Private and Custom Tour of Japan | Kanazawa

Jul 27 | Evan | No Comments |

Japan Photo Guide Kanazawa002

Summer may not be considered the best time to visit Japan with all the heat and humidity but Summer is when many have vacation from school! Just because Summer isn’t cherry blossom or fall leaves season doesn’t mean that Japan isn’t beautiful and a great place to visit in the Summer. I spent most of month of June and part of July in Japan, during the “rainy” season but in 30+ days with a schedule of Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kamikochi, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and finally Tokyo again, I only had a handful of days (maybe 3 or 4) where rain was a disturbance. Not bad at all and because Japan is humid with rain in the Summer, everything is a beautiful shade of green!

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Looking at my schedule above, perhaps you could tell that I had 3 guided tours of Japan lined up back to back to back! The first two were small custom and private tours of Japan and final tour was a small group from a school in North Carolina visiting Japan. I didn’t plan it this way, but first had a single private tour of Japan for the middle/end of June and suddenly the other two guided tours of Japan fell into place!

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The first guided tour of Japan for the Summer was for a mother and daughter, Ellie and Isabelle. Isabelle just graduated high school and is a fantastic budding photographer, well ahead of my time when I was her age! I will be sharing a few of her great photos here but also be sure to check out the video she made from our trip together in Japan on the testimonial page! Back to the tour’s first stop in Kanazawa though!

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Of course we stopped by one of the most famous garden’s in Japan, Kenrokuen and then across the street to Kanazawa Castle Park, and also had the chance to stop by the DT Suzuki Museum, Higashi Chaya (old geisha district), Nagamachi (old samurai district) and even a gold leaf workshop in Kanazawa. Kanazawa is famous for arts and crafts, but almost all gold leaf in Japan comes from Kanazawa. It was really interesting to see and learn how gold leaf is made in Kanazawa.

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Japan Photo Guide Kanazawa048

Of course along the way, we were eating lot’s of delicious food along the way and quickly found out that the two women shared similar tastes as me when it comes to food and desert! There aren’t too many times when I have patience to take photos of my food in Japan before eating it, so you will just have to take my word for it! The photos below are all created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography during our days in Kanazawa. Check out Isabelle’s blog post about Kanazawa for more.

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Photo created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

2016 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes

Jun 01 | Evan | No Comments |

Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide136

Mt. Fuji as a reputation for being really shy, especially while visiting the Fuji Five Lakes outside of Winter.  For the 2016 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan, Mt. Fuji was operating about half of our photographer sessions in the Fuji Five Lake area.  Our hotel was at Lake Kawaguchi (where the photo above was taken from) but we spent the first sunset by Lake Yamanaka.  We got just a touch of color with a slightly hazy Mt. Fuji, but all things considered, our first photo session with the shy mountain didn’t go so bad!  The next morning, after nothing much happening at Lake Tanuki (not one of the Fuji Five Lakes, but very nice place) we stopped by Shiraito Falls.

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For whatever reason, Lake Shoji has always been good luck for me as you might recognize that the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour made some fantastic photos of Mt. Fuji from the shores of Lake Shoji last year.  This year was similar as we had great a nice sunrise and mostly still water making for a great reflection of Mt. Fuji.

Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

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Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

As you can see, we had quite a few nice photos from Lake Shoji!  Our group of photographers stayed at Shojiko quite a while both making photographs and just enjoying the view.  Too bad didn’t have weather like this for all the times our group went out to photograph Mt Fuji.

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By the end of our staying the Fuji Five Lakes area, the cherry blossoms around Kawaguchiko were starting to approach full bloom.  One day was a little gloomy and quite windy, the next morning, clear sky and light wind making for some great reflections!   The photo at the top of this post is my current desktop on all my computers and a vertical crop of it on my iPhone.

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Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide129 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide130 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide133 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide134

Our last morning of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan at the Fuji Five Lakes was mostly cloudy but we still went out anyway hoping for something, or rather anything!  We went out to Lake Saiko in hopes of being able to see and photograph Mt. Fuji one more time.  To our surprise, when arriving at Lake Saiko, we could see most of the Mt. Fuji.  While the clouds cooperated for a while, they covered Mt. Fuji just as the sun was coming up and color was starting to enter the sky.  We were still able to make some interesting photos of Mt. Fuji for our last photo day of the tour!

Lake Saiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide137 Lake Saiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide138

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

With TokyoHiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle  and Kyoto already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was the Fuji Five Lakes to photography Mt. Fuji along with some cherry blossoms. Our photo tour of Japan ended here but yours can start just around the corner!  Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour?  Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!

By the way, I quite like the first photo in this post of Kawguchiko and Mt Fuji when it’s flipped upside… maybe even more that the right way up?

upsidedown fuji Japan Photo Guide

 

2016 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan | Maiko Portrait Session in Kyoto

May 29 | Evan | No Comments |

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If you have stopped by my blog before, you may have noticed my group tours to Japan have participated in a few portrait sessions with real maiko as the subject of our portrait session in Kyoto.  It’s rare for visitors or really Japanese as well, to meet a real maiko or geiko (geiko is what geisha in Kyoto are called), so it’s a special experience just meeting a maiko and even more specials to be allowed to take portraits of a maiko.

Photo created by and courtesy of Patricia Pomerleau

Photo courtesy of and created by Patricia Pomerleau

Photo courtesy of and created by Kel Blake Photography

Photo courtesy of and created by Kel Blake Photography

In general, the weather for the 2016 Cherry Blossom trip had been great, with only 2 days with really bad and rainy weather.  One of our rainy days in Kyoto happened to be on the day we had a portrait session scheduled with a maiko.  Cloudy would’ve been perfect weather to provide soft light for our portrait session in Kyoto, but rainy was almost as nice as we had a location that would keep the maiko covered and protected from the weather, but still could create some nice portraits with mostly natural light.

 

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Photo courtesy of and created by Barna Photo

Photo courtesy of and created by Patricia Pomerleau

Photo courtesy of and created by Patricia Pomerleau

As it often is, the portrait session was one of the highlights of our group photo tour of Japan!  Below is a gallery of a few more of Patricia’s photos, my photos and also a few by Mami Yasui including some of the behind the scenes and our interactions with our lovely maiko!

With TokyoHiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Kyoto, my favorite city in Japan!  After Kyoto we would continue our tour of Japan to photography Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes, still chasing and photographing the cherry blossoms around Japan!  Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour?  Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!

2016 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan | Portrait Session in Kyoto and Tokyo

May 28 | Evan | No Comments |
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Photo created by and courtesy of Kel Blake Photography

While in the USA, my main business is small boutique portrait photography studio, so while on these photo tours of Japan, I always enjoy working in a portrait session or two if the other photographers are interested.  For the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, we not only had a portrait session with a real maiko like in previous trips to Japan, but also had a few opportunities to take portraits while visiting both Kyoto and Tokyo.

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In Kyoto, two members of our group decided they wanted to explore Kyoto wearing traditional Japanese clothes.  After arranging for them to each rent a kimono, we went off into Kyoto for a portrait session.  Kyoto is literally a picture perfect place for portraits, especially during cherry blossom season in Japan.

Once we returned back to Tokyo we also had a portrait session in Tokyo with a model in and around the Yoyogi Park area.  It was a lot of fun taking portraits both in Yoyogi Park and also with Omotesando as the backdrop for some city portraiture in Tokyo.

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With TokyoHiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Kyoto, my favorite city in Japan!  After Kyoto we would continue our tour of Japan to photography Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes, still chasing and photographing the cherry blossoms around Japan!  Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour?  Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!

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