji and Arashiyama, I had also arranged for some special experiences and cultural lessons.  The group got to spend time with a maiko in a tea house, as well as have a portrait session with her around Gion and the Kyoto Botanical Gardens.  Also, Some members of the group tour of Japan participated in an ikebana lesson (flower arrangement) and others in a Japanese calligraphy class.  Everyone also learned about and participated in a tea ceremony.  There will be more on all these experiences in Kyoto coming soon!

maiko kyoto japan photo guide

maiko kyoto japan photo guide

Even though the weather and cherry blossoms weren’t fully cooperating with us, Kyoto has many great photo opportunities during all times of the year!  Also, there are many varieties of cherry blossoms, so while some were too early, we had great timing for later blooming species like those at Ninnaji and Heian Shrine.

kyoto japan photo guide

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji Castle and some of us to The Fuji Five Lakes close to Mt. Fuji.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

kyoto japan photo guide

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